Jonathan's Chinese Ribs
My first attempt at cooking beyond the student survival level began
with Chinese ribs. When I moved to Chapel Hill, NC in 1973,
I discovered to my dismay that there were no Chinese restaurants.
If I wanted ribs, I was going to have to learn how. This recipe has
evolved over more than twenty years. Here is the current version.
Cooking ribs is divided into two phases. The first phase is seasoning
the meat. This is done with a marinade or a dry rub. In Chinese ribs,
I use a marinade that is best used overnight. If you are planning to
marinade less than 8 hours, heat the marinade in the microwave oven
for 30-45 seconds before applying to the meat.
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c hoisin sauce
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 T ground bean sauce (optional)
2 T Tiger sauce (a sweet-hot Caribbean pepper sauce, optional)
1 t sesame oil
3-5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 T sugar
Mix the above ingredients. Place ribs in a non-reactive container
(I use a Tupperware marinater). Pour on marinade.
This recipe makes enough for 2 racks of ribs. If you are only cooking
1 rack, you can half the recipe OR prepare the full recipe, use half,
and save the rest for pork chops. The marinade will keep for a few
weeks in tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator.
The second part of the process is the cooking. The following is just
one method of cooking ribs. It is adapted from Chris Schlesinger and
John Willoughby and enjoys the benefit of being the easiest.
Marinade ribs overnight. (Use a whole rack of real spare ribs.
Cut them only to fit onto the roaster rack) Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Place ribs on a roaster pan with a rack. Pour water into the bottom
of the pan, making sure not to have the ribs in the water.
Place in oven for 5-6 hours, depending on the thickness of the ribs.
The ribs are now cooked. To finish the ribs, you can just turn the
oven up to 450 degrees and keep a close watch. If you have the time,
they can be finished on an outdoor grill.
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