Monday, January 16, 2012

Cooking: Tangy Chinese Spare Ribs [糖醋排骨]

Finally after multi-levels of procrastination, I decided to try cooking the pork ribs that had been on my "to try" list for months now.

I like tangy spare-ribs [糖醋排骨]and been meaning to make them for ages now. One of the reason it took so long was because I was hoping to find a small bottle of Black vinegar as required ingredient but all I could locate was the big bottles. Why do I want a huge bottle of sauce for something I cook time to time?

Came today, I completely forgotten that I had forgotten to get the Black Glutinous vinegar  and neither do I have plain flour at home but I was already half way into the job. So I decided to fuck the black vinegar and proceed ahead with just the Zhejiang Red Vinegar.

Sauce Ingredients:
1. Zhejiang Vinegar (浙江醋)- 2 tablespoon
2. Black Glutinous Vinegar (烏醋)- 2 tablespoon (required! It gives the dish the nice rounded sweet taste like 排骨王)
3. 2 teaspoon heaps of white sugar, or use cubes of icing sugar (冰糖)(personally I prefer the latter)
4. Tomato sauce - 1.5- 2 tablespoon (i just gauge when I cook)
5. Dash of cornflour - 1/2 - 1 teaspoon for those precision cookers.
6. Dark soysauce - 1 tablespoon
7.  Plum sauce (梅漿)- 1 teaspoon

Marinade A:
1. Sugar - 1/2 tablespoon
2. Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon
3. Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
4. water - 1 tablespoon (I kinda omit this because the ribs were already wet after rinsing)

Marinade B:
1. Plain Flour (面粉)- 1 tablespoon
2. Potato (太白粉)or Corn flour - 1 tablespoon
3. water - 1 tablespoon ( to combine the flour)

Cooking steps
1. Marinate the ribs prior to cooking. First marinate the ribs with Marinade A for at least an hour. Stick it in the fridge.

2. Combine the marinated ribs with Marinade B and set aside for at least 30mins.

3. Heat (peanut/coconut) oil over medium flame and deep fry the marinated ribs.
Remove ribs when it is golden brown. Cook longer if ur ribs are very cold or very thick. Hard to burn ribs if u are watching it as u deep fry. Note, do not over heat the oil too much at the start or u will burnt the meat rather than cook it through.

4. While your fried ribs are draining oil on the side, use a different pot, put in a tablespoon of the used oil and then pour in the Sauce mix into the pot and stir over low flame. This is the time you get to adjust the taste. If you think its too sour, add more (2-3) icing cubes (or sugar). Dont overdo it. moderate bit by bit. Do not make it too sweet as the flavor will change again when combined with the ribs. Note: Do not stir over heat too long or you will lose the vinegar aroma.

5. Add a little corn flour if the sauce is still too watery but not too thick else its hard to coat the ribs later. (optional step)

6. Reheat the pot of frying oil and do a quick refry 10-15seconds before serving. (optional if the time lag between sauce preparation and serving is not long)

7. Pour the sauce over the ribs and mix well. Let the fried layer of the ribs soaked in the flavor of the sauce before serving (that's about a min or two. The taste will differ slightly when ribs are very hot and when cooled)

PS: I didnt have plain flour so I had only used the corn flour. This wont affect the taste but will affect the layer of batter on your ribs.

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