Cut the spare ribs into 2 equal pieces. Remove any visible fat pockets. Lightly score the spareribs in the meat side and place them in a large, shallow bowl. Sprinkle sugar on both sides of ribs, using more on the meaty side. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes. Pour off any excess liquid. In a small bowl combine the thin and black soy sauces, hoisin sauce, bean sauce, rice wine, oyster sauce, sesame oil and pepper and stir to combine. Pour over the spareribs, making sure that the spareribs are well-coated. Loosely cover the ribs with plastic wrap and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Just before roasting, use your hands to spread honey on the spareribs, especially on the meaty side. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place a rack in a roasting pan and add enough water so that the water reaches a depth of 1/2- inch in the pan. Place the marinated spareribs meat-side up on the rack, leaving about 1-inch of space between the 2 pieces. Carefully place the pan in the oven and roast 30 minutes. Monitor the water level in the broiler pan to make sure it never falls below 1/4-inch. Carefully remove the roasting pan of ribs from the oven. Preheat the broiler. Place the roasting pan of ribs 4 inches from the heat and broil 5 to 10 minutes or until the spareribs have a sugar crust similar to the crust on a baked ham. Carefully remove the spareribs from the oven and set on a platter to cool 15 minutes. Cut the spareribs into individual ribs and serve immediately or at room temperature. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
Recipe courtesy of Grace Young