The tamarind glaze:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, tamarind paste, brown sugar, lime juice, chile powder, rice powder, and cilantro stems until the sugar is dissolved. Squeeze in the pulp of the tomatoes (discard the skins) and stir together.
Make the ribs:
- Place the ribs in a large bowl and add the soy sauce, garlic powder, and white pepper. Toss to coat. Let stand, make at room temperature until you’re ready to deep-fry.
- Fill a wok, large heavy pot, or deep skillet with at least 2 inches of oil, making sure to leave a few inches of clearance from the rim. Heat the oil over medium heat to 370°F (use a deep-fry thermometer or test the oil by throwing in a little piece of bread or a grain of rice; if it sizzles immediately but doesn’t burn, the oil is ready).
- Set a rack in a sheet pan or line a plate with paper towels and have near the stove. When the oil is hot, fry the ribs in batches of 4 or 5 until they’re just cooked and well browned on all sides, using a frying spider or slotted spoon to turn them occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the oil at 370°F as you’re frying. Transfer the ribs to the wire rack or paper towels to drain and cool (slightly not too much, though). Place the warm ribs in a large bowl, spoon on as much of the tamarind glaze as you’d like, and toss to coat. Transfer to a plate, garnish with cilantro leaves, and serve immediately.
Reprinted from The Pepper Thai Cookbook. Copyright © 2021 by Vilailuck Teigen with Garrett Snyder. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Jenny Huang. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.