Sweet and Sour Rib – 糖醋排骨

Sweet and Sour Rib is a very tasty and popular Chinese dish, served in many different types of restaurants. The interesting thing about this simple dish is that if you try it in 10 different restaurants, you likely taste 10 different flavors 😅, although hopefully each one is still great.

With that said, this recipe is my style of Sweet and Sour Rib.

❓Before I start, one question to think is what can “color” the meat to that deep red-brownish color? The most common way is soy sauce. But in this recipe, it’s actually sugar and vinegar.

🧾Now the steps:

  • 💦Cleaning: put ribs in water with a bit of salt for 10 minutes to remove blood; meanwhile boil water in a pot and parboil (焯水) the ribs to further remove blood, add a bit cooking wine.
  • 🍳Stir fry the ribs: oil should be on high temperature to get this done quickly, I will also add some ginger while frying.
    • If you have star anise (八角) and peppercorn (花椒) and would like to add a subtle flavor, you can also add some while frying, but remember to take them out before the oil gets too hot, otherwise it gets bitter and too strong.
  • 🖍️Sweet and sour sauce and color: 1 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp sugar, stir fry constantly until the sugar is melted and start to turn brown. Add the ribs, and stir well, then add 2 tbsp vinegar (镇江香醋). The sugar and vinegar will cook to a red-brownish color, and the ribs will be colored.
  • 🍲Stew: add 2 tbsp cooking wine, cook for 1 minute, then add water to almost cover the meat. Let it stew on medium heat for about half an hour. Stir and flip the ribs in the middle.
  • 🧂Seasoning: add 1 tsb soy sauce, about half tsb salt, 2 tbsp sugar. Adjust based on the ribs portion and your preference. Here the amount is for a half rib rack. Stew for ~10 more minutes.
  • 🏁Finish: add 1 tbsp vinegar, test and add sugar or salt if needed. On medium-high heat, let it cook till the broth becomes thick.
  • 🍽️Plating: put ribs on the plate, garnish your way, add a little bit roasted sesame seeds.
  • Enjoy 🍻

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