jeudi, mars 15, 2007

Hongshao Paigu (Red-Cooked Spare Ribs)

Having left my beef trip behind, I thought that making a Hongshao Paigu would be a fitting reunion with pork. And so it was. I nearly didn't get around to red cooking it though, I was eating the ribs just after the frying stage...

Red-cooking is basically braising or stewing meat or vegetables in a mixture of soy sauce (dark and light), 5-Spices, wine and sugar (preferably rock - for the glaze). In a way, some of the basic ingredients are similar to that required for making a Roast Pork Belly (incidentally I used the marinade I froze after the last time I made said dish). Only instead of grilling the meat, you braise it.

Preparing the Ribs :

Chop up 2 kgs of Pork Ribs
Marinate overnight with
5-spice powder
Ground Paprika
Ginger Juice
Light Soy Sauce
Worchestershire Sauce
Tomato Purée
Red Wine
Lime Juice
Beaten Egg

Prepare a Sauce :

Cider Vinegar
Dry Sherry
Oyster Sauce
Plum Sauce
Sesame Oil

Corn Starch
(for coating ribs - optional - and thickening sauce)

Ginger (finely-sliced)
Garlic (diced)
Star Anis
Lime Peel

Brown Sugar

Marinate the ribs overnight. The next day, heat up some oil in a non-stick frying pan. You could shallow-fry the ribs as they are or coat them in corn starch before you do so. The latter will give you a messier sauce, but I like it. No need to over-fry the ribs as you would need to braise them later. Take them out of the oil and drain them on kitchen paper. Set aside.

In a non-stick or heavy-bottom casserole, brown the ginger, garlic, star anis and lime peel in a little oil. At the same time, caramelize the brown sugar (if using rock sugar, add it in later). Add half of the vinegar. Stir well. Put in the ribs and coat them well in the sauce. Add in the other half of the vinegar and pour in the sherry etc. Add some hot stock to the remaining marinade (for the ribs) and add it into the casserole. In a little bowl, mix some corn starch with water and pour over the ribs. Stir everything, lower heat, cover and let it simmer.

If you like melt-in-the mouth ribs, cook for a longer time. I don't (prefer to chew it off the bone), so after like 30-40 minutes, I stopped the fire and served it hot with rice.

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