Recipe from the The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook: Home Cooking from Asian Kitchens (Sasquatch Books, 2009) by Patricia Tanumihardja.
1-2-3-4-5 Sticky Spareribs (Tang Chu Pai Gu)
If you’re one to think that Chinese recipes are complicated, this dish dispels all preconceptions. Not only is it easy to remember the amounts of the ingredients (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 tablespoons), it’s almost effortless to prepare. To put it simply, this dish has an excellent ease-of-preparation to tastiness ratio.
For a tangier taste, switch the proportions of vinegar and sugar.
Time: 45 minutes (5 minutes active)
Makes: 4 to 6 servings as part of a multicourse family-style meal
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
2 pounds meaty pork spareribs, trimmed of excess fat, cut crosswise in half through the bone, and cut between the bone into individual riblets
In a large wide-mouthed heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, combine the rice wine, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and water. Add the spareribs and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the meat dries out and starts to burn, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time. The ribs are ready when the meat is tender and glossed with a sticky, reddish-brown glaze and the liquid has been absorbed. Serve with freshly steamed rice and a vegetable side dish. Variations: Instead of Shaoxing rice wine, experiment with other forms of alcohol, like beer or brandy.
Now. doesn’t that make your mouth water? And the answer is yes. We do have Pastured Heritage Breed Pork Spareribs available. You can purchase some at the Food For Thought Farmers Market on the 27th at Turners Falls High School from 9 to noon. We will not only be bringing some spareribs over, but also: assorted pork chops, hot italian sausage, sweet italian sausage, breakfast sausage, and some country ribs. For veal, there’ll be some steaks, cutlets and ground, and for beef we’re featuring the sweet tasting Jersey beef patties and stew meat. If there is any room left in the freezer, I will pack up some lamb chops and ground lamb for that market as well.
(I am still modestly wiping the drool from my face… that recipe really does sound unbelievable. I can’t wait to try it) Usually I only post recipes that I have really enjoyed already, but then this one came along, and I know that it is a winner. After reading as many cookbooks as I have (for fun) I can get a really good sense of which recipes are going to be just right and which ones will be a bit off. This recipe is definitely on the mark.