Lu Rou (Triple-Cooked Spareribs with Chiles)

Triple-Cooked Spareribs with Chiles (Lu Rou)
Triple-Cooked Spareribs with Chiles (Lu Rou)
These lavishly spiced ribs have some serious heat and require an overnight marinade, so be sure to plan accordingly.Ariana Lindquist

These lavishly spiced ribs are based on a recipe from Chengdu home cook Ivy Hui. The ribs require an overnight marinade, so plan accordingly. See Matt Gross's article Flavors of Sichuan for information on hard-to-find ingredients. This recipe first appeared in our March 2013 issue along with Matt Gross's story Capital of Heat.

Lu Rou (Triple-Cooked Spareribs with Chiles)
These lavishly spiced ribs are based on a recipe from Chengdu home cook Ivy Hui.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. pork spareribs, cut into 3" pieces
  • 2 cups Chinese rice wine
  • 2 tbsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 3 14 cups canola oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, 4 sliced, and 6 minced
  • 1 (8") piece peeled ginger (3" sliced into "coins," 5" minced)
  • 4 dried chiles de árbol
  • 3 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 5 star anise
  • 2 sticks cinnamon, broken in half
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 xiao mi la or red Thai chiles, stemmed and sliced
  • 2 erjingtiao or green Thai chiles, stemmed and sliced
  • 13 cup hong you (Sichuan red chile oil; see recipe, or use store-bought)
  • Steamed rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Mix spareribs, wine, and five-spice powder in a bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, drain ribs, discarding liquid, and transfer to a 6-qt. saucepan. Cover with water by 2"; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until slightly tender, 3–5 minutes, and drain. Set aside.
  3. Heat ¼ cup canola oil in a 14" flat-bottomed wok over medium-high heat. Add sliced garlic and ginger, dried chiles, fennel, star anise, and cinnamon; cook until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer spices and chiles to a piece of cheesecloth; tie into a tight package. Add package to wok with reserved ribs, sugar, salt, and 6 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook until ribs are very tender, 30–35 minutes. Drain ribs, discarding liquid and spice package, and dry completely with paper towels; set aside.
  4. Dry wok with paper towels and heat remaining 3 cups of canola oil to 375°. Working in 2 batches, fry ribs until crisp, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; set aside. Discard all but ¼ cup oil; heat over high heat. Add minced garlic and ginger, and red and green chiles; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ribs and red chile oil; cook for 1 minute more. Serve with rice.