December 16, 2010

spare ribs

One of my favorite meals growing up was my mom's pork spare ribs. I don't have her recipe yet - it's not easy getting a recipe from her because they're all in her head and nothing is ever exact. If I want to learn how to make something I basically need to shadow her and take notes. I found this recipe on Epicurious a while ago and it's become one of my favorite things to make.





Marinated Thai Style Pork Spare Ribs


1 cup sliced shallots
10 scallions, coarsely chopped
One 3-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
8 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro including thin stems (and roots, if possible)
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
4 pounds pork spare ribs, cut by your butcher across the bone into 2- to 3-inch "racks," each rack cut between the bones into individual 2- to 3-inch-long riblets (I always eat this as a meal, so I don't have them cut across the bone)


1. Put the shallots, scallions, ginger, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process to a loose, finely chopped paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

2. Place pork ribs in a large bowl or a pair of heavy resealable plastic bags. Thoroughly coat the ribs with the marinade, massaging the paste into the flesh for a minute or so. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours or up to 5 hours in the refrigerator, tossing the ribs once or twice during this time.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the ribs out, bone-side down, on two large, parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until ribs are deeply colored and very tender but not yet falling from the bone, about 11/2 hours, occasionally rotating the pans to encourage even cooking. Remove from the oven and serve with small bowls of Thai Chile Herb Dipping Sauce

Thai Chile Herb Dipping Sauce


1 tablespoon jasmine or other long-grain rice
6 to 8 dried whole Thai chiles (each about 2-inches long)
1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped scallion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice


1. Place the rice in a small skillet over medium heat and cook, shaking the pan, until fragrant and lightly toasted, less than 1 minute. Transfer rice to a spice or coffee grinder and let cool. Process cooled rice until almost powdered, transfer to a small bowl, and reserve.

2. Place the chiles in the same skillet and cook over medium heat until lightly toasted, 30 to 45 seconds, shaking the skillet to avoid burning. Transfer the chiles to a spice or coffee grinder and let cool. Pulse the grinder until the chiles are coarsely chopped. Transfer the chilies to the bowl with the rice (the rice and the chiles can also be ground separately with a mortar and pestle).

3. Add the scallion, mint, cilantro, sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice to the bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cover and reserve (the sauce can be made a few hours ahead and kept at room temperature). May be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week; however, the bright colors will fade.

**I've always eaten these as a meal with rice and the dipping sauce poured over top. YUMMMMMMMMMMMM.


Anonymous said...

Awesome blog! I've included it on a site I've created, which is a compilation of some of the best blogs in the city.

Best of Blogs Philadelphia

Stephanie said...

These look delicious! I will have to try this recipe.

Isn't that the truth about moms? I've been trying to master my mom's country gravy recipe forever. Sounds simple but I've tossed many batches.

Karena said...

I LOOOOVE your ribs!! They are so delicious. Wishing I had some right now! :)

Sary said...

wow, thanks bestofblogsphilly - will have to check out your blog!

stephanie - you are going to love this recipe! the dipping sauce is also DELICIOUS over grilled fish.

karena - i miss our weekly lunches!! maybe we'll have to do a dinner sometime since you up and left us and got a job ;)