Sweet and Sour Pork Chop/Ribs or Sườn Xào Chua Ngọt is an adapted version from the popular dish originated in China and made its way into Vietnam via the Chinese influence in Vietnam. To make this dish, you can use baby back ribs or country style ribs, ask the butcher to cut them into strips about 1 1/2 inches wide. When you prepare this dish, cut it into 1 1/2 inch cubes to increase the meat flavor when you marinate or sauteed. If you marinate ahead of time, about 3 hours, then you can just coat it with flour and deep fry the ribs and toss it with the sweet and sour sauce. If time is short, then sauteed the ribs first before frying to intensify the flavors.

1 lb baby back ribs or country style ribs, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp cooking oil

In a pot, bring a pot of water to a boil (estimate enough water to cover the ribs). Add 1 tsp of salt and ribs to the pot and cook for 10-15 minutes. This will remove the impurity/foam from the ribs and lightly cook the ribs.

In a wok, heat up 2 tbsp of oil and add garlic. Stir fry until garlic is fragrant, add ribs in. Quick stir fry ribs in garlic oil to absorb the flavor, then add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1 tsp sugar. Cook over high heat until the sauce is gone, stir occationally. While the sauce is reduced, move on to prepare the sweet and sour sauce.

Sweet and sour sauce:
2 tbsp oil
1/3 yellow onion, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, cubed
1/2 green bell pepper, cubed
1 6 oz can of pineapple, cubed
1 tbsp ginger, slivered
1 tsp ketchup
3 tbsp plum sauce
3 tbsp chicken broth
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water to thicken the sauce

Heat up 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a wok, then stir in yellow onion, garlic. Until the oil becomes fragrant, add remaining ingredients in and simmer the sauce until it is thickened. Set it aside.

Deep Fry Ribs:
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp tapioca starch
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1/2 cup water

Mix the batter, make sure the batter is thick enough to coat the ribs. Adjust the batter accordingly. Add the ribs into the batter to coat them and deep fry until ribs become golden brown and crispy.

Heat up the sweet and sour sauce, and toss in the ribs for about 30 seconds. (Don’t simmer too long, you want to keep the ribs cripsy.) Turn off the stove and laddle over a bed of watercress, tomato and cucumber slices. Garnish with some pepper on the top. Serve hot right away.

Serve over steamed rice.

Serves 3


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