The spareribs are first marinated with some cornstarch, egg, salt and Chinese rice wine which I have used a tablespoon more than the recipe calls for. (I have this habit of using more Chinese rice wine in most recipes). Keep refrigerated for an hour or so, then fry in hot oil on both sides until browned. Remove, drain and kept aside. The ingredients for the sauce are mixed in a bowl and kept aside.
Saute the garlic and chilli until fragrant, add the sauce, bring to a boil, the spareribs are added in, stir for a minute, and cornstarch solution is stirred in to thicken the sauce. Serve hot.
This is a lovely dish, though I've got to adjust the seasoning amount according to my taste. I have used a lesser amount of Chinese black vinegar than the recipe calls for, as I find that 3/4 cup is a little too much for my taste, hence there isn't much sauce. I have used only 1/2 cup of the black vinegar and the dish is sour enough! The next time when I cooked this, I would definitely adjust the seasoning ingredients amount for more sauce.This dish is sweet, sour, and salty, just as the name implies, very nice eaten with plain white rice.
Beijing Sweet-and-Sour Spareribs
(adapted from : "Martin Yan's China")
makes 4 servings
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry (I use 2 tbsp)
1 tsp salt
2 pounds spareribs, cut into 1 to 1-1/2-inch pieces
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar (I use 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine (my addition)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 fresh jalapeno chile, thinly sliced
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp water
To make the marinade, combine the eggs, cornstarch, rice wine and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Add the spareribs and stir to coat evenly. Let stand for 1 hour, or cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
In a wok, stir-fry pan, or 2-quart saucepan, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches, deep-fry the spareribs, stirring gently to prevent the pieces from sticking together, until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes per batch. Remove with a wire strainer or slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Carefully pour the oil into a heatproof bowl, reserving the oil.
To make the sauce, combine the sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt in a small bowl and mix well.
Place a wok or stir-fry pan over high heat until hot. Add 1 tbsp of the served oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the garlic and chile and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the spareribs and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Add the cornstarch mixture and boil until the sauce thickens. Discard any remaining oil, or strain and save for another use.
Transfer to a serving plate and serve.
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