Peking Style Baby Back Ribs

The aroma of tantalizing, slow-cooked ribs greets me every evening when I walk past this famous ribs restaurant near my home. On weekends, there is a long line of people waiting to get in. Not willing to spend an hour standing in line, my deep craving for some mouth-watering ribs prompted me to make my own. I found a quick and easy recipe online for American style pork ribs. It called for a dry rub which I didn’t have on hand so I decided to omit that. I also couldn’t find that particular brand of BBQ sauce at my local supermarket. Not surprisingly, the ribs came out a little bland… so what do you do with a whole rack of bland-ish ribs? With some inspiration from a Chinese recipe for Peking Style Spareribs, I made a tangy seasoning sauce and smothered the ribs with it. What a world of difference! The tangy sauce is so finger-licking good, I am definitely going to make ribs this way again.

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1 lb pork ribs (cut into 6 separate ribs to speed up cooking time)

salt
pepper

Marinade:
5 Tbsp store bought BBQ sauce (I used Heinz. Hunt’s BBQ sauce works too)
3 Tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp sweet chili sauce (optional)

Tangy seasoning sauce:
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp salt

Method:
1. Rinse and pat dry the ribs with a kitchen towel.
2. Rub both sides of the ribs with salt and pepper.
3. Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Coat the ribs completely with the marinade.
4. Lay the ribs on a sheet of aluminium foil and seal tightly.
5. Refrigerate the ribs for at least 1 hour.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
7. Transfer the ribs in the sealed aluminium foil to a baking tray.
8. Open up the foil, keeping the ribs loosely covered, bake for 1 hour. Then remove the aluminium foil covering and bake for 30 minutes.
9. Combine the ingredients for the tangy seasoning sauce in a bowl and set aside.
9. Take the ribs out of the oven and brush all over with the seasoning sauce before serving.

(inspired by ribs recipe at http://www.instructables.com/id/Quick-Easy-Baby-Back-Ribs-Recipe/)

Miso Grilled Codfish

I saw this recipe in the newspaper a while ago and it reminded me of a mouthwatering dish I had eaten at a fancy Japanese restaurant.  I found the original recipe a bit too sweet and too salty at the same time, so I modified the recipe by reducing the amount of miso paste and sugar.  I like this version a lot better and besides cod is full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and it is wonderfully buttery when cooked.   You will need a few specialty Japanese ingredients but they are worth getting and keeping in your fridge.   This makes an easy, elegant dinner for guests or a quick main dish for a lazy, rainy day.

Grilled Miso Cod fish

2  black cod fillets (about 1.5 to 2 cm thickness)

Marinade:

1/2 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp white miso paste (actually brownish in color)
1/2 tsp sugar

Method:

1.  Wash and pat dry the cod fillets and put aside.

2.  Line a baking dish with aluminium foil,  with extra foil hanging outside the dish.

3.  In a small bowl, make a paste with the sake, mirin, miso paste and sugar.

4.  Brush both sides of  the cod fillets with the paste and place it in the baking dish.  Cover it with the remainder of the aluminium foil.

Allow the fillets to soak in the marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

5.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Open the aluminium covering to expose the cod fillets and bake for about 30 minutes or until the top browns and blackens in spots.

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