Friday, October 7, 2011

Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs 糖醋排骨

Continuing on with the nostalgic recipes from my mother's archives, this one is one of my favorites. If you can imagine candy in meat form, this would be it. With combinations of sweet, salty, and a tinge of sour, this dish has been one of the most often requested dishes throughout my college, grad, and post-grad years.

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is that it is SO easy to remember the proportions. My mother used to recite this recipe in Chinese in a sing-song voice and it has been imprinted in my mind forever. I hope one day my kids will have the recipe stuck in their heads forever too so they can enjoy this delicious treat.

Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs 糖醋排骨

1.5-2 lbs of pork ribs or baby back ribs (cut lengthwise into approx. 1 inch strips by your butcher)
1 tbsp cooking wine
2 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sugar
10 tbsp + water

* Notice how the proportions are consecutive (1, 2, 3, 4), which means if you make more or less meat just use a larger or smaller spoon to measure out the ingredients.

1. Cut the long strips of ribs into bite sized pieces by cutting between each of the rib bones.

2. Boil a stockpot of water and blanch the pork ribs to clean and remove impurities just until the pork has turned gray. Strain and set aside.

3. In the stockpot, combine cooking wine, vinegar, sugar, and water. Turn pork ribs into the stockpot and turn on high heat.

4. This is the part that requires continued attention: As the soy sauce mixture cooks with the ribs, you must keep an eye on this because the sugar will caramelize quickly. You'll want to continue to stir and coat the ribs with the sauce that will be bubbling quickly.

5.  Once you are sure the pork is cooked, you can remove a piece and test the texture. If the meat is a little too tough, add more water as the longer the pork cooks in the mixture it will become more tender. If you are needing more salt, sugar, or vinegar flavor feel free to add more at this step.

6. When you are happy with the texture of the pork, allow the sauce to thicken to your desired consistency. It should resemble a sweet, burgundy glaze over the ribs.

7. Serve with hot white rice and enjoy!

Be ready to see these ribs disappear quickly from the plate. Might as well overestimate the number of servings just in case.

Hoping to dive into some more recipes this weekend (fingers crossed). Have a great one! 

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