Every so often Chris and I get to go on a 'work trip' to London. Usually for an event or occasionally for a course.
When we're there, we always try to plan in a bit of sight-seeing, shopping and most definitely eating! One of our memorable meals was at at restaurant in Chinatown (we were drawn to it because it also had a cocktail menu.....) that served delicious Asian ribs with a topping of crispy onions and chillies.
The combination of that fall-off-the-bone meat with the salty, hot, crispy onions was sublime (especially with the large Singapore Gin Sling to sate the thirst) and I've been meaning to recreate it ever since!
The thing that was stopping me, was the crispy onions part. They were perfect and I just didn't want to get them wrong!
I figured they were coated in flour and salt, then deep fried, and to be honest, I just couldn't be bothered getting the deep fryer out to use just for a topping. So the recipe when on the back burner.
We were shopping at an Asian food store, and I found giant bags of crispy fried onions. Already made, and looking exactly like the onions used on the rib recipe. I greedily bought a huge bag to experiment with. Then a few days later in Tesco, I found they sold them there. And in Morrisons too.
I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THEY WERE A THING!!!
How could I have never seen them before!!!
Anyway, I fried them up (yep, I shallow fried the already-fried things - not very diet friendly), along with some salt, garlic, chillies and spring onions, and yes!!! I could eat a bowl of that instead of popcorn. Probably a fair amount more saturated fat though.
Finding the topping bit so easy, I decided to experiment with the ribs. I usually slow cook my ribs, then finish them off by frying and adding a glaze.
This time I marinated them and cooked them in the oven very slowly. Finishing them off with extra marinade and brown sugar. So gooood!
For these Asian ribs I was going for that char-sui red colour you see on certain Asian-style meat dishes, but following a little investigation, I found that a lot of recipes either use red food colouring, or red bean curd paste to get the colour.
I didn't want to use the food colouring, and I couldn't find the red bean curd anywhere, so I decided to use Gochujang - which is a naturally deep red colour, that also has the benefit of adding a kick of heat to the marinade.
The resulting ribs, although not bright red (just a hint of red), tasted amazing, and the crispy onions finished the dish off perfectly. They were so good, I ended up making them for our New Year's Eve dinner, along with special fried rice and sweet and sour chicken. Chris also made some prawn toasts, which was literally the best prawn toast I've ever eaten. I'll get that one up on the blog too.
A long and round-about way to recreate those ribs from that meal out in London, but this one really is a keeper. And a great addition to the Chinese New Year menu too!
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In order to make these Oven Baked Asian Ribs with Crispy Onions you will need:
- Measuring Spoons.
- A good Kitchen Knife
- Chopping board
- Garlic press
- A small mixing bowl to mix the coating/marinade ingredients in. Instead of a mixing bowl we use loads of these for mixing, prepping, and serving.
- A Large Bowl to coat and marinade the ribs.
- Tray with rack
- Measuring jug.
- A Frying Pan/Skillet for frying the onion and chilli topping.
- Wooden or silicon coated spoons. We have recently bought these and love them.
The Oven Baked Asian Ribs with Crispy Onions Recipe:
Oven Baked Asian Ribs with Crispy Onions
Onion and Chilli Topping
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 3-4 Chillies - a mixture of red and green, finely chopped (I use fresno variety, but use your favourite)
- 1 + 1/3 cup (100g) shop-bought crispy onions
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 4 spring onions (scallions) - roughly chopped
- Place the ribs in a large bowl or bag. Mix all of the remaining rib ingredients -except the brown sugar - together to form a marinade. Pour half of the marinade on the ribs and toss to fully coat. Cover the other half of the marinade and place in the fridge. Cover the ribs and marinade in the fridge for 2 hours (up to overnight).
- Once the ribs have marinated, preheat the oven to 110C/225F. Place a rack over a baking tray and pour 400ml (approx 1 + 3/4 cups) of boiling water into the tray. Place the ribs on the rack in a single layer and place in the oven for 2 and a half hours.
- After 2 and a half hours, brush the remaining marinade onto the ribs and sprinkle on the brown sugar. Place back in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the onion and chilli topping. Heat the oil in a small frying pan (skillet). Add the garlic and chillies and fry on a medium heat for a few seconds, then add in the onions and salt. Heat, stirring regularly for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Add the spring onions and stir through for a minute, then turn of the heat.
- Remove the ribs from the oven and place on a serving plate. Sprinkle on the onion topping and serve.
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