Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs are savory, succulent, and covered in finger-licking good sauce!
Well, Christmas is coming up in THREE days – can you believe that!? The streets and shops are decorated gorgeously for the holiday. Enormous wreaths, ropes of twinkling lights, shiny ornaments, but I still have not yet visited the Rockefeller tree this year. Christmas doesn’t feel right without a trip to see the tree!
In other news, I spent the better part of my weekend being a
couch potato sofa hog. I always claim the best seat of the sofa (aka the longest part of the sectional), set up shop with TV remotes, snacks, drinks, blanket, laptop, charger and all, and then proceed to parking myself there permanently. I am so efficient my sister hates me for it :)
I did contribute to the potluck holiday party efforts by helping my Mom make her two signature dishes. Before I decided whether I was going to make some No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Cups or a batch of Chewy Nutella Cookies for the party, my Mom suggested we bring her Sweet and Sour Glazed Spare Ribs and Shrimp and Cherry Tomato Skillet Pasta. That’s okay with me!
My Mom assigned me the task of chopping all the vegetables.
Lots of shallots and garlic as well. I changed into my contact lens quickly as soon as I saw how much shallots I had to chop. I can chop as many onions as I like with my contact lenses in, but without them my eyes will burn like crazy!
Juicy grape tomatoes are simmered into a pan sauce with shallots, garlic, white wine, and shrimp, and then tossed with hot, al dente pasta. Each bite was totally fresh, light, and flavorful, and I always find myself going back again and again for more forkfuls! This recipe deserves a post of its own, so I will share another time once I get the recipe from my Mom.
Anyway, the Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs is my Mom’s recipe that has been perfected over time. The inspiration comes from a dish called Number Ribs, which is so named because the ingredients are in a proportion of 1 part Chinese cooking wine, 2 parts vinegar, 3 parts sugar, 4 parts soy sauce, and 5 parts water. Easy to remember, right?
As long as you follow the proportion, the taste should turn out right. My Mom who can’t leave well alone decided to tweak it a bit by adding oyster sauce and ginger slices to take it up a notch. The result is a batch of flavorful, succulent ribs with a sticky, finger lickin’ good sauce! The sweetness and the acidity of the sauce make for a delicious combo.
We like the rib meat to be tender but still on the bone, but if you like it fall-off-the-bone tender, then by all means cook them for a bit longer. You can add more water if the sauce thickens up too much before the ribs are done.
This dish is actually easy enough to make for a weeknight meal served over rice with some veggies on the side. We enjoyed it with some roasted broccoli, asparagus, and potatoes to balance out the hearty dishes. My cousin had an amazing feast prepared, with fruit salad, wings, seafood rolls, sushi, and desserts, too!
We then proceeded to exchanging gifts and playing with the selfie stick. Have you seen the selfie sticks before? I always joke about how hilarious they look, but they definitely do the trick!
I spent the rest of my weekend recovering from the food coma – my normal modus operandi around the holidays :)
Tonight’s agenda is wide open so I am going to start wrapping presents and packing my bag. Travelling this week is going to be pure madness – this is the much welcomed calm before the storm, literally. Have a great night!
- 2 lbs pork spare ribs, fat trimmed and cut into single ribs
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
- ¾ cup water
- 3 tbsps sugar
- 2 tbsps soy sauce
- 2 tbsps Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
- 1 tbsps dark Chinese vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- Toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onion, for garnish (optional)
- Fill a large pot halfway full with water and bring to a boil. Add pork ribs and cook for 3 minutes. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, turning the ribs occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the ribs are tender. Add more water if necessary to maintain liquid level.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion. Serve hot.