Slow-Braised Szechuan Pork Ribs (and subsequent sandwiches)

This is modified with different quantities and a few different ingredients from a recipe for pork belly from Fuschia Dunlop’s ‘Sichuan Cookery’,  a fantastic book given to be by ZJ as a wonderful surprise present. It takes about 10 mins prep time, with about 2 hours in the oven on a low heat. To go with it CD made a delicious Szechuan steamed aubergine dish with a great dressing and courgette dish.

This served 3, then several days of sandwiches, so would feed 5 I think


1.3 kilo rack of pork ribs, skin on or off

3 tablespoons sugar

1 star anise

1 piece cinnamon bark/stick

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

½ tablespoon chilli-bean paste (a fermented soybean paste in oil with chillis) – optional

2 spring onions with green bits, cut into 3-4 inch sections

500 ml chicken stock

500 ml water (or just 1 litre water if you have no fresh stock)

2-3 inch piece of ginger, skin on, bashed with the flat of a knife, and cut into three

2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine, or sherry if you don’t have any

How I made it:

Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees. Bring large pan of boiling water to boil, and drop in pork rib rack for 3 minutes. Remove, then discard water.  In a pan large enough to contain all the ingredients, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable or flavourless oil on a high heat, add rack of ribs and fry for a few minutes on both sides. Then add star anise, cinnamon bark, ginger, spring onions, and the rest of the ingredients. Make sure the pork is covered by the stock/water and bring to a simmering boil. Then put in the oven for 2-3 hours. After this time, remove meat and reduce sauce a bit for a few minutes. Check for seasoning, if necessary add a touch more light soy sauce. Then place ribs in a dish and pour sauce over. Serve ribs with rice and a few vegetable sides like those named above, or some stir-fried or steamed greens with garlic. The pork fat is in fact the best and most delicious part of this recipe, as it takes up the flavour.

Eaten with:

Rice, veg sides and beer.

NB. Sandwich the next day

Remove ribmeat from bones, place with a few bits of fat on buttered bread with a thin spreading of mayo. Add some thinly sliced pickled cucumber, a bit of chilli sauce (I used Sriracha) and a scattering of finely sliced spring onion tops. Season with salt and pepper. Fresh cucumber and shredded iceberg lettuce would also be good instead of pickled cucumber.


Once it went cold, under a thin layer of cooking fat, the cooking liquor turned into a crystal-clear jelly, which would be wonderful if melted in a pan on a low heat and tossed with some noodles and fresh vegetables.


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