The inspiration are those dryish, savory sweet short spare ribs served in Chinese restaurants in the U.S. — we used to have them at Shun Lee Palace in New York, but practically every Chinese take-out place had a version of them. I have never made them before, and didn’t bother to look up a recipe and decided to just wing it. First, I cleaned up a rack of ribs (removing the “silver skin?” under the bones) then cut the spare-ribs in half and into individual ribs.
I made a marinade of soy sauce, a bit of grated ginger, several cloves of grated garlic, brown sugar, rhum (I didn’t have sherry or chinese cooking wine which is probably a better choice) and some water. I placed the ribs in the marinade and let this sit for an hour or two. Place in a 300F oven for roughly 2 hours until tender. Remove the ribs from the marinade and boil the marinade down a bit to thicken it. I added about a cup or so of maltose to try and get a stickier consistency — taste the marinade and adjust soy sauce if it is too sweet for you.
Get a grill ready with some charcoal that is just beyond its peak heat level. Dunk the ribs into the marinade and grill for a minute or two, dunk in more marinade and return to the grill for another minute or so.
You want a bit of char, but not burn and dry out the ribs completely. I suppose you could finish these in a hot oven as well, but you will lack the black charred bits I think.
The results? Not quite the NY chinese restaurant ribs (that probably have star anise and other spices I didn’t use) I recall, but these were delicious nonetheless! The long cooking time really resulted in the meat on the ribs SHRINKING in a big way but what remained was deeply flavored. A bit on the sweet side but the soy sauce was also dominant. Something I am definitely going to be cooking again and experimenting with further!