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Maltose-Glazed Spareribs

  • SERVINGS: 4 TO 5

These sweet and tender spareribs are easy to make and they're a meat-lover's delight. Maltose is a Chinese sweetener made from barley. To dig it out of its plastic tub, put the tub in simmering water until the maltose softens.

  1. 1 large rack of fresh pork spareribs (2 - 2 1/2 pounds)


  1. 1 cup Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
  2. 2 teaspoons Szechwan peppercorns
  3. 4 quarter-size coins ginger


  1. 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  2. 2 tablespoons ketchup
  3. 2 tablespoons Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
  4. 2 tablespoon maltose
  5. 2 tablespoons green and white scallion rings, for garnish
  6. 1 tablespoon brown sugar (packed)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce
  8. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  1. Trim off any fat from the rack and cut it into 4 even pieces. Put the ribs in a large wok or heavy pot. (If you don't have a big enough pot, divide them between two pots.) Add cold water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming the scum from the surface. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and add the seasonings. (For two pots, divide the seasonings between them.) Cover partially and cook until a knife easily pierces the thickest part of the meat, 1 hour or longer. 2. While the ribs simmer, make the sauce: Combine the sauce ingredients in a non-corrosive saucepan and bring to a slow simmer over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the maltose. Let cool to room temperature. 
  2. When the ribs are tender, transfer them to a parchment-lined sheetpan curved sides up and in a single layer. Strain and refrigerate the stock, if you wish, for another use. 
  3. Preheat oven to 375°. Brush the ribs with a thick coating of the sauce and bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pan midway. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. (At this point, the ribs can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.) 
  4. Cut the ribs in between the bones and brush with the remaining glaze. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until heated through. Mound on a platter and garnish with scallion rings. 
  5. © copyright Barbara Tropp adapted from
    China Moon Cookbook
    (Workman '92)
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