These sweet and sour spare ribs appetizer are really yummy and “finger licking good”, I might add! You can consider to serve them as a main course, if you prefer, by doubling-up on the recipe. I am sure many of you are well aware that this dish goes very well with just some plain steamed rice. :-)
Recipe adapted from Revolutionary Chinese Cooking by Fuchsia Dunlop
Sweet And Sour Spare Ribs
1 lb Meaty Spare Ribs, cut into bite-size sections
2 (1 oz), Pieces Fresh Ginger, unpeeled and crushed
4 Scallions, white parts only, crushed
1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
4 Tbsp White Sugar
1 Tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar
1 tsp Sesame Oil
Peanut Oil for cooking
Place the ribs in a saucepan of water and bring to a boil over a high flame (heat). Skim the water, then add one piece of ginger, 2 scallions, the Shaoxing wine, and salt to taste. Boil for 15 minutes, until the meat is cooked and tender; strain and set aside, reserving the cooking liquid.
Optional deep-frying step: Heat the oil for deep-frying in a wok over a high flame until it reaches 350-400˚F. Add the ribs and fry for about 5 minutes, until golden; drain and set aside.
Pour off all but 3 Tbsp of the oil in the wok and reheat over a high flame. Add the remaining scallions and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the ribs and toss for a couple of minutes in the fragrant oil.
Add slightly less than 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, the dark soy sauce, and the sugar, with a little salt to taste (take care not to over salt, because the liquid will eventually be reduced to a glaze). Simmer over a medium heat flame, spooning the liquid over the ribs, until the sauce has reduced to a heavy, syrupy consistency.
Add the vinegar and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the flavors have fused. Switch off the heat, stir in the sesame oil and leave to cool before eating.