Sweet and sour pork ribs is one of my all-time favorite dishes, and also one that I struggled with most. The ribs here are much less tender than those in my country, I’ve tried to make sweet and sour pork ribs so many times, but if I do it like in Vietnam, the ribs would end up very hard and chewy, but if I boil them before frying they would be very bland.
After reading into a bunch of recipes and tips, I’ve finally found a way which is to marinate and boil the ribs with very little water, so the water is flavored, and then braise them in sweet and sour sauce made from the leftover water from boiling. With this method, the ribs are cooked and ‘marinated’ twice so it’s very tender yet not too dry or chewy. If you have a wok pan then you will only need to use that for this recipe, much less cleaning to do
Công thứctiếng Việt: Sườn sốt chua ngọt
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2 people
- 400g pork ribs
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic
- A pinch +1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 3 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 3 teaspoon lemon juice
- 5 tablespoon pineapple juice
1. Rinse the pork ribs and chop into pieces. Bring water to a boil in the saucepan, the amount of water should be enough to cover the ribs. When the water is boiled, drop the ribs in and boil for 1 minute. Discard this water and rinse the ribs again.
Before when I bought my ribs from butcher shops from the Asian market they are usually not cleaned well, so I had this step to clean the ribs off the small bits of meat and bones. However after I’ve tried ribs from the supermarket, they are processed so well that when boiled, the water stays clean, so now I just skip this step and just marinate the pork ribs. You can choose what to do according to the ribs you have.
2. While waiting for the water to boil, peel and mince the garlic cloves. Marinate the ribs with soy sauce, salt and half of the minced garlic in 30 minutes.
3. Heat up 2 tablespoon of oil on medium high heat, pour in the rest of the minced garlic and fry until it’s fragrant, then take off the garlic so it doesn’t burn when we fry the ribs, reserve this garlic. Quickly fry the ribs just until they’re golden brown on the outside, reserve the marinating liquid.
4. Discard the oil, pour in the marinating liquid and add water so that it almost covers the ribs and bring to a boil. When it’s boiled, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 25-30 minutes until the water is reduced to about 1/2-1/3 of the initial amount. Take the ribs out and keep the broth. Season the broth with water, salt, sugar, lemon juice and pineapple juice to make the sweet and sour sauce.
When my mom makes sweet and sour pork ribs, she would slice up some pineapple and put it in the sauce. The pine apple here are not very great for cooking, and I don’t really eat it in savoury dishes anyway, so I replaced it with pineapple juice, and the protease in pineapple also helps tenderize the ribs. If you don’t have pineapple juice you can also substitute it with tamarind paste, or season with more lemon juice and sugar until it’s to your liking. The above measurement is according to my taste, so you can freely adjust..
5. Pour in the sauce and the fried garlic, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, put in the ribs and let simmer, stir once in a while so the ribs evenly absorb the sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens and evenly coat the ribs and you’re done. Serve hot with rice or glutinous rice (my favorite is with glutinous rice ).
The finished ribs are very tender, the meat easily falls off the bone but still keeps its firm texture and natural sweetness and doesn’t dry out. The marinate and the sauce are absorbed wholly by the meat, not just coating the outside. The sauce is balanced and evenly coats the ribs. Personally I’m very pleased with how it turns out, and until now this is still my go-to recipe and even Matthias is in love with it. If you guys have any tips or a delicious recipe for sweet and sour sauce, please share with us.
Bon appétit ^^