Bubbie’s “Chinese” Spareribs
From Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total cooking time: 45 minutes
2 lbs lean veal spareribs, cut in 1½“ pieces
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C
2. Heat a dry, heavy bottom fry pan until it is very hot. Sear the spareribs on all sides. Remember not to crowd them in the pan or they will not brown well.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine the brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic. Allow it to come to a gentle boil, lower the heat to medium and keep stirring until the sauce begins to thicken (about 5 minutes or so). You’ll briefly see the bottom of the pan when you stir.
4. This is tricky, but it only takes a few minutes of constant stirring and watching. If the sauce starts to boil too vigorously, take the pot off the stove for 20 seconds or so until it subsides then return to low heat* (See Tips below).
5. Place the seared spareribs in an ovenproof casserole dish large enough so that the ribs fit in a single layer. Pour the sauce over the ribs and toss to coat well. Bake for 30 minutes or so. Do not cover or add any more liquid. Stir occasionally so that the syrupy sauce thickens and coats each rib.
It’s probably best to wait a few minutes before serving so you don’t burn your tongue!
Tips & Variations
This is also a great way to bake chicken wings. Broil wings until crispy outside (3 minutes or so), lower heat to 325°F/170°C and bake for 1 hour.
Serve this with over plain steamed rice to soak up more of the sweet sauce.
A side dish of steamed broccoli or snow peas stir fried with fresh ginger and garlic is a great way to complement the sweetness.
*Note: Check for consistency: Remove the pot from the heat and wait until the bubbles subside. It’s ready when the sauce coats the spoon and liquid drips off in a fairly thick stream. That said, it’s better to have it too thin than too thick as it will continue to thicken a little in the oven. Boiling at high heat will burn the sugar and turn the sauce into garlic toffee!!
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