WHAT ARE 5 SPICE RIBS?
This classic wet rub of cinnamon, fennel, star anise, cloves and Szechuan peppercorns will make your guests go “WOW!” Our spare rib marinade is one of our absolute go-to summer recipes. It’s a great do-ahead recipe because to get the best flavor you’ll want to marinate these for at least a day–but trust us it’s well worth it. Although the smokey flavor of the a wood-charcoal grill makes these taste best, the live flame of a gas grill does wonders too. In a pinch however, these can easily be made in the oven and these 5 spice spare ribs are still spectacular.
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING 5 SPICE RIBS
- Hoisin Is Key
Hoisin sauce–a sweet Chinese condiment sauce–is key to this recipe. While you can do without, it will absolutely taste better if you have it–and now it’s even available in most supermarkets. The other must-have flavor component is Chinese 5 spice powder–this too is available in many supermarkets but it’s just as easy to make yourself if you can’t find it. Just follow our recipe here.
- Cooking Wine vs. Not Cooking Wine
So to be clear, there are different types of cooking wine. In the States Marsala and Sherry are sadly among the most popular. When deciding to use an ingredient, it should be something that you would eat or drink on its’ own and not make you go “ugg, that doesn’t taste good.” Cooking wines however are meant to be cheap substitutes for drinking wines (though you won’t see the former in professional kitchens). Rice Wine is an exception, though it is often confused with rice vinegar. Both products are made from fermented rice. But vinegar is wine fermented again making it more acidic / less sweet. Popular rice wines for cooking include Sake (dry), Mirin(sweet) or Shaoxing (awesome).
- Sesame Oil
If you want to play around with this recipe, add a bit of toasted sesame oil for a nice twist. It is perfect with soy sauce in particular and all the other ingredients for these 5 spice spare ribs!.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH 5 SPICE RIBS?
For a tasty beverage that holds its own, look towards stronger flavored drinks like beer. Whites like a chilled Hoegaarden with a slice of lemon or a dark, frothy Guiness will work. Or you can go to the darker side with a brown liquor with a Michter’s Sour Mash Whiskey and a dash of ice. Even a nice snifter of Armagnac or Calvados can work if you want a bit of sweet to go with your ribs! For sides, look to sourdough bread and a lettuce or bean salad. (written by Chef Stef)