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Tripe with black beans and ginger

Serves 4

Years ago, tripe would make a fairly regular appearance on the butcher's counter, especially in the north of England. It's harder to get hold of now, although if you frequent good authentic Chinese restaurants and supermarkets you will certainly come across the stuff. You can serve this as a dim sum dish or as a sharing main course.

Tripe varies; most of the stuff that is on sale these days is the blanched white tripe which is cooked. It doesn't have a great flavour compared to the stuff which is less treated and not so white, which takes longer to cook and which absorbs the flavours much better.

You can buy fermented dried black beans from good Chinese supermarkets; they generally have ginger mixed with them.

500g tripe, washed, dried and cut into rough 2cm chunks
1tbsp sesame oil
1 medium onion, peeled, halved and roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 red chillies, sliced
A 40-50g piece of root ginger, scraped and finely chopped
100ml rice wine
500ml chicken stock
3tbsp light soy sauce
60g dry Chinese fermented black beans
2-3tsp cornflour
A few sprigs of coriander to serve

Heat the sesame oil in a heavy saucepan and gently cook the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the rice wine, chicken stock and soy, bring to the boil, add the tripe and simmer for about 15 minutes. If you are using the un-blanched tripe it may need about an hour to cook as well as more stock.

Dilute the cornflour in a little water and stir in enough to thicken the mixture and continue simmering for another 5 minutes.

Season if necessary and serve with the sprigs of coriander scattered over.