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Pork Short Ribs

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
What the heck are they? I saw them on a menu in a Chinese restaurant last night, unfortunately, none of the staff on duty spoke good enough English to describe them. Any thoughts?

post #2 of 9
Never heard the term "short ribs" applied to pork ribs before but they are probably the short end of a rack of spare ribs that has been trimmed.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I not sure I understand what you're describing.

When I was in the bbq business, and, of course, to this day, certain ribs from a slab were called the "short end." These were the leaner ribs from the tapered, or smaller, end of the slab. That is not what these "short ribs" were. I could see them on the plate of another customer. These short ribs were about an inch and a half long, far to short to be the short end of a slab. Were you describing the rib short end, as I've tried to describe them?

post #4 of 9
The slab short end has bones about 2 inches long but also a great amount of cartilage/meat/fat above that. Maybe they are trimming that off and utilizing it in another dish. The there is the possibility they are special ordering them to be trimmed from pork chops. If I remember this correctly there is a bone that is trimmed off the rib rack that is similar to this. Other than that and from my understanding of cuts of pork, there's not much room left for "short ribs" beyond that. I'm almost positive they're not the Riblets or back vertebrae since that's about the only thing left in that area after the carcass is butchered. They may also be special ordering them to be cut directly from the whole slab as well.

I understand that you're doing your best to describe this dish but without a hard picture to look at it's dang near impossible to give you the answer that you're looking for from a blind description. Best thing to do is order the dish, take a pic and post it so we can help.
post #5 of 9
Having a chinese section in one of the large banquet facilities I worked in up North, I was fortunate enough to watch what they did. They took the cheapest 4 and down rack they could buy, and ran them on the band saw into long strips, then slightly steam them and when cool marinate them with Hoi Sen sauce, red color, sherry, garlic,sesame oil and ginger. They would then lay on the open grill till slightly charred. and finish in oven. And man were they good and not expensive at all. As a whole I must say they were the most economical chefs and cooks I ever worked with. Nothing and I mean Nothing wasted
post #6 of 9
That's what I figured they might be doing since I mentioned something to that fact in my post.
post #7 of 9
Admittedly guessing because I wasn't there, but I'm pretty sure they were rib tips. Chinese love to cook with rib tips. What were they, steamed in black bean sauce? Very common dim sum and starter for Cantonese, HK, Chiu Chao, and other southern couisine. The tips are removed from the slab in a single line, just like in a St. Louis or KC trim. Then they're split, steamed to tender, marinated, and chowed. Good chop stick dexterity test, because they're too big to be a single mouthful, and require nibbling, holding and spitting out the cartilage. Hao chi (delicious) though.

You couldn't do what the other guys are describing, which sounds like a kind of pork flanken, because you couldn't eat it without a knife and fork.

The Chinese typically split the little feather bones you see on the small-end flap and use them for stuff where you don't mind picking bones out, or for stuff where the bones are a feature like congee. The regular rib bones they use in ways very similar to ours. Slow roasted, served as individual spare ribs, and eaten with the fingers. You don't see a lot of band saw work at a Chinese meat market, especially not for serving pieces. If you can't cut it easily with a meat cleaver, it's not a purely traditional cut. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen or they won't split a rack of baby backs in half lengthwise -- because they will. That's another real good possibility.

On a rack of spares, the long ends are the six ribs (usually) closest to the chine (sternum) and the next six. The next few ribs all the way to the end of the slab, often very thin and tangled together, are the "feather bones." Pigs only have one set of ribs. The baby back slab and the spare rib slab are sawed (or chopped) longitudinally from the same set of bones. The spare rib ends, farthest from the back are covered by cartilaginous tips which are connected to one another by little bands of cartilage. They're fatty and meaty and the Chinese just love them. Me too. Actually, who doesn't love an order of tips for lunch?

Don't confuse "short ribs" with short ribs, if you know what I mean. I think it's more a translated description of length, than a reference to an American cut.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
They were rib tips. I checked into it today.

post #9 of 9
Yes! Xi xi!

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