Sichuan Salt and Pepper Spareribs

Matt Sinclair

Ingredients:

Serves: 4

  • 1 kg pork spareribs, cut crosswise into thirds * (ask the butcher – about 1 ½ inches in length)
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 25ml light soy sauce
  • 25ml Shaoxing wine
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbsp potato flour (or plain flour as a substitute)
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced

Method:

  1. Soak the ribs in water for about 30 minutes and drain well.
  2. Dry roast the peppercorns over a low-medium heat in a small saucepan until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind to a powder (some bits will remain larger). Transfer to a non-reactive bowl and combine with the 5-spice, salt, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and sesame oil. Coat the ribs in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for a minimum or 3 hours, ideally overnight.
  3. Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  4. Heat a deep-fryer or pot of oil to 180C.
  5. Combine the egg and flour in a medium bowl and mix to form a cream-like consistency. Add a little water if needed.
  6. Working in batches, dip the marinated pork into the batter and carefully transfer to the fryer. Cook for about 5-6 minutes until golden and crispy, breaking them apart to avoid them sticking together. Remove, strain and transfer to paper towel. Repeat with remaining pork. Serve hot and garnish with spring onion.
  • Note: * ribs from younger pigs work best

Our friends at Wine Selectors suggest pairing this dish with a Shiraz.

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