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Spareribs with sweet-and-sour sauce

This delicious dish is cantonese in origin. The sauce should be bright and translucent, the meat tender and succulent, and the flavour neither too sweet nor too sour. If you prefer you can use a boneless cut of pork such as loin.

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) Chinese-style pork spareribs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese spirit (Mou Tai) or brandy
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
  • oil for deep-frying
  • Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small green capsicum (pepper), shredded 
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons clear rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (purée)
  • ¼ teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • 2½ tablespoons chicken and meat stock
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)

Method

1. ASK the butcher to cut the slab of spareribs crosswise into thirds that measure 5 cm (2 inches) in length, or use a cleaver to do so yourself. Cut the ribs between the bones to separate them. Put the pieces in a bowl with the salt, pepper, sugar and Chinese spirit. Marinate in the fridge for at least 35 minutes, turning occasionally.

2. MEANWHILE, blend the egg yolk with the cornflour and enough water to make a thin batter. Remove the spareribs from the marinade and coat them with the batter.

3. FILL a wok one-quarter full of oil. heat the oil to 180°C (350°F), or until a piece of bread fries golden brown in 15 seconds when dropped in the oil. Fry the spareribs in batches for 5 minutes until they are crisp and golden, stirring to separate them, then remove and drain. Reheat the oil and fry the spareribs again for 1 minute to darken their colour. Remove and drain well on crumpled paper towels. keep warm in a low oven.

4. TO MAKE the sauce, heat a wok over high heat, add the oil and heat until very hot. stir-fry the green capsicum for a few seconds, then add the sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, tomato paste, sesame oil and stock, and bring to the boil. Combine the cornflour with enough water to make a paste, add to the sauce and simmer until thickened. Add the spareribs and toss to coat them with the sauce. serve hot.

Main ingredient:
Pork
Cuisine:
Chinese
Course:
Main-course

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