Wednesday, 27 August 2014

My Auntie's Sweet and Sour Sticky Ribs


My Auntie is a very good cook. And an adventurous one too. She will tune in to all those Taiwanese cooking shows and replicate the dishes in her kitchen.

She had loads of cookbooks too. All very well used as she actually tries the dishes, though not all. And some of her recipes are picked up from here, there and everywhere from friends and even from interrogating the restaurant staff.

And from stalking the CKT (Char Kway Teow) man. She will watch him with her eagle eyes and observe how he adds his ingredients and how he adjusts the flame on his stove. And lo and behold my Auntie can whip up CKT in her kitchen. 



I have a small collection of her recipes, dictated by hand which I have neatly filed away in a clear holder. In fact I have 5 of these clear holders, where I neatly kept recipes from newspaper and magazine cuttings. But of course in my case, they stayed there undisturbed hah..hah...

When I first tasted my Auntie's ribs dish, I was very impressed. It was delicious, as is all of my Aunties dishes. My Auntie is very generous in sharing her recipes and hence, I did attempt this dish once or twice but it did not taste as good as my Auntie's. Why? Because I misplaced the recipe and used ingredients which I thought was right (aka simply hentam).



Well, I found the recipe and I quickly filed it into a folder together with all the other recipes that my Auntie gave me. And not surprisingly I had to flip through all 5 folders before I found the recipe again. I am seriously in need of a better filing system. 

Thankfully, this attempt was successful but even then I had to do it twice. The first time, I missed out garlic. As far as I am concerned, no garlic, no taste.



If you think that these ribs are difficult to prepare, I can assure you that they are not. There is no deep frying involved. What you need to do is throw a bunch of sauces and some minced garlic into a pot, stir, stir and throw in the ribs. 

Stir some more to coat the ribs with the marinade. Then add some water and put the pot on the stove, bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer till meat is just tender.



After that you pour the whole lot (or you can call it  a mess) onto a lined baking tray and grill at 200C for about 20 minutes until the sauce is thickened and caramalized. Easy? Of course it is easy. After all that trouble what you get is this :



You want to get proper meaty ribs for this. What I used was not really meaty as these ribs are more suitable for soups. This dish can be prepared ahead of time, or even one day ahead. Just before grilling, just take it out from the fridge. Bring it  to room temperature and then simply grill away.












Sweet and Sour Sticky Ribs
Recipe source : Phong Hong

Ingredients :
- 600g meaty pork ribs (scalded and rinsed)

For the sauce (please adjust to your own taste) :
- 3 tbsp Tomato sauce 
- 2 tbsp Sweet chilli sauce
- 3 tbsp Light soya sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1 tbsp Brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Vinegar

- Some water

To thicken the sauce :
- Add one teaspoon tapioca flour/cornflour with 2 tbsp water.

Method :
1. In a pot mix all the sauces, honey, brown sugar and vinegar together.
2. Add ribs and stir to coat with the marinade.
3. Add some water just to barely cover the ribs.
4. Bring the a boil and them lower the heat to a simmer.
5. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until just tender.

6. Increased heat to bring back to a boil.
7. Add the tapioca flour/cornflour mixture and stir to thicken the sauce.
8. Pour the ribs and sauce onto a lined baking tray and grill at 200C for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is sticky and caramalised. Baste every now and then by stirring the ribs to coat with the sauce.

48 comments:

  1. Oooo...looks awesome! My missus does that too - gets inspired by things she sees on TV. Not me, can't follow recipes...sure disaster.

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    1. hee..hee..I used to watch cooking shows too but now I don't have time :(

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  2. This recipe can be "cuba-ed"... but I don't have certain sauces in my house as yet.. your recipes are quite simple, PH.. I like! I can imagine my kids' expressions if I do this... hahaha...

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    1. Claire, this is one simple recipe lah. Can be done very easily and your children will be impressed :)

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  3. I was hentam-ed by a friend the other day when I say cooking can be easy. She (yes, is a she) said: "Stop saying cooking is easy! The knife is dangerous, you might cut your hand!" >.<
    This one I can't attempt. Lazy man only has salt, pepper, olive oil and chili sauce at his disposal, no can make the awesome sauce :(

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    1. Your friend probably does not like cooking :) I can understand why you don't have many sauces at home. Not worth buying them just to cook one dish and after that they will go to waste...

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  4. When I see sweet & sour meat, I think of "koo low yok" already, but when I see the colour of the meat and also the ingredients, hmm, looks like "pai kuat wong" pulak.. I've never tried cooking these, but your ingredients look simple, I have everything, except that Worcestershire sauce.. Can I substitute it with Lea & Perrin sauce? If yes, then this is do-able for me, since I have everything in the kitchen..

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    1. Hi Louiz! Yah, this is something like pai kuat wong but it is not deep fried. Worcestershire sauce = Lea & Perrin Sauce, so you can make this ribs liao :)

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  5. Wow mum you got a sifu around you. Van always call on her whenever you a have questions. The sweet and sour pork definitely looks good.

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    1. Opps. .. typo. Don't know how the word mum came in. Hahha....

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    2. You were thinking of mum's cooking LOL!

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  6. wow!!! your auntie is sure a very good cook!! the ribs look absolutely delicious!! and did I tell you I love ribs?? especially that layer still sticking on the bones, which is more "elastic" in texture, you know what I'm saying?? ooh, how I love to scrap it off the bone, haha!!

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    1. Oh yes, I know what you are talking about! I always make sure I eat that up too and leave the bone clean hah..hah..

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  7. So nice and lucky you to have aunty who is a good cook and you can learn from her.......my aunty....duh..... Well, look at your delicious pork ribs dish.....finger lickin gooooood!!

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    1. Mel, I hope your auntie is not reading this hah,,hah...I have learnt a lot from my auntie and all her cooking is yummy!

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  8. and you have got lots of different sauces mixed together in the recipe!! wow, they sure blends well to give a very rich taste and aroma.. and the sauce is definitely making me wallop two bowls of rice, haha!! and what's more?? no spring onions!!! muahaha~~ :D

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    1. The sauces blend well to give a really nice taste to the ribs. And yes, no spring onions hah..hah...I would have put coriander instead but I did not have any. Oops...you don't like that either.

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  9. Looks like my list getting longer, hehe...

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    Replies
    1. Sharon, you cook this one first...

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  10. Replies
    1. Banyak sedap hingga menjilat jari!

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  11. Your auntie is a good cook, and you too ma! :)

    I love pork ribs like this~

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  12. wow, drooling....i am definitely goin to try this, tqvm

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    1. Please do try as it is really good!

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  13. If change to beef or lamb ribs should be nice also right?

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    1. Hi Lina! I am not too sure as beef and lamb have a stronger flavour. They will be better if using the smokey BBQ spice rub. Hey, I must try that LOL!

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  14. Hi Phong Hong, I'll definitely try these yummylicious pork ribs. Looks so tempting...leh.

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    1. Kimmy, this is a very simple ant yet tasty dish. I will be making it quite often hee,,hee,,

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  15. Your auntie sounds like my mother! She was a great cook too and often cooked the late Tunku's favourite Thai dish for him. She had this character like your auntie and even smell every dish served in big restaurants! Oh dear!
    Another friend's mum who was a well known chef who open the restaurant kitchen's dustbins in backlanes to examine all their discarded bottles and sauces to see which brands!!
    I love ribs very much and often had to head to Chicago that sells good porky ribs!

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    1. Hi TM! Wow, I am impressed that your mum has cooked for the late Tunku! Hmm..your friend's mum has gone to great lengths to find the "secret ingredients" LOL! I guess that's they way to do it as nobody would ever tell you their secret ingredient. I have tried Chicago's ribs and yes, they are good!

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  16. Phong Hong, I wonder how many bowls of rice you had with this yummy dish? I made similar sweet & sour sticky pork ribs too except I didn’t add sweet chilli sauce & worcestershire. But I like to pour some Remy Martin or whisky to marinate the meat ... hee hee that's what learnt from my late mom ^-^. I still have some worcestershire ... ok must try out !

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    1. Hi Karen! Oh, I am very excited over the addition if Remy Martin or whisk! I shall try that one day hee..hee...

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  17. Hi Phong Hong
    I see that good cook runs in the family!
    Your paikuat looks really, really delicious. My kids would love this. Bookmarked!
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Joyce! My grandma, mum and auntie are the good ones. I am still lesen L hah..hah...

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  18. I love everything covered in those sticky, sweet sauces ah..I should try making it myself one day

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    1. Hi Cavasasa! Yes, do try the ribs. Simple and good!

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  19. Sedap ! Sedap! I got to quickly bookmark your Auntie's recipe! Thanks for sharing Kak Phong Hong :)

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  20. Wish I've an aunt who can cook too! I love watching others cook so I can pick up some tips as well :D

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    1. Hi Shirley! Yup, lucky me. I learnt a lot from my Auntie :)

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  21. interrogating the staff! wa..your aunt is a serious cook man! so lucky that all the tips she curi she handed to you all..we also lucky, indirectly getting the recipe from her...hehe...looks mouthwatering!

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    1. Hi Lena! Yes, my Auntie is very serious when it come to cooking. I must try more of the recipes she shared with me :)

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  22. Complete with a handful sprinkle of sesame seeds is even more awesome! :)

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    1. Hey, you are right! Why didn't I think of that? Next time!

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  23. This pork ribs look really tasty! Yums yums!

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    1. Mun, it is very tasty and the best part is that it is so easy to cook!

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