I always get a little nostalgic when I cook something from the blog Chocolate & Zucchini. I can't remember what recipe I was looking for when I stumbled upon this site about six years ago, but I do know that this was the first food blog I ever read. And it led me to another, and then I found more from there, and so on, until now, where I follow dozens of them in Google Reader. Chocolate & Zucchini was the start of a rewarding, constantly evolving hobby for me. The collection of food blogs I read consistently leads me to new ingredients, new techniques and new recipes, and make me think about how I approach dinner time differently. I've learned about regional specialties and traditions, and how the smallest tweaks to a recipe can make it something new and different.
For all my affection for C&Z, though, it's rare that I see a recipe on there that I can make without tracking down specialty ingredients, searching farmers markets for a new vegetable, or compromising with a substitution. So when I skimmed through the short list of ingredients for these Chinese marinated ribs, a recipe given to Clotilde by yet another blogger, I was surprised to see that I actually had everything in the house already. Slightly sweet, a little spicy, these were great with rice and this pickled cucumber and radish salad.
I adapted these for the slow cooker too, and it worked out perfectly. When I got home from work, they were fall-off-the-bone tender, but still held together well enough to easily transfer them to the baking dish.
Chinese Marinated Pork Ribs
What's in them:
4 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
4 Tbsp. oyster sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine (I used mirin that I had leftover from AB's Ramen Radiator)
1 tsp. ground ginger
2-2 1/2 lbs. pork ribs
1/2-1 c. beef or chicken broth
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. honey
How to make them:
Combine first five ingredients in a ziploc bag. Cut ribs into pieces small enough to fit into your slow cooker, and place in bag. Seal bag, making sure that marinade coats all of the meat, and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, put the contents of the bag into the slow cooker, add broth, and cook on low for 8-9 hours. About a half hour before you want to eat, preheat the oven to 350. Spread ribs in an even layer in a large baking dish, brush with honey and sprinkle scallions over top. Bake for about 15 minutes, until ribs are starting to caramelize on top. Slice into 1-2 rib pieces to serve.