42. China Part 3: Shanghai: Sweet and Sour Sticky Ribs

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Shanghai is most eastern and also biggest (25 million, and yes you read that right) and richest city in China.  The funniest part is that Shanghai we know today didn’t exist 25 years ago it was just farmland! It just sort of magically appeared over the course of just a few years. Is Shanghai done growing? NO I don’t think it is ever done and it is changing and growing so ridiculously fast. Is there anything left of the old Shanghai? Luckily yes! Shouning Road is a great example, the old China, walk down the street look in any direction and there is something to eat.


Things you didn’t know about Shanghai:

  • When you get out of the elevator in the Shanghai Municipal Marriage Service Center to get married, the first thing you see is a sign with three arrows that says “Marriage (Turn Right),” “Adoption (Turn Left),” and “Divorce (Straight Ahead).”
  • Internet rumors once raged that Shanghai’s public toilets brought in more than €10 million a year.
  • The total area of Shanghai was 636 square kilometers in 1949. It is now 6,340 square kilomenters.
  • Each weekend, hundreds of Shanghai parents come to the People’s Square marriage market to look for suitable mates for their children.
  • Locals in Shanghai tend to drink everything warm or at room temperature, including water and beer. If you want either served cold, you’ll need to ask for it that way.

So my brother adored these ribs so much that he asked me the next day already when we were going to eat them again! This is what you would call MANFOOD, delicious, rich, greasy. YUM! This might be my best dish yet!

Sticky Ribs

Ingredients: 2 lbs pork ribs (raw unmarinated), 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, divided, 2 tablespoons shaoxing wine, divided, 3 tablespoons oil, divided, 8 thin slices of ginger, 4 scallions (white parts only), chopped, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon dark Chinese vinegar, 2 cups water, toasted sesame seeds

Clean the ribs and pat them dry with a paper towel. Marinate the ribs with 1 tablespoon light soy sauce and 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine for 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a flat bottomed pan over medium heat and brown the ribs on all sides. Set aside on a plate.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in a clean wok over medium heat, and cook the ginger and scallions until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Take them out of the wok and set aside. Add another tablespoon of oil, and with the wok on low heat, add the sugar. Stir and let it melt. Add the ribs and coat them with the melted sugar. Turn off the heat.

Add the second tablespoon of shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, vinegar, water, and the cooked ginger and scallion. Turn up the heat and bring everything to a boil. Then cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. After 30 minutes, if there’s still too much liquid in the pot, take off the lid and turn up the heat, stirring continuously until the sauce has thickened and the ribs are coated and sticky.

It’s best to serve these ribs at room temperature. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds if desired.

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