Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wasabi Honey BBQ Spare Ribs 'n' Chips

     The sharp bite of wasabi mellows when it is cooked, especially when the sauce is sweetened with honey.  Today's Wasabi Honey Spare Ribs have an interesting mild wasabi flavor.  There is very little of the infamous wasabi sinus clearing kick.  If you want to experience the full impact of the wasabi side effects, then simply serve some wasabi sauce on the side or sprinkle wasabi powder over the ribs after they are cooked.
     Real wasabi is made from the root of a tree that grows next to streams in Japan.  Real wasabi root is not in the same plant family as horseradish.  Real Japanese wasabi is not easy to find at common food markets, but when it is available it is worth giving a try.  Real wasabi has a very potent flavor.
     Average quality wasabi is made from horseradish that is tinted green.  This kind of wasabi is easy to find and the price is much cheaper than real wasabi.  The flavor potency of horseradish wasabi can vary from fairly mild to very strong.

     English Chips are just like French Fries and they look nice on a plate of BBQ ribs.  As the name chips implies, the fries should look like they were chipped off of a whole potato.  Chips should be sliced fairly thick.  Chips should be fried crispy on the outside and they should still be soft in the middle.

     *This recipe yields 1 portion.  (5 individual spare ribs)

     Spare Ribs Preparation:
     Step 1:  Cut a section of a large rack of ribs into 5 individual spare ribs.
     Step 2:  Place the pork spare ribs in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of 5 spice powder.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of ginger paste.
     Add 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt.
     Add 1 pinch of white pepper.
     Step 3:  Toss the ingredients together.
     Cover the container.
     Marinate the ribs for 4 hours in a refrigerator.
     Step 4:  Drain off the marinade.
     Place the ribs on a roasting rack on a roasting pan.
     Slowly roast the ribs in a 275ºF oven, till the meat is fully cooked and tender.  Turn the ribs occasionally while roasting, so they cook evenly.
     Set the ribs aside after they finish slow roasting.
     Wasabi Honey BBQ Spare Ribs:
     The ribs can be finished on a chargrill or under a broiler. 
     Step 1:  Mix 2 tablespoons of wasabi powder (green horseradish wasabi) and 2 tablespoons of water together to form a paste in a mixing bowl.
     Step 2:  Add 1 teaspoon of thin soy sauce.
     Add 1/4 cup of honey.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil.
     Add 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of corn starch.
     Add 2 tablespoons of water.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     The wasabi basting sauce should be a very pale green color.
     Step 3:  Heat a chargrill to a medium/medium high temperature.  (Or set an oven broiler to a medium high temperature.)
     Place the ribs on the grill or under the broiler.
     Brush the ribs with the wasabi BBQ sauce fairly often as they are cooking.  Be sure to flip the ribs occasionally.
     The object is to let each coating of sauce thicken before applying more, so the ribs are glazed when they finish.  When the ribs are glazed and caramelized highlights appear, then they are ready to be served.

     English Chips:
     Step 1:  Cut a 6 ounce unpeeled Russet potato in half lengthwise.
     Slice the potato halves into odd shaped slices that are about 1/4" thick.
     Step 2:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ºF.
     Deep fry the chips, till the chips are less than halfway cooked and they are still white.
     Remove the chips from the oil and let them rest for five minutes.
     Step 3:  Place the chips back in the hot frying oil.
     Fry till the chips are crispy golden brown.
     Step 4:  Place the chips on a wire roasting rack to drain off any excess oil.
     Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt over the chips.
     Wasabi Honey BBQ Spare Ribs 'n' Chips:
     Mound the chips on the middle of a plate.
     Place the ribs on the plate so they lean vertically against the mound of chips.
     Garnish the plate with a few Italian Parsley leaves.

     The combination of wasabi and honey creates a nice, mellow, aromatic glaze flavor.  The small amount of cornstarch helps to thicken the glazing sauce as it cooks on the ribs.  Four or five spare ribs is light lunch portion! 

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