Are you thinking about something sweet but not just sweet? Sweet and sour ribs may do the trick for you! Last Saturday, my husband and I went to a Chinese grocery store and had a “Four dishes and one soup” meal, which only cost $5.25. It is a very common type of to-go meal in China. Restaurants cook Chinese food in advance, so you don’t have to order and wait, just pick any combination you like. There are many simple Chinese cooking restaurants in Chinatown. The price usually ranges from $4.75-$5.75. It’s pretty much like the style in Panda Express (however, Panda Express’s meals have already been Americanized). Compared to fast food restaurants or to-go restaurants which offer a la carte menu, this is a pretty decent deal–you can have many varieties of vegetables and meat. In some places, you will luckily find real authentic flavor too.
So last Saturday, I ordered Moo goo gai pan, beef carrots stew, egg tomato stir fry, and my favorite sweet and sour spareribs. The rib doesn’t taste greasy at all; instead, it is quite rich and exquisite in texture. Then after a satisfying meal, we headed to the grocery section for some shopping, as we have a friends gathering on Sunday. The winter is just around the corner. We decided to cook hot pot using lamb soup base. Although buying pre-packed soup base is probably easier, I wanted to try something with higher quality and nutrition. It turned out to be really good. My American friends complimented that I did a better job than the chefs in restaurants and it’s the best Chinese food they’ve ever had , because I put love inside the pot! They also love the fact that hot pot is a kind of healthy Asian food. That means a lot to me!! I hope I can share some tips on hot pot in future posts.
But I think next time when they come again, I will cook sweet and sour spareribs. This is really an authentic Chinese dish. It takes about 45 minutes in the entire process, and the main cooking technique is braising. Now let’s start!
1. Boil the ribs with hot water for about 30 minutes. Keep the broth soup separately for later use.
2. Marinate the ribs with 1 tablespoon of cooking wine, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, ½ tablespoon of dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoon of vinegar (not white one) for 20 minutes.
3. Fry the ribs until it turns golden brown. Don’t put too much oil as long as you stir it frequently. Take the fried ribs out.
4. Pour the ribs into the pan again, add the marinated sauce used in Step 2, 3 tablespoon of sugar, broth soup used in Step 1, and ½ teaspoon of salt.
5. Use low gas to cook the ribs for ten minutes and then change to high gas to thicken the sauce.
1. How to make the ribs crispy outside but tender inside?Boil it for 30 minutes and then fry with high gas until it turns golden brown. If you just fry without boiling it, the texture will not be soft.
2. Why do you need to marinate the ribs first?To let the ribs absorb more flavor and get rid of the fishy smell.