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Recipe: Champagne Pork Ribs

This Chinese New Year, serve up Diamond Kitchen’s celebratory take on a zichar favourite of sticky, sweet pork ribs.
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At Diamond Kitchen, Malaysian-born executive chef Kevin Lau believes in cooking everything fresh from scratch upon order ­— you won’t find a blast freezer in the kitchens of either of its two outlets at Marine Parade and Science Park. The restaurant’s signature dish of lala beehoon is a labour of love. A whole leg of premium Jinhua ham is simmered over a few days to make the superior stock that goes into cooking the beehoon and, every day, 10kg of clams are steamed to extract their juices for a dish that brims with natural umami.
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Here, the chef shares his recipe for another Diamond Kitchen favourite: Champagne Pork Ribs. While zichar places all over the island were serving different renditions of pork ribs glazed with Marmite, coffee and soda, Lau came up with the idea of creating a sauce with champagne instead. “I found that using 7-Up was just plain sweet. I wanted to make something that was tastier but would still retain that sweetness.”
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He experimented with cutting the champagne with water or stock, but found that it watered down the flavour and chanced upon the idea of adding stout into the mix. The result was these lightly glazed nuggets of tender pork ribs, sweet with a caramelised finish, but with more depth of flavour.

The chef uses pork loin ribs or baby back ribs, which are tender and lean. You can leave the bones in, but deboning them like they do at Diamond Kitchen makes it a lot easier to eat with rice and other dishes.

Try your hand at this dish and save the rest of that champagne for a celebratory toast at reunion dinner this Chinese New Year.
Champagne Pork Ribs
Serves 4

500g pork loin ribs, deboned

For the champagne sauce:
50g honey
50g sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
80ml stout beer
100ml champagne

For the marinade:
10g garlic
10g shallots
10g carrot
10g celery
½ tsp salt
½ tsp oyster sauce
½ tsp chicken seasoning powder (optional)
1 tsp light soya sauce
20g potato starch
30g plain flour
2 tbsp oil

Method:
1. Prepare the marinade by first blending the garlic, shallots, carrots and celery together, and straining the liquid to reserve it.
2. Mix the extracted liquid with the rest of the ingredients for the marinade and stir well.
3. Marinate the pork ribs in the fridge for a day or overnight.
4. Mix all the ingredients for the champagne sauce in a saucepan and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Set aside.
5. In a wok of oil, deep-fry the marinated pork ribs till golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
6. In another pan, stir-fry the pork ribs with the champagne sauce for 2-3 minutes until evenly coated. Serve hot.
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SEE ALSO: Recipe: Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon

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