A family favorite for two and a half decades, I learned how to make this dish while taking Chinese cooking lessons from my teacher Ying Ling-Lui, the daughter of one of Chiang Kai Shek’s generals. It was an instant success and became a frequent request for birthday dinners. The unique sauce is seasoned with Chinese Star Anise and peppercorns. The pair creates a rather exotic and mouthwatering combination with a licorice note in the background. Just talking about it makes my mouth water.
Generally Asians eat ribs that are not slow cooked ‘fall off the bone’ done. They’re cooked in potent sauces and eaten when the meat is ‘bite off the bone’ done. The sauce oozes into the hot cooked sticky rice. Enjoy and don’t be surprised if your family requests this dish over and over.
2011 AniversaRecipe—Pork Chops with Pink Mushroom Sauce
Recipe: Soy Sauce Spare Ribs
3 ½-4 lbs Spare Ribs, see below for cutting
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 clove Garlic, smashed
2 slices fresh Ginger, smashed
Cooked Sticky Rice
1. In a wok or large frying pan, heat oil on high. Toss in the ginger and cook until you smell the aroma, about 20-30 seconds. Add the ribs and garlic, browning each piece on all sides.
2. Add the soy sauce and turn to coat meat. Reduce heat to medium-high, cover and cook for 6 minutes turning meat once half way through.
3. Add boiling water, sugar, anise star and peppercorns. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for about 15 minutes turning meat every few minutes to coat with sauce. The juice thickens a bit as it reduces.
4. Reduce to low heat and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until meat juices run clear.
5. Serve meat with hot cooked sticky rice in a bowl. Skim the fat off the sauce and either pour over the ribs or serve in a bowl to pass as sauce for the rice.
• Exchange spare ribs for chicken thighs.
• Exchange soy sauce for low sodium soy sauce.
Inspiration—Ying Ling Lui
sauces over under and through