I've never been to China, only to Chinatown in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. But wherever I go I'm bound to order spareribs, the sweet-sour or the richly glazed—my particular favorite. Here's my version of them. Chill any leftover glaze; it's great for broiled chicken, grilled pork tenderloin, and burgers. Prep: 20 minutes; Bake: 2 hours 45 minutes; Cook: 15 minutes.
2 (2-pound) slabs pork spareribs
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup port
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 large garlic cloves
1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°. Place spareribs, meaty side up, in a large shallow roasting pan. Process 1/2 cup broth and next 6 ingredients in a food processor. Combine with remaining 1 1/2 cups broth, and pour over ribs. Cover pan tightly with foil, set in lower third of oven, and bake at 325° for 2 hours 30 minutes or until meat is tender.
Remove ribs from pan, and pour cooking liquid into a large heavy saucepan. Add lemon juice, brown sugar, and corn syrup, and boil, uncovered, 15 minutes over high heat or until thick and syrupy. Increase oven temperature to 375°.
Return ribs to pan, and brush generously with glaze. Bake at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes, brushing twice more with glaze, until richly browned and glistening. Divide ribs, and serve.