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  • Serves: 4 Servings

Barbecued Spareribs #4

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Category: Meat

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Spareribs can be cooked in many ways: stir-fried, deep-fried, steamed,
braised, simmered or barbecued. With the exception of the latter, the ribs
are always chopped witll a cleaver into bite-size pieces (to make them
maneuverable with chopsticks). For barbecuing, the rib rack is usually left
intact and, after roasting, the ribs are cut apart and eaten by hand, Or
then chopped into bite-size pieces. Regardless of cooking method, the lean
meat on the ribs can be left as is or trimmed off for later use in shredded
or minced pork dishes.

An average rib rack weighs 2-1/2 to 3 pounds. In Western-style meals
(which feature one main dish), about 3/4 to 1 pound is generally allowed
per person. In Chinese meals, which have many "main" dishes, 1 pound of
spareribs will serve 3 or 4 people. As a rule, the rib racks with shorter
bones (from smaller pigs) are preferred because they're more tender.

TO PREPARE: Leave the rib rack whole or cut in two. Trim off fat and
gristle. With a sharp knife, cut between each rib but not clear through.
(This will enable the marinade to penetrate the meat.)

TO MARINATE: Prepare any of the marinades for barbecued spareribs (see
recipes below). Rub marinade over the ribs and into the cuts as well. Place
ribs in a shallow pan and pour the marinade over them. Let stand 2 to 4
hours, basting and turning meat from time to time. (Do not marinate for a
longer period: the meat will toughen.) Drain, reserving marinade.

NOTE: Some cooks rub the ribs with salt and sugar, then let the meat
stand one hour before adding the marinade.

TO ROAST THE RIB RACK: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the marinated
ribs on a metal rack over a roasting pan nearly filled with water (this
will catch the drippings and keep them from burning). Or suspend the ribs
high in the oven over the drip pan, barbecue-style (see page 821). Roast
about 45 minutes, basting frequently with the reserved marinade. If ribs
are roasted flat on a rack, they should be turned at 15 to 20 minute
intervals for even browning. (If they are suspended vertically,
barbecue-style, this isn't necessary.) Halfway through cooking, the ribs
may be glazed with a thin layer of either peanut oil or honey, ora mixture
of 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon soy sauce.

NOTE: Spareribs need slow, even roasting over moderate heat. High heat
tends to shrivel them. The heat may be turned up to 450 degrees during the
last 5 minutes of roasting, however, to crisp the ribs.

TO ROAST INDIVIDUAL RIBS: Cut through the meat to separate ribs
completely. Marinate and drain as above. Then rub each rib lightly with
peanut oil. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place ribs on a rack over a
water-filled drip pan. Roast 30 minutes. Brush with reserved marinade.
Roast 5 minutes more. Turn ribs over and repeat process.

TO ROAST RIB SEGMENTS: Cut the ribs apart; then with a cleaver chop each
rib, bone and all, in 2-inch sections. Marinate and drain as above. preheat
oven to 325 degrees. Roast in a pan 35 to 45 minutes, basting frequently
with marinade.

NOTE: This method shortens roasting time and produces very crisp ribs.

TO BARBECUE OVER CHARCOAL: To barbecue spareribs on charcoal grills,
prepare as above, but increase the amount of marinade and baste more
frequently to keep ribs from drying out.

NOTE: Some cooks find it easier to barbecue spareribs partially for 50
minutes in the home oven; then to complete the cooking later, out-of-doors
over charcoal. After pre-cooking, let the ribs cool, then cut in 2-rib
sections, wrap in foil, and refrigerate. When ready to use the ribs, unwrap
and cook them over charcoal until they're reheated and browned (about 10
minutes on each side).

TO BROIL: Since spareribs require slow, even cooking, broiling is not
recommended. It invariably results in half-cooked or charred ribs. The ribs
may be cooked, however, by other methods (steaming, simmering or roasting)
until nearly done, and broiled just before serving, until crisp and g0lden
(2 to 3 minutes on each side).

TO KEEP WARM : Keep barbecued ribs in a slow (200 degree) oven until
ready to serve.

TO PREPARE IN ADVANCE: Roast marinated ribs as above. Let cool. Wrap in
foil and refrigerate. (These will keep several days.) Before serving,
reheat the still-wrapped ribs 10 to 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

TO FREEZE: Roast marinated ribs as above. Let cool. Seal tightly in foil
and freeze. When ready to use, reheat the still-wrapped ribs 30 minutes in
a 400-degree oven. Do not thaw first.

MARINADES: See recipe for one of the following "Marinades for Barbecued
Spareribs": Basic, Stock-Soy, Pineapple-Soy, Soy- Sugar, Brown Sugar, Five
Spices, Red Bean Cheese, Catsup-Hoisin or Hoisin-Soy.

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