Asian Cuisine

           Why Chinese Cuisine?
           Learning to Cook Chinese
           Thoughts on some commonly used ingredients in Chinese recipes          
           Lobster Sauce
           Shrimp with Lobster Sauce
           Fish Fillets with Lobster Sauce
           Chicken with Fermented Black Beans
           Salmon and Broccoli with Fermented Black Beans
           Mongolian Beef
           Mongolian Beef, Economical Version
             Braised Short Ribs Mongolian Beef Style

          Country Style Beef Ribs, Mongolian Beef  Style...Browned, Simmered, glazed in an Electric Frying Pan



          



Why Chinese Cuisine?
Mom needed to be especially prudent how she spent her limited discretionary money.  When she did, imagine how special what she spent it on must have been.

On occasion, mom would pull out the menu from her favorite restaurant in Boston’s Chinatown.  It was loaded with notes reminding her which Chinese items we liked best; Chinese spare ribs always topped the list.  
  
Mom would call in her take out order and a taxi delivered our Chinese food.  I remember looking out of our first-floor apartment window on Cleveland Place waiting for the first glimpse of headlights on Snow Hill Street perpendicular to our narrow alleyway.  I’d wave to let him know which was our doorway.  I remember that paper bag stapled shut, those white food boxes, bag of crispy noodles, condiments, and fortune cookies. 

Mom and I talked mostly about our entertaining family and laughed while appreciating our special treat.  Il meglio dei ricord; Dio vi benedica mama.

Learning to Cook Chinese
I began learning about unique Chinese ingredients like fermented black beans, many great recipes, and the nuances of cooking authentic Chinese at least 35 years ago after purchasing Irene Kuo’s time tested book “The Keys to Chinese Cooking”.   I believe it’s still the most definitive cookbook on Chinese cuisine.  I’ve certainly never found one better!   
                         
Her book alerted me to techniques like “velveting”.  Ever wonder why chicken cooked in Asian dishes is always tender and juicy?  Velveting is a coating and sealing technique that keeps chicken, shrimp, fish, and beef moist during stir frying.  Once velveting ingredients are systematically applied, it's sealed either in hot oil or water. 

Slippery coating is similar and helps tenderize economical cuts of meat. 

Anyone that wants to learn how to cook authentic Chinese, purchase  “The Keys to Chinese Cooking”.


Thoughts on some commonly used ingredients in Chinese recipes.
Mincing Ginger…brings out the intensity of ginger’s flavors.  I use a meat pounder.  Place quarter size slices on a cutting board.  Cover with plastic or wax paper and pound.  Finish briefly with a chopping knife.

Soy sauce, traditional verses less sodium…Commercial brewed soy sauce is made with fermented soy bean paste and may contain grains, salt brine, cultures, water, etc.  Knowing the origin of soy sauce helps understand its saltiness.  Salt was expensive in ancient China.  Soy sauce was a way to economically stretch salt.

Saltiness can be cumulative when adding ingredients like fermented black beans, oyster, and fish sauce.  Lower salt soy appears to have slightly less flavor intensity (I’ve taste tested both using the same well-known brand), remember you can add more salt but can’t take it away.  You can only dilute salt by adding water and thickener; not a great alternative.  I now lean towards low salt soy unless I'm sure the dish won't be over salted. 
  
Scallions...I buy scallions in 5.5-ounce sealed cellophane packages.  Perhaps because they are protected, they always seem to be noticeably fresher.  Freshness will determine if the outermost layer needs to be removed.

Fermented black beans…are black soy beans that are fermented and salted.  Additional ingredients like ginger, orange peel, soy sauce might also be added.  Whole beans are imported in cellophane bags and sold in some Asian grocery stores.  Several brands are also available on Amazon.  Some grocery stores carry black bean paste in jars and added ingredients like garlic.  Unlike paste, whole beans can be rinsed to remove excess salt; paste can’t. Use paste in moderation. 

Origin appears to be Cantonese.  Their bold flavors pair exceptionally well with other hardy flavors like ginger and garlic.  I love the sauces they help create.  Some of my favorite recipes are Shrimp, Beef, and Flounder with Lobster Sauces.



Lobster Sauce
Versatile, Unique, and Exotic
This incredable sauce can accompany poultry, seafood, rice, noodles and many others, transforming the bland to bold.  It can also be served plain, topped with crispy Chinese noodles.  Here it's shown topping lightly dredged and sauteed fish.      

As Irene Kuo indicates in her book, “The Keys to Chinese Cooking”, Lobster Sauce doesn’t contain lobster but is “featured” in Lobster Cantonese. 

Lobster sauce and Shrimp with Lobster Sauce are widely available throughout New England.  It’s made with chopped or ground pork flavored with fermented black beans, garlic, ginger, in a hardy dark sauce that includes sherry and soy.  Although classically finished with scrambled egg, I eliminate that addition.

Outside of New England, Chinese restaurants rarely offer Lobster Sauce plain or with shrimp.  When they do, it is made with a thickened chicken broth base.  Thick brown sauce, is the exception.

Knowing I couldn’t live without New England style Lobster Sauce, I went on a mission to learn how to cook it.  That’s when I found it in Irene Kuo’s book.  I’ve been making it at home since.

Fermented Black Beans are whole soy beans that are fermented and salted.  They are usually found imported in cellophane bags in some Asian grocery stores but also at Amazon.  You may be able to find jars of black bean paste locally with added ingredients like garlic but contents are unacceptably salty.

Once ingredients are gathered and prepped, cooking times for Lobster Sauce is quick.

Although modeled after Irene Kuo’s recipes but with personal tweaks.  I add extra minced garlic and ginger and lightly soak fermented beans after rinsing.  Because the dish can be salty, I eliminate added salt, including with preparations.  I also increase proportions of lobster sauce to shrimp, fish, or other accompanied ingredients. 

Remember, you can lighten up on recommended low salt soy sauce and correct for taste later.   
Ingredients:
Lobster sauce
  • 2 generous tablespoons fermented black beans
  • 4 larger cloves garlic minced
  • 3 quarter size slices fresh ginger minced
  • 4 small scallions finely chopped, about 1/3rd cup
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2-3 tablespoons low salt soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • Cooking oil
  • Optional, 2 scallions sliced in one-inch diagonals  
About an hour ahead, rinse fermented black beans in a strainer and place in a cup.  Barely cover with water.  Liquid will reabsorb into beans and soften them a little.

Optional, soften sliced scallions in oil.  Reserve and spread over finished dish.   
                       
When ready to cook, place sherry, low salt soy, and sugar in a bowl.  Separately prepare thickener by stirring cornstarch with ¼ cup of water and a drizzle of oil.

Coarsely chop fermented black beans. Spread chopped beans, garlic, ginger, and scallions in a pan with 2 tablespoons cooking oil.  Saute while stirring for a about a minute. 

Add ground pork.  Break pork apart by chopping with the edge of a spatula while mixing.  When pork has browned and uniformly chopped, coat with liquid seasoning.  Add water and increase heat.  Cook covered for a few minutes.  Lower heat, add most of thickener and stir continuously.  Adjust for soy and add more thickener if needed.

Serve with plain or fried rice, soft or hard noodles  



Shrimp with Lobster Sauce
This dish was popular at all Chinese restaurants and take-out counters throughout New England.  Yet, I never found it in outside and if I did, it certainly didn’t resemble it’s characteristic deep brown sauce with chopped pork, flavored with fermented black beans, garlic and ginger. 

As discussed above, it was imperative I learned how to make it to enjoy it!  Best of all, it’s easy to assemble.  And with the help of Amazon and the occasional Asian specialty shops, I had access to authentic fermented black beans.

The recipe for Lobster Sauce above will accommodate up to 2 pounds of shrimp.  I prefer about 1 ½ pounds of extra-large.  Shrimp is quick cooked in hot oil and briefly simmered with sauce to capture all flavors.  Reheat with some water to enjoy leftovers.  It’s as joyful as finding pizza in the refrigerator the next day.
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ pounds extra-large shrimp,  preferably wild caught
  • Lobster Sauce, Recipe Above
  • Cooking oil
Remove shrimp shells and devein.  Rinse in cold water and set on paper towel to dry.
Follow the recipe for Lobster Sauce above.  Keep warm.

In a separate pan large pan, heat ample cooking oil hot enough to sear shrimp.  Rapidly stir fry shrimp for about 30 seconds and remove.  Don’t overcook.  They will be reheated in the lobster sauce before serving. 

Reduce heat to medium.  Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the oil.  Reheat lobster sauce adding water as needed.  Add more soy if needed.  Incorporate the shrimp and simmer briefly if not cooked through.  Serve.
Fish Fillets with Lobster Sauce
Although Lobster Sauce is associated with shrimp, it also pairs exceptionally with other seafood.  This variation is usually made with fillet of sole or tilapia.  Unlike above, fillets are partcially cooked with the sauce and can also be "velveted".   
     
The Chinese have an incredible cooking technique called velveting that prepares meat, poultry, and seafood for stir frying.  After marinating they are blanched in oil or water that seals and protects.  Surfaces also form a “silky” texture. 

For fish fillets, Irene Kuo suggests a marinade of sherry, salt, pepper, cornstarch, oil and a well beaten egg.

For this dish, Lobster Sauce is prepared ahead.  Even though delicate, fish can be sautéed and cooked through whole with a simple flour dusting.  The dish is then finished by steam warming the fillets on lobster sauce and covered.  It is served in hunks of fish plated with lots of lobster sauce.
 Ingredients:
  • Lobster Sauce, Recipe Above
  • 1-pound fillet of sole or tilapia
  • Flour for dredging
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking oil
Velveting, Optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg white well beaten
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Follow the recipe for Lobster Sauce above.  Keep warm. 

Rinse fillets and dry on paper towels.  Preheat a sauté pan to medium high with an ample amount of olive oil.
Dredge fish in olive oil and shake off excess.  Sauté both sides until fish is just cooked through.  Remove fish to a holding plate. 

Discard all but 2 tablespoons of oil.  Stir Lobster Sauce into pan used to cook fish to capture cooking pan to capture all flavors.  Add water as needed for consistency.  Top with cooked fillets.  Spoon some of the sauce over fillets and cover for a few minutes.  Serve sauce with hunks of fish. 

Who would have thought a recipe with ground pork and fish would ever taste this good! 

Optional velvet coating:   Place strips of fillets in a bowl.  Add salt sherry and pepper and mix well.  Add egg white, cornstarch and oil.  Gently toss fillets to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Saute and continue the recipe as above.        


      
Chicken with Fermented Black Beans
Is a great example of moist velveted chicken with one of my favorite sauces.

Although the list of ingredients is moderate, only 5 require easy prep work.  Other ingredients are gathered and assembled from your cupboard.

Short on time, a side of prepared and packaged white or fried rice are now readily available everywhere and are readied in minutes. 
Ingredients
  • 2 ¼ pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts
Oil Velveting
  • 1 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Additional ingredients:
  • 1 bunch scallions  
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chop garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 2 Tablespoons fermented black beans
  • vegetable oil as needed
Sauce:
  • 3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ½ cup water
Thickener:
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
Cut breasts into bite size pieces. Velvet by tossing chicken in a bowl with salt and dry sherry. 
Whisk egg whites until protein breaks up and whites just start to froth.  Thoroughly mix with the chicken.  Sprinkle chicken with cornstarch, folding until chicken is dusted all over. Coat chicken pieces with oil.  Cover bowl and set aside for at least a ½ hour. 
 
Cut tips of scallions.  If outermost layer is fresh, bright, and moist without any browning, cut diagonally into 1-inch slices.  If not remove outermost layer first.  Reserve. 

Place fermented black beans in a fine mesh strainer.  Rinse well under cold running water.  Empty beans onto paper towel to blot moisture; coarsely chop and set aside

Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl. 

Whisk thickener, corn starch and water in another bowl.  
              
Finish velveting in batches.  Place enough cooking oil in a pan to just cover chicken.   Heat oil to medium.  Lightly cook coated chicken, flipping only a couple of minutes until all sides are mostly white but not cooked through.  Be careful not to pierce through the coating.  Remove to a holding plate.  Discard oil. 
     
Quick sauté scallions by flipping them in fresh oil over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds.  Remove to a bowl. 

Sauté ginger, garlic and black beans for a few seconds stirring constantly.  Remove to a separate bowl.

Add additional oil as needed. Stir fry velveted chicken until cooked through, about 2 minutes.  Mix in the contents of the bowl with ginger, garlic, and black beans.  Give the sauce a stir and add to the pan.  Let contents simmer together for about 3 or 4 minutes until sauce starts to evaporate.  Mix in scallions.

Give the thicker a final stir.  Stir in about half of thickener.  Gradually add more until ingredients glaze and the sauce thickens to a light creamy consistency. 
  
Adjust with more soy sauce to taste if needed.  Serve with white or fried rice. 




Salmon and Broccoli with Fermented Black Beans
This version features broccoli and salmon. 

The list of ingredients is moderate and prep quick and easy. 
 
Whole imported Fermented Black Beans are available on Amazon and some specialty Asian grocery stores.  They are sometimes also available in general grocers in paste form but are heavily salty.   
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons fermented black beans
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chop garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • vegetable oil as needed
Sauce:
  • 3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ½ cup water
Thickener:
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
Salmon and Broccoli
  • 10-ox package frozen broccoli florets
  • 14.5 oz. can chicken broth
  • 2 pounds salmon
Place fermented black beans in a fine mesh strainer.  Rinse well under cold running water.  Empty beans onto paper towel to blot moisture; coarsely chop and set aside

Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl.

Whisk thickener, corn starch and water in another bowl.           

In a pan large enough to hold all ingredients, sauté ginger, garlic and black beans for a few seconds stirring constantly   Remove to a separate bowl.

Bring uncovered chicken broth to a rapid bowl.  Add frozen broccoli.  When broth has evaporated, stir fry broccoli in cooking oil.  Remove.

Quick sauté salmon on both sides but not cooked through (still translucent in their centers).  Also remove.
    
Assemble... mix ginger, garlic, and black beans with sauce.  Simmer together for about 3 minutes in the sauté pan until sauce starts to condense.  Thicken with cornstarch mixture to desired consistency.  Add broccoli and finish salmon until just cooked through.
            
Adjust with more soy sauce to taste if needed.  Serve with white or fried rice.




Crispy Beef Recipes
The focus of this section is variations of recipes centered around crispy fried beef.  Perhaps the most famous is Mongolian Beef.  Thin sliced beef is cooked crisp and glazed with a sweet savory sauce usually finished with scallions.  Although delicious as is,  “Crispy Beef” dishes can be created with any variety of other vegetable, additional flavors, perhaps even made as a Lo Mein. 

Watch for new “Crispy Beef Recipes” to follow. 

   
Mongolian Beef
If you’ve ever had incredible Mongolian Beef, perhaps the signature dish at a famous Chinese restaurant, you understand the drive for others to develop copycat recipes.  Many if not most knockoffs are more than similar; some even identical to one another.   Then again, common ingredients like minced garlic, ginger, soy sauce, cornstarch, pepper flakes, and some form of sugar are common in many Chinese recipes!  If I knew who developed the first of the common recipes, I'd certainly give them credit.

The dish is also relatively simple.  Sauce is created.  Beef is thin sliced and usually coated with cornstarch to seal in flavors and help beef crisp.  Meat and sauce are integrated over heat, and finished when meat is glazed, and sauce is thickened.   
       
This version doesn’t depart much from all others.  It’s adjusted to accommodate personal tastes.  As an example, I think most of the copycat recipes are slightly too sweet.  I adjust mine by increasing the proportion of beef.  I also like having garlic and ginger flavors more pronounced. 

I’ve also tested it with different cuts of beef, some more tender than others.  My favorites are strip, Delmonico, and flank (seemingly the most popular).  Friends frequently make it with economical cuts like shaved and cubed beef also with great results.  Common corn starch coating technique works well for these better cuts of beef.  
  
For tougher cuts, I suggest using Irene Kuo’s “Slippery Coating for Beef” featured it in her incredible Chinese cookbook, “The Keys to Chinese Cooking”.  Cornstarch is dissolved with water and mixed with soy sauce.  Magically coating and resting beef with this mixture turns tough beef tender; second version below.

Scallions, most of my local grocery stores sell bunches of loose scallions held together with rubber bands.  One very large chain sells them in 5.5 oz. sealed packages.  Not only more sanitary but they appear fresher, eliminating the need to remove their outermost layer.  I simply wash and core both ends and slice them about an inch long diagonally. 

I quickly sauté and reserve them early on, stirring them back in when finishing the dish. 
   
Ingredients using tender beef:
  • 1 ¾ pounds of tender beef after trimming (Delmonico, strip, flank, etc.)
     Coating for tender cuts
  • ½ cup cornstarch
     Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon smashed/minced ginger
  • 1 ½ tablespoon minced garlic 
  • ½ cup lite soy sauce low sodium
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar, lightly tapped
  • 1 package scallions (5.5)
  • Red pepper flakes, optional





Cut beef into one-inch wide strips and into quarter inch bite size slices.  Slice flank against (perpendicular to) the grain.  Can be done well ahead and refrigerate until ready to coat and cook. 

Prepare all solid ingredients.  Scallions, remove rough bottoms and a little off their green tops.  Remove outermost layer of scallions if not fresh.  Cut stalks diagonally into 1-inch lengths.  
  
Ginger and garlic, peel and cut into quarter size slices.  Place them on a cutting board and cover with wax paper.  Smash ginger with a meat mallet and briefly chop.  Smashing   brings out all the intense flavors of ginger.  Repeat if needed to fill a full tablespoon. Finely chop Garlic.
                       
Coating, place beef slices in a baking pan with sides or in a bowl.  Sprinkle with all the corn starch a little at a time while flipping the meat.  Make sure beef is coated on all sides. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.

In a pot, sauté scallions in a small amount of oil over medium-low heat for about 30 seconds.  Remove to a plate or bowl.  
               
Add ginger and garlic in the same pot, stir for about 30 seconds.  Add the soy sauce, water, and dark brown sugar.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until sauce starts to thicken.  Remove from heat. 

Cook beef in a large pan over high heat (can be done in batches).  Add enough cooking oil to just cover the beef.  Best if beef is quick cooked crispy but more important not to overcook, have some pink inside; beef will be warmed again with sauce.  Temporarily remove beef and discard cooking oil.

Add cooked beef to the pan with the sauce.  Stir very briefly to heat the sauce and glaze the beef

Finish the dish with the scallions.  If desired, you can also add a little heat with red pepper flakes to taste.

We serve it next to a scoop of Chinese steamed rice.  Another very easy option, serve it with packed and
prepared frozen fried rice.  Follow package heating directions.


     
Mongolian Beef, Economical Version...
With lesser expensive cuts of beef, using "Slippery Coating" to tenderize the beef.  
Slippery Coating Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil, i.e. vegetable or canola
Cut economical beef into strips as instructed above.  Instead of coating beef with simple cornstarch, use "Slippery coating".

To assemble slippery coating, dissolve water with cornstarch.  Next mix with soy sauce and oil and form a paste.  Toss beef with slippery coating separating pieces to coat all sides.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Follow the remainder of the original recipe above.  As mentioned above, even with slippery cating, best if beef is quick cooked crispy but more important not to overcook, have some pink inside.  Temporarily remove beef and discard cooking oil.

Serve as recommended. 



Braised Short Ribs Mongolian Beef Style

This is a variation of my Mongolian Beef recipe above.  Both are flavored and glazed with our sweet and savory Mongolian sauce.  This adaption replaces thin sliced crispy beef with Beef Short ribs that are browned and slow cooked at a modest 275° with Mongolian sauce in a Dutch oven.  Ribs fall off their bones and become very tender in about 2 hours.         

Sauce includes scallions, minced ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, slightly thinned with water. 

Ribs are finished single layer in an open roasting pan topped with sauce.  Temperature is increased to 350°direct heat.  Results, ribs are fork tender and glazed.  Sauce is slightly thickened with incredible complex and sweetened Asian flavors.

Ribs can be served as an appetizer, family style placed over Chinese noodles, rice, and/or roasted vegetables like carrots tossed with olive oil and garlic.  Plan on 2 short ribs per person, about 3 pounds for four hungry adults. ​​​​​​​

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 short ribs, about 3 pounds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 package scallions (5.5 oz)

     Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup lite soy sauce low sodium
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly tapped
  • Red pepper flakes, optional

Dry ribs with paper towel.  Lightly sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Preheat oven to 275° direct heat.

Remove root tips of scallions.  Cut stalks diagonally in one-inch lengths.   

Brown and lightly sear ribs on all sides with cooking oil, about 8-10 minutes per batch.  A Dutch oven or similar pan that can go from stovetop to oven with cover is most convenient. 

Remove short ribs.  Skim and discard all but a couple of tablespoons of fat.  Try to preserve flavor bits. 

Sauté scallions in medium-low heat in the same pot for about 30 seconds.  Remove to a plate.  Add ginger and garlic in the same pot; stir for about 30 seconds.  Add the soy sauce, water, and dark brown sugar.  Bring to a light simmer.  Remove from heat.  Stir sauce.

Coat ribs and position them flat on the bottom of the pot as best as you can.  Cover and place in the middle of the oven.  After about an hour, flip ribs over and continue roasting.  When meat has fallen off the bone, about another half hour remove pot. 

Place meat single layer in an open roasting pan.  Pour sauce over.  Raise oven to 350° direct heat.  Every 15 minutes flip ribs.  Sauce will thicken to a light sauce, ribs glazed, and beef will have the consistency of pulled pork. 

Toss with cooked scallions and serve.  ​​​​​​​



Country Style Beef Ribs, Mongolian Beef Style…

Browned, Simmered, and glazed in an Electric Frying Pan

This is another variation of Mongolian Beef.  Country style beef ribs are smaller than short ribs, have less fat, cooks quicker and is conveniently cooked entirely in an electric frying pan.  

As above, sauce includes scallions, minced ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, slightly thinned with water. 

Country style ribs can be purchased with or without bone; pictured without.    

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds Country Style Beef Ribs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 package scallions (5.5 oz)

     Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup lite soy sauce low sodium
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly tapped
  • Red pepper flakes, optional

Dry ribs with paper towel.  Lightly sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Remove root tips of scallions.  Cut stalks diagonally in one-inch lengths.   

Lightly sear ribs on all sides with cooking oil in a large electric frying pan; Remove short ribs.

Prepare Mongolian Sauce.  Sauté scallions in medium-low heat in the same pot for about 30 seconds.  Remove to a plate.  Add ginger and garlic in the same pot; stir for about 30 seconds.  Add the soy sauce, water, and dark brown sugar.  Stir sauce.

Heat to a low simmer.  Toss ribs with the sauce and maintain the simmer.  Periodically stir ribs.  When ribs are tender, remove cover and thicken sauce enough to coat and lightly glaze ribs.    

Toss with cooked scallions and serve over rice.