Grandma's Sweet N Sour Ribs

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    Sweet n sour pork ribs - a classic Lunar New Year dish my grandma makes! She actually learned how to cook this when she first came to the US and started working in a Chinese restaurant...

    For my family, Lunar New Year is a time for us to reflect on the past and dream about the future. Food reminds us of the past, but lately my little twists on old classics have reminded my family to embrace new traditions. Check out the full video here:


    • 1.5 lbs pork spare ribs 

    • 30 g rock sugar (about 2 big pieces)

    • 2 dried Chinese plums (optional but highly recommended)

    • 1 tbsp soy sauce 

    • 2 tbsps Chinkiang vinegar + 1 tsp 

    • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine

    • ¾ cup boiling water 

    • 6 slices of ginger 

    • Scallions and sesame seeds for garnish 


    • Cut the ribs on either side of the bone so as to have bite size pieces. 

    • Make the sauce my combining the plums, soy sauce, vinegar, wine, and boiling water. Set to the side. 

    • Add cut pork ribs to a pot with cold water and 3 slices of ginger. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 mins. You’ll see a bunch of scum rise to the top. 

    • Drain the pork then wash so the scum is removed. 

    • Crush the rock sugar into very small pieces then add to a wok with 1 tbsp canola oil. 

    • Melt the sugar on medium high heat until it’s dissolved into a caramel, then carefully add in the boiled pork ribs. 

    • Add in the remaining ginger slices and toss the ribs until it’s coated in the sugar syrup. 

    • Pour in the sauce mixture you made at the very beginning and bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat to medium-low. 

    • Cook the ribs for 20-25 mins or until the meat is fall off the bone tender and the sauce has been reduced until it’s clinging to the meat. 

    • Take the ribs off the heat, add 1 tsp of Chinkiang vinegar, then plate with sesame seeds and scallions. Enjoy!