Friday, May 18, 2012

Sticky Asian Spare Ribs

I lived in Japan for a few years when I was stationed there with the Navy. I remember the first time I was introduced to smells of real Asain cuisine, I ordered a salad at the officers club. The dressing was heady with the scent of toasted sesame seed oil, and ever since then I was hooked. I am sure my parents tried to introduce me to real Asain cuisine but the truth is the closest I got was Szchuan Star take out China Food. Suffice it to say that ever since that first salad in the O-club in Sasebo, I have always loved the balance of all flavor profiles that come with Asian cooking.

If you are going to start with baking, they say, start with cupcakes, they are easy, quick, and delicious. If you are going to start cooking Asain, I say, start with these ribs, they are easy, quick, and delicious. Don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list, just go to the Asian Grocery Store and have a ball...

Here is how you do it.

What you need:

16 to 20 pork spare ribs
4 tablespoons of White Rice Vinegar
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce (the sweet kind that is luminscent pink not Sarachi)
2 tablespoons of honey (I used buckwheat because I like the flavor)
1 teaspoon of sesami oil
1 diced green onion
1 inch diced ginger
3 star anise
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
cilantro and Sarachi hot sauce for serving

What you do:

1. The morning or the night before dinner: Cut up the spareribs and plunk in a bowl.
2. Add all of the ingredients except the extra cilantro and green onion. Toss to coat.
3. About 2 hours before you want to eat: preheat the oven to 350F. Put all of the ribs and marinade inside a foil lined roasting tin. Cover with foil, and place in the oven for 1 hour.
4. Serve with cut up cilantro.

This is delicious just by themselves but if you want to add something, fresh spring rolls, white rice, or cold soba noodles would be delicious.

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