Every so often, Danny Bowien flies back to San Francisco from New York to touchup the menu at Mission Chinese Food. His most recent update includes a magical salt & pepper fried lamb ribs—a mashup of his favorite fried chicken joint in Oklahama City, Eischen's, with some elements and flavors found in Vietnamese cuisine. Check it out at Mission Chinese Food, or recreate it at home with the surprisingly easy recipe below.
Mission Chinese Food's Salt & Pepper Lamb Ribs
6 pounds lamb breast portioned into two-rib pieces
4 yellow onions, charred on a grill or in oven
2 knobs ginger, charred on a grill or in oven
8qt chicken stock
1T toasted red chili pepper
1T star anise
1T fennel seed
1T green sichuan peppercorn
canola, grapeseed, or other frying oil
Salt and Pepper Rub
3 cups corn starch
2T ground mushroom powder (found in Asian supermarkets or online)
1T ground white pepper
1T ground black pepper
1T Kosher salt
1. Season lamb ribs liberally with salt and black pepper to cover. Optional: allow to cure overnight.
2. Sear lamb ribs in a large dutch oven, making sure each side is nice and browned.
3. Remove lamb ribs, then add chicken stock, charred onions and ginger, toasted dried chili pepper, garlic, star anise, fennel seed, and green Sichuan peppercorns and bring to a simmer.
4. Add lamb ribs, and braise in an oven at 300F until tender, Approximately 2.5 hours. Allow ribs to cool in liquid.
1. Thoroughly mix together cornstarch with Salt & Pepper rub ingredients, then toss in lamb ribs
2. Fry in canola or grapeseed oil heated to 325F until crispy outside and warmed through, about 10 minutes.
3. Season liberally with lots of Salt and Pepper.
*In the restaurant, the ribs are served with BBQ fixings and Vietnamese herbs: white bread, sliced onions, bread and butter pickles, rice paddy herb, cilantro, mint, rau ram and a cup of crema/creme fraiche. We highly recommend you do the same.