Spicy & Sticky Chinese-style Pork Spareribs By Certina Romel

This dish is so full of flavours especially that of umami n mildly sour, sweet… and is pleasantly spicy to your palate. It’s gonna be a new favourite in your family. Trust me, kids who used to walk around holding chicken drumsticks are gonna get a rib this time.. haha.. I mean, no one will be able to resist this fall-off-the bone well-seasoned ribs..
 
How I developed this recipe –
 
Ribs are one of mine and my family’s favourite cut- whether it’s a bbq or a braised one. I love how this cut takes in the seasoning as it cooks in its on beautifully stacked layers of fat, meat and bones.
Once me and my dad had ‘Chinese five spiced pork spare ribs’  from an lovely Chinese restaurant and we could never stop talking about how damn delicious it was even after 10 long years. 
I wanted to bring in that texture of stickiness to my dish and finally I succeeded in doing so after making it several times, referring many Chinese cooking videos.
 
What’s special about this recipe-
 
Flavour burst– From the right amount of not-so-overpowering sauces and spices, the ribs are very well coated in the umami and spices.
 
Perfectly cooked– When i say ‘perfect’, i mean it. It’s a never-fail stove top recipe which does not compromise on texture. First the meat it charred and then slow-cooked to first ensure the smoky flavours and release the fat, then cook to fall-of-the bone, to-die-for ribs!
 
What you’ll need
 
  • 400-500g pork spareribs 
  • 1 bulb of garlic- skin not fully removed- cloves seperated and slightly crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing/ Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 4 slices of Ginger 
  • 1 tablespoon of dark and light soya sauces each
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce 
  • 3 cups of water
  • Half teaspoon white pepper powder
  • Half teaspoon red chilli flakes 
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil 
 
How to make-
 
. Heat a wok and pour very little (about a teaspoon) neutral oil to sauté the ginger and garlic.
. Now add the sugar and once it starts caramelising, add the ribs and start browning. Add the sauces once the juices from the meat starts drying up.
. Sauté until almost 2/3rd of the fat is melted. Now season it with pepper and chilli flakes.
. Pour the rice wine, water and cook well-covered for 45 minutes to an hour. PS: keep an eye on whether the ribs are sticking to the bottom of the vessel (I used a non-stick thick bottom wok), stir every 15 minutes and add more water – by half cup, if needed—when you are making this for the first time..
. Once the ribs are perfectly cooked, it’ll be sticky and tender. Add a little of light soya sauce and sauté for a minute if you need more seasoning for your ribs.
. At this point, season with the sesame oil for a nutty flavour and serve hot after garnishing.
 
Notes, Tips and Suggestions-
 
. You could try the same recipe with beef ribs, but make sure you add more oil to the wok before sautéing.
. Garnish with chopped spring onions or toasted sesame seeds.
. Covered cooking time may vary by 20 minutes depending of the type of vessel and temperatures you use.
 

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