I grew up in a culture where rice is a staple food, and almost every meal (that my mum cooked) would consist of boiled white rice served with a variety of meats, soups and vegetables. Mum's a fantastic cook who takes pride in the food she prepares for us, which is why I always look forward to her cooking whenever I go back to visit. I try to learn as much as I can from her, although in the much earlier years, before my foray into the kitchen, I was merely interested in consuming the end product and not so much how it was prepared. I have, however, picked up many kitchen tips from her since then, which are truly invaluable and have probably saved me from countless pain and heartaches in the kitchen. Thanks Mum!
With my family, I've followed the same tradition of serving rice for dinner (except for the occasional fast food or fish and chips on the weekends - kids, you know, gotta keep them happy). There are endless types of dishes that go with rice, ranging from healthy stir-fries and stews to sinfully indulgent deep-fried foods (which is really okay if you don't eat them too often).
In today's post, I'm featuring these crunchy deep-fried pork ribs slathered with a creamy chilli and tomato sauce (this probably falls under the "sinfully indulgent" category). I've made these three times already, simply because they are sooooo addictive and deliriously good. It's a little like sweet and sour pork, but more spicy than sour (uhh... hence I named it sweet and spicy pork ribs). G enjoyed them so much that he claimed he would drive miles just to eat it. But really, this is a simple and easy dish to pull off, and most of the ingredients should already be stocked in the fridge or pantry. I've specifically used Lingham's chilli sauce in the recipe as it has a sweet garlicky flavour that gives the sauce that "special" taste. It should be available in most good supermarkets, otherwise try substituting with Thai sweet chilli sauce instead.
Sweet and spicy pork ribs
450g (1 lb) pork spare ribs (or substitute with belly pork, skin removed)
3 tbsp cornflour, extra
2 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
Scallions, chopped, for garnish
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 small egg (or half a large egg)
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1/3 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
Sauce (combine in a bowl):
2 tbsp Lingham's chilli sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp Sriracha chilli sauce (or more to taste)
4 tbsp mayonnaise
- Slice the pork into 3/4 inch cubes. Spread a few pieces out on the chopping board, cover with clingwrap and pound with a meat mallet to tenderise the meat. Repeat with the rest of the pork.
- Combine pork with the marinade and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan or wok on high heat. Toss the 3 tbsp cornflour onto the pork and toss to coat evenly. When the oil is hot (slowly lower a piece of pork into the oil - if it sizzles, the oil is ready), add the pork piece by piece so that they don't stick together when cooked. Cook in two batches to avoid overcrowding in the pan.
- Let the pork fry in the oil for 2-3 minutes before turning over. Fry for another 2 minutes or until lightly golden brown and crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper or a metal rack.
- Heat a medium sized wok or non-stick pan with 1/2 tsp vegetable oil. When hot, add the sauce ingredients and stir with a spatula until it starts to simmer a little (you just want to heat it up). Add the deep-fried pork and toss in the sauce until evenly coated. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with chopped scallions. Serve immediately with boiled jasmine rice. Enjoy!