Paradise Valley Happy Pork Emporium. Maybe that's what we should be calling our house every single time we make dry garlic ribs. We just love those tender crispy fried little porkers and so does everybody else who passes our way on the right day.
Yesterday was the right day.
As October's beautiful, colourful autumn days end in chillier and chillier nights, seems our thoughts and cravings are turning towards warm comfort and some of those sinfully delicious foods that do just that.
Now, there's probably not a lot of you out there that consider dry garlic ribs comfort food. That's okay, we'll be patient with you. It won't take long at all for you to jump aboard the I-NEED-SOME-GARLICKY-CRISPY-RIBS-NOW train, once you try these babies.
Sometimes we serve these Dry Garlic Ribs as an appie with cocktails, but last night they were dinner. Dry Garlic Ribs, Jasmine Coconut rice and big bunches of steamed asparagus with just a dab of lime and butter and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Del-i-cious.
DRY GARLIC RIBS
3 pounds sweet & sour cut pork ribs or 2 1/2 pounds well-marbled boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
Sea or Kosher salt
1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally
1 tablespoon dry red chile flakes
1 onion, quartered
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
2-3 heaping tablespoons granulated garlic powder
1-2 teaspoons Asian chile paste
1/2 - 1 cup rice flour
*Optional - 1/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Oil for deep frying
Fresh lime wedges
Extra chile paste
In a large pot, cover pork cubes or strips of sweet & sour ribs with cold water. Toss in 1 tablespoon salt, the head of garlic and quartered onion. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to med-low, continuing to gently boil for 25 minutes, uncovered. Drain the pork, and put into a large bowl. (If using ribs, cut between the bones into individual riblets, when you remove from pot) While hot toss with soy sauce, granulated garlic and chile paste. Set aside to cool. Marinate at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
Heat about 2 inches of oil in fryer, deep pot or wok to 360F. Toss marinated pork with enough rice flour - and panko, if using - to get a dry even coat. When oil is heated, gently slip pieces of pork into hot oil, in batches. Do not crowd meat pieces. Turn with a chopstick to cook pieces evenly, 3-5 minutes or until crispy brown and tender, but not overcooked. Drain on newspaper or paper towels. Sprinkle while hot with sea salt and serve with fresh lime wedges, more hot chile paste and soy sauce for dunking. And beer. Icy cold Sleeman's Cream Ale please. And thank-you.
**You know what else is really good drizzled over these gorgeously crispy tender morsels? Good Okanagan honey (or any honey for that matter!). That silky golden, superbly sweet nectar of buzz paired with the crunchy, salty, spicy bite of pork. Mmmm....mmmm.....mmmm. If you're in the mood for that honey-garlic yin and yang, you're in for a treat. My, oh my, oh my. Happy drizzling.