Soy Sauce Braised Pork Ribs

红烧排骨hóng shāo pái gǔ


3 lbs pork spare ribs

2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine

3 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp black vinegar

1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn

1 tsp black peppercorn

3 whole star anise

2 tbsp crystal sugar cubes

4 to 5 medium slices ginger

2 green onions

1 tsp salt

Clean the Ribs & Prep Spices

  1. Cut the spare ribs up into individual ribs.

  2. Wash each rib individually under cold water.

  3. Put the ribs in a large pot or pan and fill with cold water - let sit for 15 minutes. Make sure the pan you're using can comfortably fit the ribs & water with the water completely covering the ribs.

  4. While waiting, chop the green onions into thirds and slice off your ginger slices.

  5. Measure out the peppercorns, Sichuan peppercorns, sugar cubes, and star anise so they're ready.

Boil Ribs

  1. Drain the water out of the pan.

  2. Add cold water again such that the water completely covers the ribs.

  3. Turn the stove on high to start boiling the ribs & water.

  4. As the water heats up and starts boiling, you should see gray foam appearing - scoop that out of the pot and get rid of it. Repeat the same step until the ribs stop producing foam.

Season Ribs

  1. Once the ribs have stopped producing grey foam (give it 2-3 minutes after each round of scooping that stuff out), we're ready to season.

  2. Add the cooking wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and vinegar. Carefully turn the ribs over (if your pot is pretty full, don't worry about stirring - it'll all get mixed up pretty well).

  3. Add in Sichuan peppercorns, peppercorns, star anise, crystal sugar cubes, ginger, salt, and green onion. Again, carefully turn the ribs over, but if your pot is pretty full, use chopsticks or tongs to spread everything around carefully and evenly.

  4. Keep the lid on and braise the ribs for ~30 minutes over medium-high heat.

  5. Every 10 minutes, flip the ribs around so that each side of each rib can soak up the seasoning.

  6. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue braising.

  7. Once the ribs are dark red, and there's just a ~1-inch layer of sauce around the ribs, they're ready! (The picture below shows what the sauce should look like in the pan).

  8. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the ribs sit for another 5 minutes.

  9. Remove the ribs, strain the spices out, and pour the sauce from the pan over the ribs.

  10. Serve while hot! Also, warn all those eating that the Sichuan peppercorns have a numbing sensation if you bite into one (avoidance is always safe).