When I was growing up in California, in the United States, my mother cooked dinner for me and my brothers almost every night. Sometimes she made what I call “PTA moms’ food” – child-pleasing recipes that the mothers would share with each other – but more often, she cooked delicious and easy home-style Chinese dishes, such as this one.
Have the butcher cut the pork spare ribs into pieces; it's very difficult to do it yourself.
Rinse the pork ribs and drain them well. Put them in a bowl and add the soy sauce, rice wine, salt, sugar, cornstarch and oil, then mix thoroughly. Leave at room temperature while preparing the other ingredients.
Mince the garlic. Slice the banana chilli on the diagonal into 3mm (⅛in) pieces. Cut the bird’s-eye chilli in half lengthwise and scrape out and discard the seeds. Slice the chillies into 3mm (⅛in) pieces. Mix the garlic and both types of chillies with the pork. Spread the ingredients in a shallow heat-proof serving dish.
Place a metal rack with low feet in the bottom of a wok and add water to the depth of about 4cm (1½in). Heat over a high flame until the water boils. Place the dish of pork on the rack, cover with the lid and steam over a medium-high flame for 20 to 30 minutes.
While the pork is cooking, mince the spring onions. When the pork is fully cooked, sprinkle the spring onions on top and serve with steamed white rice.