I love telling people this.... No, this sweet and sour spareribs is not the reddish sweet and sour pork more commonly known as ku lou yuk (咕噜肉). No pineapple juice is in this (in fact, the Asian ku lou yuk uses plum sauce and not pineapple juice). This is the real stuff. Black vinegar. Cooked together with good old sugar, lots of it, and some aromatics and you have this sticky, perfectly glazed knock-your-socks-off spareribs. Very easy to make in fact.
This dish is believed to originate from Northern China and is vastly popular amongst the Chinese. Not so the westerners due to the strong sourish smell of the vinegar. There are numerous versions. Some uses white vinegar and dark soya sauce. I personally prefer this in full black vinegar. To me, the unique smell and taste of black vinegar makes this dish. Combined with sugar, it creates the perfectly glazed heavenly spareribs. When I make this dish, I have to make in large quantity because it is just never enough. I make no secret that this is fattening but when it comes to this dish, I find it hard to resist.
These ribs are truly a crowd pleaser. Honestly speaking, I almost do not want to share how easy it is to make this blockbuster dish. But because of the popularity of these sweet and sour spareribs, chances are you would have known anyway. So share if you must, in fact, share to all your friends and family. Here it is.
Sweet and Sour Spareribs 糖醋排骨
1.5 kg spareribs, cut into 2 inch long
95 g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
90 ml black vinegar
3 tbsp light soya sauce
550 ml water
8 slices ginger
5 cloves garlic
2 pcs bay leaf
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp sesame seed, toasted
1. Blanch ribs in hot water. Drain.
2. Heat oil in a wok. Add in ginger and garlic. Fry until fragrant. Add ribs and continue to stir-fry for another minute or two.
3. Add water and all other ingredients except sesame seeds. Bring to boil and reduce heat to slow simmer. Let ribs simmer for about 1 hour.
4. Once ribs becomes soft, increase heat and let liquid reduce. Skim off excess fat on top. Once liquid is reduced, it would become thick and sticky. Turn off heat and add toasted sesame seed.
Do not reduce sugar if you want that perfect glaze.