About the author: Chichi Wang took her degree in philosophy, but decided that writing about food would be much more fun than writing about Plato. She firmly believes in all things offal, the importance of reading great books, and the necessity of three-hour meals. If she were ever to get a tattoo, it would say "Fat is flavor." Visit her blog, The Offal Cook.
Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!
- Yield:1 rack of ribs, serving 4 as part of a multi-course meal
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:3 hours
- 1 rack of goat or lamb ribs
- 1/2 cup Shaoxing wine
- 1 onion, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup whole cumin seeds
- 1/2 piece star anise
- 1 clove
- 12 to 16 small dried red chili peppers (optional)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
Place ribs in a saute pan or a roasting pan. If cooking on stove, add wine and enough water to barely cover. Add onions and salt. Cover pan with lid or aluminum foil, bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 2 hours. If using oven, adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 325°F. Place rack of ribs in a roasting pan and add wine and scatter onions all around. Add water to cover 3/4 of the way. Cover pan, with lid or aluminum foil, bring to a simmer on the stovetop, then transfer to oven and cook until tender, about 2 hours.
Meanwhil, preheat a skillet over medium heat until hot. Place the cumin seeds, star anise, and clove in the pan and toast until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool. Grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder until cumin seeds are broken up but not powdered.
If using chili peppers: return the skillet to medium heat. Toast the dried chili peppers just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool. Grind in a mortar and pestle or process in a spice grinder until roughly ground. Mix with the cumin seed mixture.
When ribs are tender, remove from heat, transfer to a paper towel to remove excess water, and let cool slightly. Dry carefully. Heat oil or butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the ribs and brown on one side until golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side. When ribs are done browning, remove to a platter and pat off residual oil with a paper towel. Immediately sprinkle spice mixture over the hot ribs, patting the mixture down so it sticks to the surface of the meat. Serve immediately.