Sweet and Sour Ribs with Pineapple Sauce
Sweet and sour is a classic pairing in Vietnam and more widely in Asia. Use a good, heat-retaining pan so you can get your ribs succulent and sticky. The lemon and apple juice add a mild acidity, which helps the meat come off the bones.
- 1kg pork loin ribs
- 250ml water
- 1 tsp salt
- 20g piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 6 tomatoes
- 2 tsp chopped shallot
- 1/2 pineapple, sliced
- For the marinade:
- 1 tbsp gia vi (or a mix of 2 parts sugar, 1 part sea salt, 1 part ground black pepper, 1 part garlic powder)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp chopped shallot
- 100ml fresh apple juice
- 1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- To garnish:
- 2 tbsp chopped spring onions
- 2 tsbp chopped fresh corriander
To prepare the ribs, bring the water to boil in a large pan with the salt and sliced ginger, then add the ribs and boil vigorously for around 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes, then remove the ribs to a large dish.
Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel.
Mix the marinade ingredients, pour over the ribs, cover and leave for about 20 minutes.
Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan, then add the finely chopped garlic and toss until the oil is golden and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Carefully strain the garlic oil through a fine mesh sieve so you have just the oil without any pieces of garlic.
Pour the strained oil back into the frying pan, add the ribs and fry until the ribs are golden, crispy and fragrant from the oil. Remove and set to one side.
Chop the tomatoes in half and then cut each half into thirds.
In a pan, add the remaining 1 tbsp oil and the chopped shallot, and toss until the oil is fragrant. Then add the chopped tomatoes and sauté for 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes have softened. Taste the seasoning and adjust the fish sauce or sugar if necessary.
Add the fired ribs, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 30 minutes or longer if you prefer the ribs softer. Ten minutes before serving, add the pineapple slices.
Garnish with the chopped spring onion and coriander and serve with rice or noodles.
Note: If you have a pressure cooker, this is the quickest and easiest way tot cook the ribs. Once you have made the sauce, put the ribs into the pressure cooker, cover with sauce and cook for 30 minutes.