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lazy question about asian markets/cooking

I see a lot of recipes, like some Pad Thais, that call for little pieces of chinese spare rib (the neon red appetizer kind you order off the take out menu.)

Anyway, is there a packaged prepared version of this? I shop at lots of little and big asian markets, but haven't seen it (haven't really looked hard or asked though.) It doesn't make sense that so many recipes would expect you to cook it fresh separately.

Is it available packaged? What's it packaged like?

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  1. It's the sort of thing my supermarket butchery always has - either just the pieces of rib or, perhaps more often, already coated in a Chinese style sauce.

    1. The only thing I can really tell you is to either go to one of those chicken/pork stores, where they hang out the foods on the window sill, and get yourself about half a pound of those, or you can also get it from your local Chinese restaurant, although I bet it's not as good in quality.

      I couldn't even begin to tell you how to cook. I am a chow hound, and not a cook hound, unfortunately.

      1 Reply
      1. re: FanOfJoeBiden

        My wife makes these at home. Get country style pork ribs in the supermarket. In Asian markets look for packs of Chinese roast pork marinade in the spice shelf. Follow the spice instructions and marinade the pork for a few hours and then pop them in the oven to cook. Pretty simple and good.

        The easiest way is to buy them already cooked in the restaurant or market. Any Chinese market will have them in the cooked food counter and sell by the pound. They are usually pretty good. Restaurants are the best IMHO. XO Taste, Mark's Duck House and Miu Kee in Falls Church are good bets. Any Cantonese restaurant will have these (alongside the roast duck, chicken, and roast pork) by the front window.

      2. It's not spare rib, it is chinese roast pork - aka char siu. If you google char siu, you'll get hits for lots of recipe links. Of course, as others have mentioned you can always buy it from asian markets if you're lucky enough to have them in your community.

        1 Reply
        1. re: janniecooks

          For char siu, I'd have to go to a specialist Chinese supermarket. Readily available there (usually in amongst the frozen dim sum) - but not in ordinary supermarkets.

        2. Trader Joe's used to carry a pre-cooked "Chinese Pork" that was a pretty good lazy chef substitute for char siu; I haven't seen it in the last few months at the one in Alexandria, but I've heard from folks in other cities that they still have it, so if enough of us keep asking for it, perhaps they'll start carrying it locally again.

          1. i usually buy a roast pork appetizer at a chinese restaurant if i need this