Ask your butcher to give you good, meaty
spareribs, cut in half. These spareribs take some time to cook, but the
end result is worth the effort.
Lemon grass stalks, crushed
Large shallots, finely chopped
Vietnamese fish sauce
Chinese rice wine
Lemon grass, finely chopped
Arrange the spareribs in one layer in a
large roasting tin, cover with water and bring slowly to the boil.
Add the star anise and crushed lemon
grass, cover with foil and simmer in a preheated oven,
150-160oC (300-325oF), Gas Mark 2-3, for 2 hours.
While the ribs are simmering, make a
marinade. In a large mortar, pound together the garlic, shallots,
pepper, salt, sugar, fish sauce, rice wine, lemon grass and oil, or
process them in a food processor.
Remove the spareribs from the oven, drain
and pat dry with kitchen paper. Turn up the oven heat to 220oC
(425oF), Gas Mark 7. Put the ribs back into the clean, dry,
roasting tin while they are still hot and coat them well with the
Roast them on the top shelf of the oven
for 30 minutes, until they are brown and crusty looking.