These Cantonese ribs marry honey's sweetness and the mellow bite of ginger with complex spices and succulent pork.
Yield: serves 4-6
- 3 lb. baby back pork ribs
- 2 tbsp. corn oil
- 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp. Chinese rice wine
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. five-spice powder
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 4 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 scallion, julienned
- 1⁄2 red bell pepper, julienned
- Look for the meatiest ribs and ask your butcher to cut them with a meat saw, first crosswise into 1½"-long pieces, and then into individual ribs.
- Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a wok over high heat, add ginger, scallions, and garlic. Stir-fry until golden, about 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and combine with rice wine, vinegar, five-spice powder, honey, soy sauce, and 6 tbsp. water.
- Combine spareribs and sauce in a shallow dish, cover, and marinate for 2 hours. Make sure that the sauce covers meat completely, or turn meat often.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Heat remaining 1 tbsp. oil in wok over high heat. Remove spareribs from marinade and brown in oil, about 3–4 minutes. Cook in batches, transferring browned ribs to a heavy covered pot or Chinese sand pot. When all the meat is browned, pour off fat. Stir cornstarch into marinade until dissolved. Pour marinade into wok, and stir to combine with any pan juices. Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened. Pour over meat. Cook in oven for 1½ hours or until meat is tender, falling off the bone, and coated with a rich glaze.
- Remove spareribs from pot, and skim any fat from sauce. Return spareribs to the pot, add scallions and bell peppers for garnish, and serve.