Saturday, January 8, 2011

Recipe #62: steamed pork with rice powder

In my memory, my grandparents' generation often made steamed pork with rice powder. Especially, it was one of my grandfather's masterpieces. Those who have tasted it always wanted to come to our house for seconds. Some of those people would go as far as giving my grandfather great gifts, as well as a bit of PR.

Unfortunately, my mother would only enjoy eating when she was young, and, like I used to, assumed that she would magically know how to make it. Until when she actually tried, she did not know where to start! The steamed pork with rice powder was a dish she has always wanted to try, and she realized that even grandfather told her how to make the dish, she wouldn't necessarily be able to get the ingredients. So she decided to make her own version.

My mother really has talent. She experimented for a bit, and was able to this dish. In her generation, very few people know how to make this dish. But I am lucky that she does.


1. 1/2 lb. chunked porks or 1" baby pork ribs
2. 1/2 lb. kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) or yam
3. 2 packages of rice powder
4. 1/2 c. water
5. 1/2 Tbsp. hot soybean paste
6. 1 tsp. cooking wine
7. 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
8. 1/2 tsp. sugar
9. 2 slices ginger


1. Mix water, soybean paste, wine, soy sauce, sugar and ginger well; add pork to mixture and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Put pumpkin or yam into bowl or steamable container.
3. Dip every chunk of pork into rice powder on all sides. Line up on top of pumpkin or yam.
4. Pour remaining marinade on rice powder.
5. On high heat, steam for about 40-60 minutes.


1. We usually use pork butt. For baby back ribs, you can cut it into three pieces, and then you can cut each piece into small chunks.
2. Rice powder comes in several flavors, such as regular, five spices or spicy. Each type brings about its own unique taste.
3. If you don't like spicy foods, you can replace the hot soybean paste with another Tbsp. of soy sauce.
4. Putting the pumpkin or yam on the bottom brings about a better overall taste, but the pork will be on the bottom when you transfer the contents to a plate, resulting in a poor presentation. My mother solves this problem by steaming pumpkin/yam and pork separately; when the pork is about 80% done, add the pumpkin/yam to it and finish cooking.