Before I proceed with the mechanics of this dish, let's get the basics correct. Fermented beancurd 腐乳 is basically tofu preserved with salt, vinegar and rice wine. Red fermented tofu 南乳 differs in colour by using a different type of rice wine. Both fermented tofu are pungent and has a strong salty stinging taste, definitely not pleasant at first bite. It is an acquire taste, just like the popular stinky durian. Surprisingly, due to its distinct flavour, fermented tofu compliments other ingredients well to create that awesome dish.
This recipe calls for the use of red fermented beancurd. Do not be afraid. When artfully combined with other ingredients, the red fermented beancurd produces a most wonderful taste. This red fermented beancurd spareribs is rather easy to make. Just throw your meat to the marinade and set aside for a couple of hours until needed. The colour of the spareribs might look sligthly darker than normal fried spareribs. This is normal as the spareribs is marinaded in the red brine. This same marinade can also be used for fried chicken wings.
Red Fermented Beancurd Spareribs 南乳排骨
600 gm of spareribs
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1/4 cup of rice flour
4 cubes of red fermented beancurd (nam yue)
2 tbsp of beancurd brine
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 inch ginger, pounded and juiced
6 cloves garlic, pounded and juice
2 tbsp of shaoxing wine
1. Prepare the marinade. Pound ginger and garlic together. Extract the juice in a big bowl. Mash the beancurd. Add in all the other ingredients in marinade.
2. Wash and dry spareribs thoroughly. Add spareribs to marinade and mix well. Transfer spareribs to a ziplock bag and marinade for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator. Alternatively, just cover the the bowl of spareribs with clingwrap and refrigerate mixing once or twice.
3. When about to fry, dredge ribs in flour. Shake off excess.
4. Fry spareribs. Heat oil until smoky hot, reduce fire to medium. Put spareribs individually into oil. Cook for about 5 minutes (depending on the size of the spareribs) until spareribs is cooked inside. Remove from fire and set aside to drain. Do another batch until all spareribs is fried.
5. To make spareribs more crispy, refry the spareribs for another minute in hot oil. If you intend to do so, please make sure spareribs is not overly brown when you take off in the first round as the spareribs tend to get blacken easily. The ideal colour shouldn't be too black but reddish brown.
6. Remove from fire and serve.