Asian, Food

Schezuan Spare Ribs

I’m so nice.

Really, I am.

I mean, who would spend hours slaving in a hot kitchen to prepare a complex meal that I wouldn’t even be able to eat?

Well, I did and I do quite often….but this particular meal received such praise and oohs and aahs—that I started to feel like I was missing out.

You see, Aaron loves meat and he married someone who doesn’t (didn’t) eat the stuff.  I became a vegetarian when I was 16.  I added fish to my diet about 6 years ago and I only recently started to eat  chicken and turkey—but, only in certain situations and I can’t even really explain what my criteria are.  Sometimes I will eat it–sometimes it grosses me out.  Beef and pork are still too much for me but the family loves the stuff, so I attempt to cook it.  And, in my attempts to learn to cook everything—meat is something I need to learn.
Like I said, Aaron loves meat and and he loves ribs.  He also goes for anything that reminds him of his homeland, Hawaii.

I guess I was feeling especially giving and sweet —maybe because he spent hours and hours working on a project for  my day job, or  that he agreed to not go to Los Angeles for a convention so that he could watch the kids while I go to San Fransisco, or that he is doing such a great job keeping the pool clean and sparkly.  I don’t know what it was–but I felt like making him happy.

So, I cooked.


Ribs to be exact—Schezuan Spareribs–better than those at Kakkakko Kitchen.  Better than those at Diamond Head Grill.

These ribs were so good (according to him)—that we need to move back to Hawaii ASAP and open a Rib Shack.  Preferably on the North Shore, across the street from the beach.  Hmmmm….Cakes and Ribs!  I could do that!

As I work toward opening day of  “Karla’s Cakes and Ribs”, I wanted to share this recipe with my loyal readers.  This is a restaurant secret–just for you!

And, for a limited time only, my loyal readers will be treated to a free cupcake after a full rib meal.  (Offer valid if and when “Karla’s Cakes and Ribs” actually comes into being.)

( I should mention here–that I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and modified it slightly–like cooking time and a couple of other things.)

Here is the step-by-step:

You will need:

It may look like a lot of ingredients—but that shouldn’t scare you.

1) For the marinade, gather the following: 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 4 tsp of fresh ginger (grated), 2 cups of soy sauce,
2 cups of rice vinegar, 1 tsp. Sriracha (chili paste), small bunch of green onions (about 4-5), 2/3 cup honey, 2/3 orange juice. 3 T sesame oil, 1 cup of brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Also,  I mixed up a slurry of 3 T of cornstarch and 3 T of water–this will thicken up the marinade.

2)  Make sure the ribs don’t have that membrane thing attached to it.  I got Aaron to work on that while the dog (who is not allowed in the kitchen) inched closer and closer.

(I’m sorry this picture is so blurry—but I had to use it. Maggie wants those ribs.  In the next picture, you can see the top of Maggie’s head–after she was forced to lie down.  She won’t take her eye off that meat.)

3) Mix up the marinade.    Dump the ingredients in a saucepan in the following order:  shoyu (soy sauce, for you mainlander’s), rice vinegar, orange juice, honey, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, hot sauce, green onions, and salt.

4) Heat the concoction over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil.  Add the cornstarch slurry.  It will really start to thicken up.  It is now done. Turn off the heat and let it cool a bit.

5) You can separate this into three bowls–one for marinade, one for basking, and one for dipping.  (Although, we didn’t use the dipping sauce.  We used the last bowl of marinade to grill up some chicken breasts.)

6)  Add the marinade to the ribs in a shallow plastic or glass dish.  Cover and let sit (in the fridge) for as long as you can.  We waited about 4 hours.

7) Set your grill to 275 degrees, indirect heat.

8 ) Put the ribs on the grill and wait for a long time.  About 7 hours. (During this time, we baked a cake, lit off fireworks, watched a movie, walked the dog, cleaned the house and read bedtime stories.  Only Aaron was awake for the unveiling of the ribs.  Aaron and Maggie, waiting patiently for their meat. How sweet…a man and his dog.)  I should mention that you will want to brush the ribs with marinade and flip them every hour.

9)  Serve with white rice and mac salad, if you really want to recreate the Hawaiian plate lunch experience.

And, stay tuned for the Grand Opening of “Karla’s Cakes and Ribs!”