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Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large wok and deep-fry the spare ribs until they are brown and crisp. Do this in several batches, draining each cooked batch well on kitchen paper.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a large pan and bring to the boil. Add the deep-fried spare ribs, cover and simmer for about 1 hr or until they are tender. Drain off the sauce and remove any remaining fat.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the spare ribs on a rack in a roasting tin and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until they are brown, basting with the braising sauce every 5 mins.
Using a cleaver or a sharp, heavy knife, chop the spare ribs into 6cm-long pieces. Turn them onto a warm serving platter and serve immediately.