This meal is a really easy way to incorporate some Asian flavors and cooking techniques into a week night menu. Simply put the ribs and ingredients in a slow cooker and let it run while you’re at work all day, take a few minutes to cut up and stir fry some vegetables, and you have an amazingly flavorful, filling, and vegetable packed meal on your hands. I really loved the way the sweetness of the peach preserves played against the super spicy pepper I included, but if you want less heat, feel free to substitute a less spicy pepper or just a dash of crushed red pepper flakes. You could also substitute some ketchup for the tomato – I didn’t have any on hand and figured an extra dose of fresh vegetables couldn’t hurt.
The stir fried noodles had a lovely tang to them thanks to the rice wine vinegar and lemon juice that worked really well with the sweetness of the ribs and were complemented perfectly with an undertone of umami from the sesame oil. I left the vegetables with quite a bit of crunch to them, but if you like your peppers and green beans a little softer, just stir fry them for longer.
No matter what route you take, this is going to be a flavor-packed dish that is absolutely addictive. The pork ribs are tender and falling off the bone with a sticky-sweet and hot sauce that is finger-licking good and the chow mein has a great variation in texture and flavor thanks to the sweet peppers, crispy green beans, and tangy noodles.
Chinese Style Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs with Soba Chow Mein Pepper and Green Bean Stir Fry
Chinese Style Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs:
1.5 lb. bone-in Chinese-style pork ribs
3 tbs. corn starch
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup orange and cinnamon peach preserves (or peach jam or preserves)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh tomato, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small very hot pepper, minced (such as a habanero, bird’s eye, or Thai pepper)
Lightly dredge the pork ribs in the corn starch. Don’t worry if you don’t coat them entirely.
Place ribs in the slow cooker. Add all other ingredients and cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until very tender, stirring very occasionally to make sure ribs evenly cook.
Remove cover from slow cooker and raise heat to high. Cook another 1-2 hours until sauce is reduced.
Serve on top of soba chow mein pepper and green bean stir fry (see below).
Soba Chow Mein Pepper and Green Bean Stir Fry:
1 package soba chow mein noodles, cooked according to package instructions, drained, and rinsed
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into long, 1/2″ thick strip
1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into long, 1/2″ thick strips
2 cups green beans, ends trimmed
1 tbs. sesame oil
1 tbs. rice wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
Heat sesame oil over high heat in a large wok. Add peppers and green beans and cook, shaking frequently, for 4-5 minutes until slightly tender, or to desired doneness.
Add noodles, rice wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Toss thoroughly to combine and cook until noodles are heated through.