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Friday, December 18, 2009

Wuxi pork spareribs

Do you like it saucy?

No, no, I'm talking food. Of course I am. Are you the kind of person who gets your spoon into the bottom of the casserole dish to get the last dregs of sauce? Do you sneak a spoon into the bottom of the takeaway container of roast duck to collect the puddle of rich juices for your rice?

Me too.

My obsession with sauce explains my affection for Wuxi pork ribs. You have meat on the bone for a start. Then the slow-cooking of fat-ribboned meat which turns each mouthful into unctious pleasure. Each morsel is drenched with a marinade that is thick, sweet and sticky, fragrantly spicy with star anise, cloves and ginger.

And yes, the sauce at the bottom is the best part of all.

Wuxi pork spareribs

Whilst this dish takes a little while to cook, the prep is minimal and the sauce is thrown together in one pot at the start. The smell is incredible and your reward is tender pork in a deep caramel salty sauce.

1kg pork spareribs

1/2 cup dark soy sauce
2 tbsp Shaoxin rice wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cloves
4 whole star anise
2cm cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp salt
5 slices ginger
1/4 cup water

To serve:
few drops sesame oil
1 stalk spring onion, sliced

Blanch the pork ribs in boiling water for 8 minutes to remove excess fat. Drain and rinse quickly under a tap with running cold water.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a heavy pot. Add the ribs and simmer gently over a low heat for 40min-1hr or until the sauce caramelises and thickens, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with a few drops of sesame oil and a sprinkle of spring onion slices. Serve with jasmine rice and steamed Asian greens.

Ciao Magazine: November 20, 2009

Uh-huh, that's me. There was a pitter-patter of Grab Your Fork media coverage over the past month. The above recipe was published in the November 20 issue of Ciao Magazine, accompanying an interview piece for their their regular "Cooking at home" feature. You can read the entire article here.

I was also a recent Featured Foodie on the SBS Food website. You know the saying. When it rains, it pours. You can read the entire interview here.

And because I've been so slack in posting details, the latest Featured Foodie has just been published. Who is it? It's Billy from A Table For Two. Check out his interview here.

There's no Freebie Friday today but you have until today, Friday 18/12/09 5.30pm to enter the giveaway to win one of five double passes to see Bright Star. Do you like free movies? Enter now.

Readers should also check out Pim's annual Menu for Hope campaign now in its sixth year. The Asia Pacific prize list is being hosted by Ed at Tomatom. A raffle ticket only costs US$10 with all monies raised donated to the UN World Food Programme. Prizes on offer include a KitchenAid mixer (AP09), a $200 food and bar tab at TOKO Restaurant in Surry Hills (AP12), and a one year membership of the Bruny Island Cheese Club with a $75 cheesebox (AP15). Stuck for gift ideas? You can choose which prize you'd like the chance to win, and ticket entries are on sale until December 25. Give someone the warm fuzzy feeling of charity plus the added chance of winning something great!
13 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/18/2009 10:39:00 am


  • At 12/18/2009 11:20 am, Blogger Kate said…

    Congratulations Helen on all the great media coverage. You deserve every bit of it with all the effort you put into your blog. So proud! Btw, lots of sauce always makes things taste better!

  • At 12/18/2009 11:28 am, Blogger Justin said…

    i've never made any kind of spareribs at home, but these look amazing

  • At 12/18/2009 11:31 am, Blogger Rambling Tart said…

    Mmm, these look divine! I'm an absolute sauce fanatic myself. :-)

  • At 12/18/2009 4:24 pm, Blogger Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    Congratulations Helen on all the media coverage! I might have to grab an autograph off you for keepsakes now that you are getting super famous lol.

    And omg, spare ribs. Omg.

  • At 12/18/2009 5:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Congrats on all the mentions! Nice picture of you grabing your fork. lol! The spare ribs are absolutely finger licking good!

  • At 12/18/2009 6:26 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    Hooray for the flurry of media attention! And yes, sauce is good =)

  • At 12/18/2009 6:45 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hee hee congrats on ur mediaing! And very saucy photo in Ciao ;) mmmm saucy pork spareribs...

  • At 12/18/2009 9:04 pm, Anonymous Trissa said…

    When I saw your spareribs I had to do a double take as I thought it was from a restaurant! It looks lip smacking good! Congratulations as well on your media coverage!!

  • At 12/18/2009 9:42 pm, Anonymous Simon said…

    These ribs look like they would be just perfect! Love braised ribs :)

    Nice work with the media exposure. Can I get your autograph? :)

  • At 12/18/2009 10:31 pm, Anonymous Kay said…

    congrats on the features helen!!! can i have your autograph? ;)

  • At 12/19/2009 12:16 am, Anonymous Jacq said…

    Congrats Helen on all your media coverage! The spare ribs look amazing. And the saucier the better I think ;)

  • At 12/19/2009 10:35 pm, Anonymous ladyironchef said…

    i like the sweet tinge of the wuxi pork ribs, had it once when I was in Wuxi two years back

  • At 12/20/2009 4:36 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Kate - Thanks so much :) It's a labour of love but a tasty one, and always a joy when readers like yourself as so kind with comments :) Glad you're a saucy kinda girl too!

    Hi Justin - I recommend this dish as a good one to start with. The ribs are very forgiving - just simmer slowly and extreme tastiness will be your reward!

    Hi Rambling Tart - Hurrah for another sauce lover :)

    Hi Karen - Ha you can have my autograph any time. And spare ribs - oh yes!

    Hi Ellie - Lol. Glad you noticed. I staged the fork deliberately :)

    Hi Mademoiselle Delicieuse - Thank you :) Sauce makes everything better doesn't it? But rice especially!

    Hi FFichiban - lol. Saucy photo indeed! Food is sexy, yes?

    Hi Trissa - Surely you jest. lol. The pic is a little horrid as it was taken late at night but I haven't had the chance to remake this dish and time was slipping. lol. Thanks so much for your support too :)

    Hi Simon - Ribs are so good aren't they? Something so satisying about meat on the bone.

    You can have my autograph any time!

    Hi Kay - lol. I think you already have it :)

    Hi Jacq - Thank you :) And yeah - another sauce lover! Woohoo!

    Hi ladyironchef - Lucky you to have tried Wuxi pork ribs in Wuxi! Would love to get there sometime :)


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