29 May2014


We do have disasters in the Marketman kitchen. More often than you think. On the same day that we had a brilliant hit with the soy sauce and tanduay braised then grilled ribs, I also made a more classic rack of ribs basted with a vinegar mopping sauce then grilled and doused with a homemade barbecue sauce. They were a supreme fail. :( And they were a lot of work, so we were a bit bummed.


First the ribs were baked in a low oven basted frequently with a vinegar, butter, sugar and spice mixture. Then we transferred them to a charcoal grill to caramelize the ribs…


…then slathered them with a homemade barbecue sauce… things were looking pretty fantastic at this point, wouldn’t you agree?


Everything looked great and we took them off the heat, let them rest for a few minutes, and sliced them into individual ribs. One bite and nearly everyone who tasted them grimaced. They were way too sour! And with a delicious alternative soy/rhum ribs also on platters, no one took another one of these vinegar basted ribs. And there was a LOT leftover. The next day, I bought some frozen cuapao and steamed them briefly. Meanwhile, I shredded up all of the leftover vinegar basted ribs, added them to a small sauté pan, added some sweetish hoisin sauce, a bit of the leftover soy/rhum/maltose marinade from the successful ribs and heated all of this through. Stuff each steamed bun with some of the filling, add some sriracha if you want it spicy, and add some fresh cilantro leaves. These were FABULOUS! So amazing that you can alter a failed dish and make it into something so delicious! Mrs. MM and I along with the crew wiped out every single morsel of these shredded spare ribs paos!



  1. Zerho says:

    Good save Marketman, would never thought the Pao’s were just salvaged. That’s why I love cooking as supposed to baking. You can always salvage a bad dish. But a failed cake/bread is destined for the trash can, our dogs won’t even touch them…

    May 29, 2014 | 8:51 pm


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  3. Khew says:

    Failed bread are made into breadcrumbs which can then be seasoned and used as a coating for deep-fried foods or hamburger/meatloaf filler. Failed cakes are also crumbed and made into steamed pudding, rum balls or part of a cheese cake crust.

    May 29, 2014 | 11:54 pm

  4. EJ says:

    To add to Khew’s list, failed cakes can also be used for bread-and-butter pudding while failed bread can also be topped with a thick sauce and toasted a la pizza or bruschetta.

    May 30, 2014 | 6:28 am

  5. Footloose says:

    First pic reminds me of David Chang who confirms suspicions of farmers of the Canadian prairies of the previous generation who were not gung-ho about Chinese food at all. They considered (and in not few instances, correctly) that the food was recycled because they are chopped up. One of them who actually became a family friend even jokingly asserted that Asians are the smartest people on earth because they figured out how to sell garbage to the white man. David Chang for one is definitely smart. He markets common workday Asian food to unaware mainstream customers at ten-fold the price that you can get them for in Chinatown.

    May 30, 2014 | 7:24 am

  6. Hershey says:

    Hmmmm… can’t imagine how sour that was that you had to create a different dish to salvage it! Still, it looks mouth-watering :)

    May 30, 2014 | 11:47 am

  7. Khew says:

    Come to think of it, this could also have been made into an amazing devil curry which is basically sour and burningly hot but oh so delish!

    May 30, 2014 | 7:43 pm

  8. scott says:

    MM had an amazing time last night at zubuchon(mango)…first of all by far the cleanest restaurant I have ever seen, and I have been around the world a few times. the staff..lets just say you have an all star team! oh wait..the food..perfect!

    Jun 1, 2014 | 5:41 am


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