My father was a traveling salesman. He was one of the first generation med-reps in the Philippines. He was often called “Tony-ing Cortal” – after one of the more popular products he sold in the 60’s and 70’s in the Philippines.
He traveled a lot since it was the nature of his work. He went up north to Ilocos, to the south in Cebu and different part of Mindanao. He also went to Puerto Prinsesa in Palawan. He went for a week, and often times for two weeks. But never more than that.
There were times also when he just went to the main office near Pioneer Street in Mandaluyong. And when that opportunity comes, I often tag along.
Cooking is one of my father’s diversions. He loves to eat. He loves to cook. He always said that cooking and eating at home is always cheaper. When he is not assigned to go to the province he would take me to Farmer’s Market in Cubao where he taught me how to choose fresh ingredients for our meals. He also would also often choose to cook simple meals – fast and easy to cook.
Here’s is one of those simple to cook meals – pork spare ribs.
Total cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
1 kilo spare ribs
5 cloves of Garlic
1 Medium Onion Chopped
1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper Corn
3 pcs. Laurel Leaves(Bay Leaf)
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of soy sauce
1 Spoonful of Cornstarch
1. Boil spare ribs in water for 15 minutes. The first boiling is to remove the soot from the pork. It also helps tenderize the meat.
2. After 15 minutes, set aside the pork spare ribs from the boiling water. Throw the water.
3. Put fresh water into the pan. Wait for the water to boil. (10-15 minutes) Do not add the pork spare ribs until the water boils.
4. Once the water is boiling, add the pork spare ribs. Add in the garlic, onion, laurel leaves(Bay leaf), black pepper corn. This second boiling is to tenderize the meat and to make the spices and flavor sink into the meat. Wait for another 20-30 minutes or until the pork is tender. Use a fork to test the tenderness.
5. Lower the heat. Add the soy sauce and brown sugar.
6. Lower the heat a little more. Add 1 spoonful of cornstarch to thicken the sauce. And simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Enjoy your home-cooked pork spare ribs!