Pork Spare Ribs Braised with Chilli & Black Beans

I’m a big fan of ribs anytime; but steamed or deep-fried and then braised like this, with the addition of black beans, they’re positively addictive.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) pork spare ribs, cut into individual ribs
  • sea salt
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 tablespoon fermented black beans
  • 1 long red chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 knob of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), cut into 4 cm ( inch) lengths
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 500–750 ml (17-26 fl oz/2–3 cups) fresh chicken stock

Method

Season the ribs with the sea salt. Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer until just smoking (180°C/350°F), and deep-fry the ribs in batches until golden brown, then drain on paper towel. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the wok and return the wok to the heat until it just starts smoking. Add the black beans, chilli, garlic, ginger and the spring onions and stir-fry until fragrant, then add the sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, the white pepper and soy sauce and remove from the heat.

Put the ribs and the black bean mixture in a large frying pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add enough chicken stock to reach halfway up the meat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender.