Shantung Lamb Ribs

I tried these for the first time in Canberra a few weeks ago – this dish is a bit of an institution in the capital at a restaurant called Portias. I’ve eaten Shantung chicken countless times, but never lamb and I can tell you now the results are stunning. Lamb ribs are a forgotten cut of meat but they are every bit as tasty as other, more expensive, cuts. Cooking them twice means you get all the tenderness of a slow cooked meat alongside all the crunchiness of a deep fried meat. All food should be cooked this way. The home cooked version of these ribs, while not as spectacular as Portias are pretty damn tasty! Not bad for a first attempt! Give these a try – I urge you!

1.5kg lamb ribs
1 heaped teaspoon grund cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt

2 garlic cloves (finely chopped
2 chiles (finely chopped)

2 spring onions (finely chopped)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons mild chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shaoxing wine
2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

4 tablespoons rice flour
400ml vegetable oil

Combine the cumin and salt then toss the ribs in the mix to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Heat a wok, then add the garlic, chiles, spring onions, sugar and sesame oil, Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the chicken stock, salt, shaoxing wine and vinegar. Stir over medium heat until boiling, then simmer for about 20 seconds. Remove from heat.

Place the ribs in a steamer pan and steam for 1 1/2 hours until very tender. Carefully toss them in the rice flour to coat well.

Heat a deep pan with the oil until just hot, not smoking. Add 5-6 ribs at a time and fry for 1-2 minutes until well browned. Drain on paper towels and repeat with all the ribs.

Arrange on a platter then pour over the cold sauce.

I served mine with eggs and garlic chives, a cold cucumber salad and lots of boiled rice.

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