Wuxi Marinated Spare Ribs

Wuxi Marinated Spare Ribs

Wuxi Marinated Spare Ribs (无锡酱排骨), commonly known as “Wuxi Meaty Ribs,” are a traditional dish from Wuxi, a city in Jiangsu province, China. This delightful culinary creation belongs to the Su cuisine category and represents the quintessential flavors of Wuxi dishes. Wuxi Marinated Spare Ribs are made from pork spare ribs, boasting a rich reddish-brown color, tender meat, a savory bone fragrance, and a deliciously thick and flavorful sauce with a balanced combination of saltiness and sweetness.

Legend has it that during the reign of Emperor Tongzhi in the Qing Dynasty (1871), a couple in Wuxi’s county town made a living by running a small meat stall. The husband, whose name was Lu Bugao and was known as Xingsheng, was from the Ou Tang area. Lu Bugao had a passionate love for exploring and experimenting with exquisite cuisine, and he spent his days happily immersed in culinary pursuits.

One day, as Lu Bugao was taking a nap, he suddenly caught a whiff of an unusual fragrance wafting through the air. Following the scent, he discovered a beggar cooking meat over an open flame. Upon seeing Lu Bugao approach, the beggar didn’t seem to mind and continued to throw various items from a tattered bag into the pot, all the while muttering to himself. To Lu Bugao’s astonishment, the items being added to the pot included common straw, as well as colorful roots and leaves of unknown origin. With each addition, the fragrance emanating from the pot became increasingly sweet and aromatic, unlike anything Lu Bugao had ever encountered. When he finally tasted the dish, he realized it was a culinary masterpiece.

As Lu Bugao was about to inquire further, the beggar suddenly vanished, leaving him in utter amazement. To his surprise, he soon realized that it had all been a dream. However, the vivid memory of the dream and the tantalizing dish lingered in his mind. Upon closer reflection, Lu Bugao began to understand the true essence of gourmet cuisine. After extensive inquiries and searches, he managed to identify the mysterious “roots and leaves” from his dream, which turned out to be medicinal herbs like Chinese yam and clove. These herbs not only enhanced the flavor but were also beneficial for health. He combined these herbs and added them to the simmering bone broth. The result was an aroma that filled the air, spreading throughout the city in no time, marking the origin of Wuxi Marinated Spare Ribs.

Wuxi Marinated Spare Ribs have since become a beloved dish, cherished for its unique flavor and the fascinating story behind its creation. The combination of succulent pork spare ribs and the aromatic blend of Chinese herbs results in a dish that is both delicious and a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Wuxi.

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