Everyone has their personal favorites when it comes to takeout Chinese food. I am partial to sesame chicken myself while Sean likes sweet and sour chicken and Michelle goes for beef and broccoli. Egg rolls are always a favorite as well but one thing that we all seem to really love are the Chinese spare ribs that you get. The ribs are nicely cooked and crisp, have that dark red color and some char and a nice, sticky flavor right down to the bone. While you may not have a super high heat oven like your local Chinese restaurant may have to get that kind of char you can still come pretty darn close to it when you try this recipe from Saveur for Chinese pork spare ribs.
Chinese Pork Spare Ribs
1⁄3 cup hoisin sauce
1⁄4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. dry sherry
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3⁄4 teaspoon red food coloring
1⁄4 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1 (2 pound) slab spare ribs, preferably St. Louis style, cut into individual ribs
Whisk together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sherry, garlic, sugar, red food coloring and Chinese five spice powder in a large bowl. Add the ribs; toss the ribs to coat them well with the marinade. Set the bowl aside, covered with plastic wrap, to let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange a baking rack on top of a rimmed, foil-lined sheet pan. Remove the ribs from the marinade and reserve any marinade left in the bowl; arrange the ribs on the rack, meat, not bone, side up. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven; pour enough water into the pan so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the pan, making sure the water does not touch the ribs. Bake the ribs for about 35 to 40 minutes. Baste the ribs with the reserved marinade; flip the ribs and baste them again. Bake the ribs for 35 to 40 minutes more. Add more water to the pan if it dries up. Raise the heat of the oven to 450 degrees. Flip the ribs again and baste them again with the remaining marinade. Continue the baking until the ribs are nicely glazed, browned, and tender, about 20 minutes more. Serve the ribs with Chinese mustard or duck sauce, if you like.
I was a little skeptical as to how they would turn out, but I have to admit the flavor was spot on to what you get at a takeout restaurant. The combination of the hoisin and soy sauce, along with the five spice powder, seem to really do the trick. The red food coloring gives you that familiar red color to your ribs but if you don’t want or need to have that you can really leave it out altogether. I put it in to give that “authentic” look to the ribs. Everyone really enjoyed the flavor of the ribs and said it tasted just like takeout so it does give you a better option if you can make the ribs yourself and control the ingredients and save some money instead of ordering out next time. I used the left over ribs and took some of the rib meat and made some great fried rice with it as well.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!