SEPTEMBER 23, 2013

MEET THE SOUS CHEF

TITUS WANG, EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF, DELICATESSEN

Titus Wang got his kitchen start as an intern at New York City's Annisa, where the Taiwan-born chef, who moved to New Jersey when he was 13, learned to marry classic French technique with many of the ingredients he ate as a kid.

At Delicatessen in Manhattan, where he's now the executive sous chef, he applies that same training to the casual comfort food the restaurant serves. His recipe for sweet-and-sour pork ribs is a prime example of his cooking philosophy. The ribs are battered, flash-fried and finally doused in a sticky sauce containing pineapple, ketchup and soy sauce. They're--dare we say it--finger-licking good.


William Hereford
MAKE THE
Sweet-and-Sour Pork Ribs
Sweet-and-Sour Pork Ribs

YIELD

4 servings

TIME

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Total: 55 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Pork Ribs

Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons

Large egg, 1 (lightly beaten)

Cornstarch, ½ cup

Pork spareribs, 2 pounds separated into individual ribs (about 12 ribs)

Canola oil, 2 cups

Kosher salt, 1½ teaspoons

Freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon

Sauce

Canned pineapple chunks with juice, one 8-ounce can pineapple chunks with juice (strain and save ¾ cup pineapple chunks plus ½ cup of the juice--save the remaining pineapple and juice to use another time)

Distilled white vinegar, ¼ cup

Granulated sugar, ¼ cup

Ketchup, ¼ cup

Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons

Cornstarch, 1½ tablespoons

Vegetables

Canola oil, 3 tablespoons

Medium garlic cloves, 3 (very finely chopped)

Ginger, ½-inch piece (peeled using the edge of a teaspoon to scrape off the skin and very finely chopped)

Scallions, 3, white separated from green tops (very finely chopped)

Small yellow onion, 1 (finely chopped*)

Red bell pepper, 1 (finely chopped*)

Green bell pepper, 1 (finely chopped*)

*We recommend using the KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 16-Cup Food Processor with Commercial-Style Dicing for finely chopping the vegetables

DIRECTIONS

1. Season the pork ribs: In a medium bowl, whisk together the:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Beaten egg

Then whisk in the:

  • ½ cup cornstarch

Add the:

  • Spareribs

Use tongs to turn the spareribs over in the sauce to evenly coat both sides.

2. To a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add the:

  • 2 cups canola oil

Once the oil shimmers, after about 2½ minutes, carefully add:

  • Half of the seasoned spareribs

Fry until they are golden and crispy on both sides, using tongs to turn occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the ribs to a large paper-towel-lined plate and repeat with the:

  • Remaining 6 spareribs

Season with the:

  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3. Make the sweet-and-sour sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the:

  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch

4. Finish the dish: To a large, clean skillet set over medium heat, add the:

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

When it starts to shimmer, after about 1½ minutes, add the:

  • Very finely chopped garlic
  • Very finely chopped ginger
  • Very finely chopped scallion whites

Cook until well browned, about 1 minute. Add the:

  • Finely chopped onion
  • Finely chopped red bell pepper
  • Finely chopped green bell pepper

Cook until the onions become lightly golden and translucent, about 4 minutes. Then stir in the:

  • ¾ cup pineapple chunks    

Cook to warm the pineapple, about 1 minute. Add the:

  • Sweet-and-sour sauce

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 2 minutes, until the flavors are well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Add the:

  • Fried pork ribs
  • Very finely chopped scallion greens

Turn to coat the ribs in the sweet-and-sour sauce and serve.

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STEP BY STEP

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TIPS & TECHNIQUES

Fry One On

Wang's pork ribs are first dredged in an egg-and-cornstarch mixture and then flash-fried until golden-brown. The cornstarch gives the fried ribs a particularly crispy exterior.

Chop Talk

Speed up the preparation of the ribs by chopping the onion and bell peppers for the sauce in a food processor, like the KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 16-Cup Food Processor with Commercial-Style Dicing.

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