There is something about these "street foods" which attract professional Chef's. Every Chef I know, once they come back from an Asian country, can't stop talking about whatever street food they gnashed their teeth around. I think it's a safe bet to say that most Chef's are seduced by "street food."
This particular type of "street food" I had in Cambodia. When I walked by the family who was cooking over a simple garbage can, I looked down and saw some beef sitting in a dark liquid. Since my health insurance was paid up, I decided to try their fare. What ended up in my mouth was a tender boneless rib with a taste that was sublime. Since there was a language barrier, I was never able to get the recipe used but a few years later when mentioning this to a Cambodian Chef I met, he told me what he thought was probably in the mariande.
So, this is that recipe. It is not exactly like the meat I ate on that street of Cambodia but it is pretty damn close. I have adapted the preparation of the dish because, well, I just can't bring myself to cook over a garbage can!
Ingredients needed to make Cambodian Street Ribs (serves 2):
- 4 strips flank ribs (with or without bones)
- 1/4 cup very strong black tea
- 1 Tbs. oyster sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. Chinese 5-spice powder
- Lay the ribs in a shallow dish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients.
- Pour the marinade over the ribs and toss to coat. Let marinate at room temperature 30 minutes.
- In a medium saute pan or skillet, heat a little oil over medium high heat.
- Carefully place the strips of ribs in the pan and cook about 7 minutes per side (or to desired doneness).
- Remove from the pan and serve!
Chef's Note: If you are a griller, these can be grilled perfectly which, as it happens, is how they serve them in Cambodia!
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