(Dairy free, soy free, gluten free, sugar free)
One of my favorite foods – spare ribs! Probably because all summer my father grew the pigs for our winter table and the treat was always the ribs. I had them so rarely growing up, just that one time every year, so now that I’m grown I cook them as often as I possibly can. I had to give up Chinese style ribs when I developed my soy allergy but with the soy sauce substitute (see sauces), I’m now experimenting with some of my favorite Chinese dishes like ribs. The recipe is very simple to make and prep time is short but cooking time is longer to get that bone tender rib that we all love.
You’ll need for 2 servings, depending on how many ribs you can eat!:
1 full rack of ribs (I prefer the St. Louis style, more meat, less bone)
6 tablespoons chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce substitute (or use real soy sauce if it doesn’t bother you)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
6 tablespoons date syrup (or agave, coconut nectar, etc.)
1 teaspoon molasses
Cut the ribs into individual sections. If you have a cleaver, you can chop them into 3 pieces for each rib but this isn’t necessary. Mix the liquid ingredients together.
If you have a crock pot, you can cook them on high for 2-4 hours. Put the ribs in the pot then cover with the sauce. If you don’t, like me, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, spray your casserole or oven safe dish with olive oil, add the ribs and the sauce. Use a covered dish so that the sauce doesn’t all boil away during cooking. I turned them every 20 minutes since my dish didn’t allow them to all be completely covered. Cook in the oven 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Once cooked, pour the remaining liquid into a saucepan and boil down until syrupy. Pour over the ribs to serve. At this point, you can top them with sesame seeds or chopped green onions.
HINT: Ribs can be very fatty. I cooked mine, poured off the liquid and then refrigerated them separately overnight. The next day, dinner prep was simple. I heated the ribs in a low oven while I removed most of the fat from the sauce and then boiled it down. I then poured it over the ribs, and heated them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.