These wonderfully flavorful Asian inspired ribs are a fine main dish and they also make a great appetizer for a party when cut into half size riblets. They are flavored with an aromatic Chinese spice mix, five spice powder. They are marinated and grill roasted but they can also be deep fried. To make bite-size finger foods as a perfect party dish, the ribs need to be cut in half lengthwise at the butcher.
Recipe For Chinese Five Spice Riblets
Makes. 12 full size ribs or 24 to 28 half size riblets
Takes. 15 minutes to make the marinade and 2 to 4 hours hours to marinate. Grill roasting takes 60 minutes at 225F.
1 slab St. Louis cut spareribs (about 3 pounds). If you plan to fry the riblets, be sure to buy St. Louis cut spareribs because they are flat and baby backs are too curved to fry properly. Remember, St. Louis cut ribs have the rib tips removed. If you're not clear on the differences, see this article on the different pork cuts. Have your butcher cut the slab in half lengthwise with a bandsaw so that you have two mini slabs with bones that are only about 2 to 3" long. If you can't get this done by the butcher, just cut the slab into individual bones as shown above.
3 cups rice wine
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar (or 1/4 cup distilled vinegar)
3 tablespoons Chinese five spice powder (click the link for a recipe)
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
4 teaspoons hot pepper sauce for mild heat, use more if you like it hot
2 tablespoons Chinese five spice powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
4 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup rice wine
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted lightly in a dry 12" frying pan
3 scallions, chopped into rings
About the rice wine. If you can't find it you can use sake or any good dry white wine
1) Skin and trim the ribs.
2) Place the ribs in zipper bags, the bigger the better. Mix the marinade ingredients thoroughly and pour it over the ribs, dividing it among the bags. Submerge them in the marinade in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
3) Remove the ribs from the marinade and drain them in a strainer or colander, but do not rinse or dry them.
4) Fire up a grill in 2 zones so the indirect side is 225F. When it is up to temp, put the ribs in the indirect zone.
5) Whle the ribs are cooking, make the sauce in a pan and heat it over low flame until it burbles. This will take only a few minutes. Turn it off and then bring it back up just before removing the ribs.
6) Once grilled, move the riblets to a serving platter, pour just enough sauce to lightly cover them, and sprinkle sesame seeds and chopped green onions on top.