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Thai Deep Fried Garlic Ribs Recipe

John D Lee is a chef and restauranteur living and working in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He's always loved to cook.

Deep Fried Ribs

pictured 30 seconds before entering my belly

pictured 30 seconds before entering my belly

Thai style deep fried ribs, these are the best ribs you will ever have! (slow smoked BBQ ribs excluded, obviously…)

Before moving to Thailand, I wouldn't have considered cooking ribs any way other than low and slow—I had been brainwashed by a Western mentality that values soft meat over tasty meat. Well, no more will I succumb to the tyranny of bland food—I will take tough but tasty cuts of meat and cook them any way I please!

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Rant over.

Anyway, marinating Asian flavors into these country ribs makes for a surprising change of pace from fall-off-the-bone ribs. These ribs do require that you use your chompers, but they taste so good that you'll find yourself gnawing the bones for every last scrap! These are perfect as a part of a larger Thai style dinner, served ideally with a stir fry or two and a spicy soup or Thai spicy salad (yam).

Thai Deep Fried Garlic Spare Ribs (Country Riblets)

  • A generous pound of country style spare ribs (a short but very meaty cut)
  • 2 Tbls of fish sauce
  • 1 tsp of MSG (everyone gets scared by MSG, but it's used very widely over here…and it does make a difference. And anyway, as someone famous (sort o famous, can't remember who…) once said, if MSG gives people a headache; why doesn’t everyone in China have a headache?)
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • Oil for frying
  1. Rub all of the marinade ingredients over the ribs and let marinate in the fridge for one or two hours. You can actually get away with less that this if you’re in a hurry.
  2. Heat up the old deep fryer to about 350–375f and fry until cooked through and deeply browned, about 10 minutes or so, depending on the size of your ribs. Take one out periodically and test it with a cut to the bone to evaluate for doneness. (The garlic will float to the top as you fry. Remove it from the oil after it has browned a bit, but before it burns, and reserve. This only takes a minute or so.
  3. Serve, garnished with the reserved crunchy garlic and with steamed jasmine rice and, preferably, other Thai dishes as a part of a complete Thai dinner with friends and family. Delicious!

This tastes great, but is really pretty effortless.

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