Deep Fried Ribs

On our way home from Oakland, we stopped for dinner in Milpitas, at South Legend Sichuan Restaurant on North Milpitas Blvd. Everyone in the restaurant was of Chinese descent, always a good sign when you desire good Chinese food.

When I asked the waiter for pot stickers, he said, “We don’t have that kind of tourist food” – another good sign.

One thing they did have were pork ribs that had been cut into single ribs and then fried in a wok. Usually I cook ribs in our smoker, but how can you pass up deep frying something? So I bought a rack of baby back ribs, removed the membrane, dusted them with some corn starch, five spice, salt and sichuan peppercorns and tossed them into a wok full of hot oil.

Lodge Dutch Oven

I use a Lodge 7 quart Dutch Oven for my lazy-q smoker. I throw a couple of hunks of Lazzarri Mesquite lump in it and put it over a deep fryer burner with a low flame in the firebox of my smoker.

It’s probably overkill, but I thought it would be better at holding in the heat. I don’t really take care of it – after I use it in the smoker, I just put it on a concrete section of the patio to let it cool off. Then I store it under the smoker on the shelf. The heat from the burner is so intense that the bottom is actually convex – it won’t sit flat on a flat surface anymore.

I haven’t used it for a few months and the surprising thing was that I noticed it had actually developed a crack. It sits outside in whatever the humidity is here – I’ve never had to add water to the humidifier in my humidor – so I haven’t taken care of it. You can see the large flakes of metal that are coming off both the inside and the outside.

Fortunately, my well cared for 5 quart Wagner Dutch Oven that I use for deep frying (it very well seasoned) doesn’t suffer from this problem.