Sweet and sour ribs: Cantonese recipe to emulate the Chinese restaurant at home
Sweet and sour ribs are very popular in the Canton region, the province on the southern coast of China, where most of the dishes popularized in Western Chinese restaurants come from.
Indeed, we are facing the direct antecedent of the ubiquitous "sweet and sour pork", which was originally prepared with rib. The Chinese are very fond of gnawing bone, and we should too, since the dish is much tastier than if prepared with lean.
We have adapted the recipe from the one that appears in the book China gastronomía, the latest publication in Spanish of the prestigious collection of the Phaidon publishing house that covers the different cuisines of the world.
Esp China gastronomy (FOOD-COOK)Today on Amazon for € 42.75 PVP in Fnac € 42.75 PVP in El Corte Inglés € 42.75
The bittersweet sauce to which we are accustomed, radioactive red in color, owes its appearance to traditional Chinese red vinegar, which is made from fermented rice to which food coloring is added. In order to simplify the recipe without resorting to Chinese foods that are not always easy to find (although they are sold in Asian food stores) we have replaced this red vinegar with sherry vinegar: it loses color, but the taste is great. The recipe also features rice wine, an ultra-popular condiment in Chinese cuisine, whose best substitute if not readily available is natural cider. With both replacements it looks great, and is much easier to do than it sounds.
IngredientsFor 4 people
- Pork ribs 600 g
- Garlic cloves 4
- Teaspoon salt 1
- Teaspoon brown sugar 1
- Rice wine (or natural cider) teaspoon 1
- Half a teaspoon soy sauce
- Eggs 2
- Tablespoon cornmeal 8
- Sunflower oil 250 ml
- Onion 1
- Green pepper 1
- Red pepper 1
- Pineapple in its juice 450 g
- Brown sugar (for the sauce) tablespoons 8
- Chinese red vinegar (or sherry vinegar) for the tablespoons sauce 8
How to make sweet and sour ribsDifficulty: medium
- Total time 45 m
- Elaboration 30 m
- Cooking 15 m
You should ask the butcher to cut your ribs into small pieces, which can be eaten in one bite. If the purchases are already cut, they may be a bit large. Soak them in a bowl with fried water for 10 minutes. Wring them out.
Spread the ribs with the minced garlic, the salt, the tablespoon of brown sugar, the rice wine (or the cider) and the soy sauce. Let them marinate for 15 minutes.Meanwhile, prepare the sauce, mixing the rest of the brown sugar and the red (or sherry) vinegar in a bowl.
When the ribs are ready mix them with the beaten eggs and the corn flour (it can also be rice flour, chickpea or hotra flour without gluten). They must be completely covered by the batter.
Heat the oil in a wok or deep casserole at 180º C. Fry the ribs in batches, for three or four minutes, until they are well browned and crisp. Reserve them on kitchen paper.
Once all the ribs are fried, remove almost all the oil from the wok or casserole, leaving only a tablespoon. Lower the heat a bit (we want it medium-high), and add the onion. Sauté stirring constantly for a minute or two, until tender. Add the peppers and the sweet and sour sauce, and cook for two to three minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Then add the ribs and stir everything until they are well dipped in sauce. Add the drained pineapple and cut into pieces until heated.
Serve the ribs immediately, accompanied by rice.