2-3 lbs St Louis Ribs
Scant 3/4 Cup Ketchup
1/3 Cup Sugar
Two (about 1-inch) Cubes Red Fermented Bean Curd, drained and mashed (optional)
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine or Dry Sherry
2 Tablespoons Brown Bean Sauce
2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Five Spice Powder
Preheat Oven to 450 Degrees
1. Lightly score the meaty part of the ribs in a 1-inch diamond pattern. Turn the rack over and nick the membrane at the edge of the rack. Hold the membrane with a kitchen towel and pull it off the bones (the Kings Butcher would be happy to do this). Place the ribs in a dish or pan large enough to hold them in a flat layer and set aside.
2. Whisk the ketchup, sugar, the red bean curd, if using, the rice wine, bean sauce, 1 tablespoon of the honey, egg, garlic, baking soda, salt, and five spice powder in a medium bowl until smooth—the baking soda, which is used as a tenderizer, will make the sauce foam. Pour the sauce into a large shallow dish, and add the ribs. Using a rubber spatula, rub the sauce into the ribs. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, turning the ribs after 30 minutes.
3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Place a broiler rack inside a broiler pan or large roasting pan. Oil the rack and fill the pan with 1/2 inch of water. Arrange the ribs on the rack, meaty side up, reserving the sauce left in the dish. Roast until the top begins to darken to medium red-brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the ribs over and spread with 1/2 cup of the reserved sauce; discard the remaining sauce. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue cooking until the bony side of the ribs begins to darken to medium red-brown, about 20 minutes. Increase the heat to 500 degrees. Turn the ribs again so that the meaty side is up. Roast until the sauce is darkened but not burned and the meat is tender when pierced with a meat fork, about 20 minutes. (The ribs can be cooked 1 day in advance, cooled, wrapped in aluminum foil, and refrigerated. Reheat the unwrapped ribs in a preheated 400 degree oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.)
4. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board, and brush both sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon honey. Slice the ribs into individual pieces, and serve.