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Braised Shanghai spareribs

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Braised Shanghai spareribs

Braised Shanghai spareribs

Chinese cuisine – bbq ribs – trending recipes – asian food

Braised Shanghai spareribs is a delicious and flavorful dish from East China, particularly from the culinary tradition of Shanghai. Here’s a step-by-step recipe to make this classic dish:


  • 1 kg pork spareribs, cut into individual ribs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth
  • Optional: sliced carrots or potatoes for added flavor


  1. Prepare the Spareribs: Rinse the pork spareribs under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Cut them into individual ribs if they aren’t already separated.
  2. Preheat the Oil: Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or deep skillet over medium heat.
  3. Saute Aromatics: Add the minced garlic, ginger slices, and chopped green onions to the wok. Stir-fry for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Brown the Spareribs: Add the spareribs to the wok and cook until they are browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Deglaze with Wine: Pour in the Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry) to deglaze the wok, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  6. Season with Soy Sauce and Sugar: Add the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar to the wok. Stir to coat the spareribs evenly.
  7. Add Aromatic Spices: Toss in the star anise and cinnamon stick for additional flavor depth.
  8. Pour in Liquid: Add the water or chicken broth to the wok, making sure the spareribs are submerged in the liquid.
  9. Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the wok and let it simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the spareribs are tender and the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  10. Optional: Add Vegetables: If desired, add sliced carrots or potatoes to the wok during the last 30 minutes of cooking to enhance the flavor of the dish and create a complete meal.
  11. Check for Doneness: Test the tenderness of the spareribs with a fork. They should be tender and easily pull away from the bone.
  12. Serve: Once the spareribs are cooked to perfection, remove the ginger slices, star anise, and cinnamon stick. Transfer the braised spareribs to a serving dish and garnish with chopped green onions.
  13. Enjoy: Serve the Braised Shanghai Spareribs hot with steamed rice or noodles, and enjoy the rich and savory flavors of this classic East Chinese dish!

This dish is sure to be a hit at your dinner table, with its tender, succulent spareribs and aromatic sauce infused with traditional Chinese spices.

Braised Shanghai spareribs

Exploring the Time-Honored Tradition of Braised Spareribs in Chinese Cuisine

In the vast tapestry of Chinese culinary traditions, few dishes evoke the warmth and comfort of home quite like braised spareribs. A dish steeped in history and tradition, braised spareribs hold a special place in Chinese cuisine, embodying the essence of family gatherings, festive celebrations, and cherished culinary memories.

In this article, we embark on a journey through time to uncover the rich tradition behind braised spareribs in Chinese culture, exploring its origins, significance, and enduring popularity across generations.

Section 1: Origins and Historical Significance

  • Tracing the origins of braised spareribs in Chinese culinary history, from ancient cooking techniques to regional variations across China.
  • Examining the historical significance of pork in Chinese cuisine and its association with prosperity, abundance, and familial bonds.
  • Highlighting the cultural importance of communal dining and sharing dishes like braised spareribs during festivals, weddings, and other joyous occasions.

Section 2: Symbolism and Significance

  • Exploring the symbolic meaning of braised spareribs in Chinese culture, including associations with good fortune, happiness, and familial unity.
  • Examining the role of food symbolism in traditional Chinese rituals and ceremonies, such as Lunar New Year feasts and ancestral offerings.
  • Discussing the cultural significance of sharing meals as a way to foster harmony, strengthen relationships, and express love and respect for one’s elders.

Section 3: Culinary Techniques and Preparation

  • Delving into the traditional techniques used to prepare braised spareribs, including marinating, searing, and slow-cooking to achieve tender and flavorful results.
  • Exploring the key ingredients and seasonings commonly used in braised spareribs, such as soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and aromatic spices like star anise and cinnamon.
  • Providing step-by-step instructions for preparing braised spareribs at home, along with tips for achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures.

Section 4: Regional Variations and Cultural Diversity

  • Surveying the diverse regional variations of braised spareribs across China, from the hearty flavors of Shanghainese-style red-cooked spareribs to the spicy nuances of Sichuan-style braised spareribs.
  • Highlighting the influence of regional ingredients, cooking styles, and cultural traditions on the preparation and presentation of braised spareribs.
  • Celebrating the culinary diversity of Chinese cuisine and the role of braised spareribs as a culinary ambassador of regional flavors and culinary heritage.

Section 5: Modern Interpretations and Culinary Innovations

  • Examining the evolution of braised spareribs in contemporary Chinese cuisine, including creative reinterpretations and fusion-inspired dishes.
  • Discussing the integration of modern cooking techniques, global ingredients, and culinary trends into traditional braised sparerib recipes.
  • Highlighting the role of chefs, food enthusiasts, and home cooks in preserving and reinventing the tradition of braised spareribs for future generations.

In conclusion, braised spareribs stand as a timeless symbol of Chinese culinary tradition, cherished for their rich flavors, cultural significance, and enduring appeal across generations. As we savor each succulent bite of tender pork, infused with the savory sweetness of soy sauce and aromatic spices, we honor the legacy of centuries-old culinary traditions and celebrate the bonds of family, community, and shared culinary heritage.

In a world of constant change and innovation, braised spareribs serve as a comforting reminder of the enduring power of tradition, the richness of cultural diversity, and the timeless pleasures of gathering around the table to enjoy a delicious meal with loved ones.

Braised Shanghai spareribs

Star anise

Star anise, known as “八角” (bā jiǎo) in Chinese, is a unique spice that holds a prominent place in Chinese cuisine. This article explores the multifaceted role of star anise in Chinese culinary traditions, from its origins and cultural significance to its diverse culinary applications and health benefits.

1. Introduction to Star Anise: Star anise is a star-shaped fruit of the Illicium verum tree, native to Southwest China and other parts of Asia. It belongs to the magnolia family and has a distinct licorice-like flavor with subtle notes of sweetness and warmth.

2. Historical and Cultural Significance: Star anise has a long history in Chinese culture, dating back thousands of years. It was traditionally used in Chinese medicine for its therapeutic properties and was later incorporated into culinary practices for its aromatic flavor.

3. Culinary Applications: Star anise is a versatile spice used in both savory and sweet dishes in Chinese cuisine. It is a key ingredient in many iconic Chinese dishes, including braised meats, soups, stir-fries, and marinades. Its fragrant aroma and distinctive flavor enhance the complexity of dishes, adding depth and richness to the overall flavor profile.

4. Traditional Dishes Featuring Star Anise: Star anise plays a starring role in several traditional Chinese dishes. One notable example is “红烧肉” (hóng shāo ròu), or red-braised pork, a classic dish from Shanghai that features pork belly simmered in a savory sauce infused with star anise and other aromatic spices.

5. Regional Variations: Different regions of China have their own unique uses for star anise. In Sichuan cuisine, for example, it is a key ingredient in the famous “五香牛肉” (wǔ xiāng niú ròu), or five-spice beef, while in Cantonese cuisine, it is often used to flavor braised dishes and soups.

6. Health Benefits: In addition to its culinary uses, star anise is also valued for its potential health benefits. It contains compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, making it a popular ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine remedies for digestive issues, respiratory problems, and more.

7. Symbolism and Rituals: Star anise holds symbolic significance in Chinese culture and is often associated with good luck, prosperity, and protection. It is commonly used in traditional rituals and ceremonies, such as weddings, festivals, and ancestral offerings, to bring blessings and ward off evil spirits.

8. Modern Uses and Global Influence: In recent years, star anise has gained popularity beyond China’s borders and is now widely used in international cuisine. It can be found in a variety of dishes, from Indian curries to Western desserts, where it adds a unique and exotic flavor.

9. Tips for Cooking with Star Anise: When using star anise in cooking, it is important to use it sparingly, as its flavor can be quite potent. It is typically added whole to dishes and removed before serving to avoid overpowering the final dish. To release its full flavor, lightly crush or toast the star anise before adding it to your recipe.

10. Conclusion: In conclusion, star anise is a cherished spice in Chinese cuisine, prized for its aromatic flavor, culinary versatility, and cultural significance. Whether used to add depth to savory dishes or enhance the sweetness of desserts, star anise continues to play an essential role in Chinese culinary traditions, bridging the gap between past and present, and bringing joy and flavor to dining tables around the world.

Braised Shanghai spareribs

Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry) usage in the chinese cuisine

Shaoxing wine, also known as “绍兴酒” (Shàoxīng jiǔ) in Chinese, is a type of traditional Chinese rice wine originating from the city of Shaoxing in Zhejiang province. It holds a prominent place in Chinese cuisine and is widely used for both cooking and drinking purposes. This article delves into the various ways Shaoxing wine is used in Chinese cuisine, from enhancing flavors in savory dishes to adding depth to sauces and marinades.

1. Traditional Use in Cooking: Shaoxing wine is a fundamental ingredient in Chinese cooking, valued for its ability to enhance the flavor of dishes while imparting a subtle sweetness and depth of aroma. It is commonly used in stir-fries, braises, marinades, and steamed dishes, where it helps to tenderize meat, balance flavors, and add complexity to sauces.

2. Key Ingredient in Stir-Fries: In stir-fry dishes, Shaoxing wine is often added early in the cooking process to infuse the ingredients with its aromatic flavor. It works particularly well with ingredients like pork, chicken, shrimp, and vegetables, creating a harmonious balance of flavors and textures in the finished dish.

3. Essential Component of Marinades: Shaoxing wine is a popular choice for marinades, where it helps to tenderize meat and poultry while imparting a rich, savory flavor. It is often combined with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and other seasonings to create flavorful marinades for meats, seafood, and tofu.

4. Flavor Enhancer in Braised Dishes: In braised dishes, such as red-cooked pork (红烧肉) and braised chicken, Shaoxing wine is a key ingredient in the braising liquid, where it adds depth and complexity to the sauce. Its natural sweetness helps to balance the richness of the dish, resulting in tender, flavorful meat and a luscious sauce.

5. Essential Ingredient in Steamed Dishes: Shaoxing wine is frequently used in steamed dishes, such as steamed fish and steamed dumplings, where it contributes to the overall aroma and flavor of the dish. Its subtle sweetness complements the natural flavors of the ingredients, creating a delicate and aromatic steamed dish.

6. Component of Sauces and Dressings: Shaoxing wine is often used in Chinese sauces and dressings to add depth of flavor and complexity. It is a common ingredient in stir-fry sauces, dipping sauces, and salad dressings, where it enhances the overall flavor profile of the dish.

7. Versatility in Chinese Cuisine: Shaoxing wine’s versatility extends beyond traditional Chinese dishes, as it is also used in fusion cuisine and international recipes. Its rich flavor and aroma make it a popular choice for chefs and home cooks alike, seeking to add an authentic Chinese touch to their culinary creations.

8. Health Benefits and Cultural Significance: In addition to its culinary uses, Shaoxing wine is also valued for its potential health benefits and cultural significance. In Chinese medicine, it is believed to aid digestion, improve circulation, and promote overall well-being. It is also an integral part of Chinese culinary rituals and celebrations, symbolizing hospitality, prosperity, and good fortune.

In conclusion, Shaoxing wine is a versatile and essential ingredient in Chinese cuisine, prized for its rich flavor, aroma, and cultural significance. Whether used to enhance the flavors of stir-fries, braised dishes, or sauces, Shaoxing wine continues to play a central role in Chinese culinary traditions, bridging the gap between tradition and innovation in the ever-evolving world of Chinese cuisine.

Braised Shanghai spareribs

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