Of all the different styles of ribs I ate growing up, Ching Du Spare Ribs was my favorite. My mom would always order it for me when we went out to eat, assuming it was on the menu. But my 1st Aunt still made the best version and oddly enough, Mom never made this at home.
I’ve made other Chinese-style ribs (here, and here), which we’ve enjoyed very much but this version of Ching Du Spare Ribs has become our favorite. The slightly sticky sauce has a hint of sweetness and the Worcestershire sauce adds a great savory flavor when combined with the ketchup. Yes, you read that right. This recipe calls for ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. And it works. If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce, you can always substitute with soy sauce and distilled vinegar (noted below).
If you’re tempted to eat this all in one sitting, probably won’t be a bad idea unless you’re completely stuffed. The ribs do not reheat well at all. For some reason, the flavor of the sauce is completely lost and the rib meat is rather bland. But served hot right from the wok is smack-finger-linkin’-good!
- 1 lb baby back ribs
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
- Oil for frying
For rib marinade:
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or substitute with 2 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp distilled vinegar)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp ketchup
- 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp water
- dash of sesame oil
Cut each rib in half (or have your butcher do this for you). Combine ingredients for the rib marinade and add the ribs, mixing to coat. Add cornstarch and mix thoroughly.
Heat wok on medium heat. Add oil. Deep fry the ribs until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Fry ribs in batches so as not to overcrowd the wok. Remove and drain on paper towels. Continue until all ribs are done.
Reheat oil, if necessary and deep-fry the ribs again for 1 minute. Remove and drain.
In a clean wok or large pan, add sauce ingredients and bring to boil. Add deep-fried ribs and stir fry on high heat until liquid is almost evaporated. This should only take a few minutes. Remove and serve immediately.