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Chinese-Style Spareribs

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Serves four to six as a main course or six to twelve as an appetizer.

  • To learn more, read:
    Oven-Roasted Ribs
  • by Steve Johnson from Fine Cooking
    Issue 56

Too cold to grill outside? Slow roasting in the oven yields a rib that's just as tender and succulent. The sweet-and-hot spice rub gives them the flavor of a Chinatown banquet.

For the Chinese spice rub:
  • 2 Tbs. ground coriander
  • 2 Tbs. hot chili powder
  • 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. five-spice powder
  • 1 Tbs. ground fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 1 tbs. dried red chile flakes
  • 2 full (13-rib) racks of St. Louis-cut pork spareribs (about 3 lb. each)
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling
  • Sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)
  • Asian Dipping Sauce
Make the spice rub:

In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients.

Cook the ribs:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F. Sprinkle and press 1/4 cup of the rub on both sides of each rib rack. Put the racks, meaty side up, on a broiling pan or a wire roasting rack set over a baking sheet. Lightly season the ribs with salt and put them in the oven. After the first hour, rotate the pan every 30 min. (Note: If you use two baking sheets, switch their position in the oven, too). The ribs will sizzle gently as they cook, and they’ll become tender after about 2 hours in the oven.

To test for doneness, pick up the center of the ribs with tongs; the ends of the ribs should flop downward (this means the fat and cartilage have broken down), and a skewer inserted between the ribs should meet little resistance. If the meat between the ribs is still tough, keep cooking, checking every 15 minutes and rotating the pan.

Remove the rib racks from the oven, put them on a cutting board meaty side down (so they’re easier to slice), and slice them into individual ribs. Arrange the ribs on a platter (or stack them for a festive presentation), garnish with scallions, if you like, and serve with the dipping sauce on the side.

Make Ahead Tips

The tender, fatty meat of the ribs makes them hold up well to reheating. You can cook the ribs a day ahead and reheat them uncut, loosely covered with foil, in a 250°F oven until warmed through, 20 to 30 min.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per rib, based on 26 ribs; Calories (kcal): 210; Fat (g): 15; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 15; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 3; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 430; Cholesterol (mg): 60; Fiber (g): 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

It was very easy to make and a nice way to make ribs when it's too cold or rainy outside. I thought the flavor was nice although I have to say my personal preference is for wet style ribs. Maybe next time I will try glazing with a little hoisin based sauce near the end.

These were simply delicious.

This recipe is fantastic. The flavours are addictive. This is my go-to recipe for casual entertaining and it always gets rave reviews. It is also easy so you get to enjoy your guests. It tastes great with plainer sides otherwise flavours compete.

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