The spareribs to buy for this dish are not the thick, meaty ones with layers of fat and lean, but small spareribs in racks which are sold as American (as distinct from Chinese) spareribs.
1.5 kg/3 lb pork spareribs
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Separate spareribs into lengths which will fit into roasting pan. Sprinkle garlic with salt and crush to a paste with flat of a knife. Combine with pepper, five-spice powder, honey, sesame oil and soy sauce. Rub well all over the spareribs and leave to marinate for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F). Place spareribs into roasting pan and cook in a hot oven for 20 minutes. Turn spareribs, add 1/2 cup hot water to pan and continue roasting for a further 20 minutes.
Alternatively, heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a large, heavy frying pan and brown spareribs. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and simmer until tender. Serve hot.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)