Sunday, June 12, 2011

Baked Baby Back Ribs With Soy Sauce

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Yes, there is such a thing as too much bokeh. While photographing a single object with the 35 mm lens is fine, a plateful of food is more tricky because I'm not sure exactly where to focus. Anyway, we had baby ribs tonight. With a tangy cabbage slaw to balance the richness, the ribs were glorious especially when hot out of the oven and eaten with fingers. I didn't have enough time to bake them until they were falling off the bones but my mom could eat them without pulling her teeth out.

Do not trim the fat off baby back (a.k.a loin ribs) ribs. There's not much fat anyway so this isn't too sinful a meat to eat. Whatever fat on the ribs turn into tasty, flavorful burnt-on-the outside-soft-tender-inside bits of heaven after an hour of baking. I hear "Yay!"

Update 21/6/11: I went to the butchers and realized I made a mistake about where the ribs are cut from. Baby back ribs are not cut from the belly area but from along the loin. One side of the loin gives thicker, harder ribs but the other side gives smaller ribs and those are baby back ribs. Should've known, "back ribs" are from the back.

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Baby Back Ribs With Soy Sauce
1.2 kg baby pork ribs, cut into chunks
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 pieces of red fermented bean curd + 2 T of the sauce
1 piece of rock sugar, about 3 cm diameter
2 T Shaoxing hua tiao wine
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, smashed

1. Oven at 180 C. Put everything except the ribs into a small sauce pot and boil until thickened.

2. Dip each piece of ribs into the sauce and then place onto a baking tray, close together to minimize drying out. Drizzle about 2 T veg oil all over the ribs. Bake for at least 1 hour or 1 1/2 hour longer if you have the time but at 160 C and increase to 180 C for the last 15 minutes to brown.

3. About 40 minutes into the cooking, take tray with ribs out and dip each rib in the sauce again and place onto the baking tray, turning ribs the other side up. After 10 minutes, add 3/4 cup water to the tray (depending on the size of your tray) so that you get extra sauce for eating the ribs with rice and the tray wouldn't have a burnt crust but it's up to you. There should be some sauce (about 2-3 T) remaining in the pot.

4. While ribs are cooking, heat the remaining sauce under low heat until very thick.

5. Remove tray of ribs from the oven, brush the thick sauce over the ribs and serve immediately.

10 comments:

Zurin said...

Wah! I can see all the bokeh! NICE! *Jealous* *envious* you name it ;)

jackie said...

Oh Terri - You're a god-send.... I was just looking high and low for a chinese recipe for baked pork ribs and here you have it in its greatest splendour!!! Love you for that - I'm supposed to do baked ribs for my son's birthday this Friday. Unfortunately for me - my butcher either conned me or doesn't know what are 'baby back ribs'. She sold me two slabs of spare ribs instead... and I was too 'chicken' to decline (since I ordered it). Anyways - appreciate if you could help me - is it still possible to use your recipe for spare ribs - I really don't want to waste a good 3 kilo of ribs....thanks again - you're wonderful... truly wonderful.

Jazzee said...

Nice baby circular bokeh for baby ribs!! Lots of pros say the bokeh from the 35mm f1.8 is "nervy" but I disagree. This was shot wide open, yes? ;) Wonder if the f2 version would produce a "creamier" version. I suffered bokeh affliction for a while, and it returns ever so often to haunt me (happily). Keep the photos coming!

rosaria said...

Oh yes! The sauce seems easy enough to make. I can't wait to try them.

terri@adailyobsession said...

zurin: get your 35 mm, it's fun. you'll be taking everything from your flowers to your toes:)

jackie: you must be sending me all those sensory signals:)

our local butchers only started cutting baby back ribs a couple of years ago. the ribs comes in a rack about 3"/8 cm wide and are from the lower abdomen, the same ribs on pork belly and you can tell because one end of the rack usually have soft bones. they are not as dry as the upper ribs that come with the pork chops or loin. when we buy spare ribs, we get both the upper and lower baby ribs.

i don't recmmend this recipe for the party because 1) ribs won't be tender enough for kids 2) ribs are best when piping hot. if you still want to serve the ribs you bought, you can steam them for an hour until they are soft and then toast them in a very hot oven? check my jingdu ribs recipe?

can i suggest serbing the kids chicken nuggets or even parmasan pork chops cut into smaller strips?

you are very welcome and i enjoy getting your mail:)

jazzee: what does tt mean, "shot wide open"? i'm so blur about photography! now you're making me nervous, all you experts out there checking my photos...but pls do give me advice and comments, i appreciate them n can learn frm you.

rosaria: try it and tell me how it turned out:)

Fooman said...

Yeap, there is such a thing as too much bokeh. Makes for a hungry Monday morning

Food so delicious! said...

looks very very yummy!! Can the same sauce be used on other meat like maybe beef or lamb??

Jazzee said...

"Wide open" means using the widest/biggest (i am also uncertain of proper term) aperture. In your case, shooting wide open on your 35mm f1.8 means you shot at f1.8, shallow depth of field, and therefore bokeh. Hope this makes sense...am still learning myself.

terri@adailyobsession said...

fooman: yes, still getting the hang of it.

food: definitely!

jazzee: thnks:)

terri@adailyobsession said...

jackie: i was wrong about where baby back ribs are from. they are NOT from the belly area but from the back, the loin. that's why they are called back ribs or loin ribs...in cantonese, they are called 'jing pai guet' (true spare ribs)

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