I love spare ribs but they do bring out the neanderthal in me.
I once made the mistake of ordering them when out on a dinner date with a very hunky guy who I had been fluttering my eyelashes at for several weeks.
I soon realised that trying to maintain even a modicum of elegance while gnawing on a bone with grease dribbling down my chin was not an easy task.
To add insult to injury, when I was refreshing my lipstick in the ladies room after the meal, I realised I had a small piece of meat wedged firmly between my two front teeth.
Needless to say we never made it to a second date.
SALT AND PEPPER RIBS
675 g spare ribs, trimmed of excess fat and chopped in to bite sized pieces
flour for coating
vegetable oil for deep frying
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
½ teaspoon hot chilli sauce
few drops sesame oil
spicy salt and pepper:
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon five spice powder
Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Add the ribs and toss to coat. Marinade for at least 2-3 hours.
Meanwhile make the salt and pepper seasoning.
Dry fry all the ingredients in a pre-heated pan for 2 minutes over a low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and set aside until needed. This mixture will make enough seasoning for at least 6 servings.
Remove the ribs from the marinade with a slotted spoon and coat in the flour.
Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer until hot but not smoking.
Fry the ribs for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Re-heat the oil until very hot and re-fry the ribs for 2-3 minutes or until dark brown.
Drain and sprinkle generously with the salt and pepper seasoning. Serve immediately.