An appetizer that is a “must have” in any Chinese restaurant is their mouth watering ribs. I have often wondered what gives them the unique flavor and reddish color. I decided to Google a few recipes and see what the “key” ingredients are in creating these delightful “Chinatown ribs.” It appears that many recipes start with a basic Hoisin sauce (either homemade or store-bought) as well as Five Spice Powder. The reddish color is created by adding a little red food coloring. How easy and simple is that?
However, it seems that I can’t stop at “simple” so I experimented with adding a little of this and a little of that to come up with just the right consistency to make the perfect glaze. I basically used a combination of my basic barbecue sauce recipe and a Chinese rib recipe. These ribs are best when started the day before serving. The brining process helps to keep the ribs moist and tender.
Many recipes call for using spareribs and most Chinese restaurants use them but I prefer the meatiness of baby back ribs. I recently served these as an appetizer for the Great 8 Fog City Diner themed dinner but they can also can be prepared as a dinner with a side of steamed rice and vegetables.