This tasty oriental recipe will get your dinner off to a good start. Don't worry if you haven't cooked ribs before - they just need to roast. These ribs are sticky so if you make this starter recipe, you might want to give out finger bowls or wet flannels. In fact, you really should.
Spare ribs should be crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside. There is nothing worse than overcooked meat and 'well done' simply does not apply to spare ribs. When they are cooked through and the meat comes off the bone easily they are definitely done. Spare ribs are sometimes coated with BBQ sauce, honey and spices or a tomato-based sauce. Chinese style spare ribs are also great.
You can see this recipe includes hoisin sauce which is delightfully smoky and sweet, bok choy (also known as pak choy), ginger and more, to offer a typical Chinese flavor. You could make this a main dish but since we are talking about starters, do not serve people too many. Ribs tend to be 'more-ish' and you don't want people to be too full to enjoy their main course, do you?
1.5 kg (3 lbs) lean spare ribs
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
200g (7 oz) hoisin sauce
300g (10.5 oz) noodles
375g (13.25 oz) bok choi
5 cm (2 inch) piece ginger, diced
4 spring onions (scallions), chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Stir the spare ribs into the hoisin sauce and leave to marinate for at least an hour.
Heat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
Put the ribs in a roasting tin and cook for 20 minutes then turn over and cook for 20 minutes more.
Heat the oil in a big pan and cook the ginger and garlic on a low heat.
Cook the noodles.
Cut the bok choi in half down its length and add to the ginger and garlic.
Add the spring onions, drained noodles and lime juice.
Toss well, cooking for another 5 minutes.
Enjoy these sweet and sticky ribs. Meaty starters do not get much meatier than this, and anyone who enjoys ribs will love the Asian appeal in this dish. Marinating them is very important because during the marinating time the flavour will really soak into the meat and the finished dish will be better if you have allowed the ribs to soak in the hoisin sauce before cooking them. This is quite a filling recipe so if you prefer you can serve 8 people with it rather than 4 (at least if you are serving another course afterwards) or else forget the noodles and just serve the ribs with your choice of garnish.
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