Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Beijing Sweet-and-Sour Spareribs

Made this Beijing Sweet and Sour Spareribs for one of our weeknight dinner dish, a lovely dish, eaten with plain white rice. This recipe is taken from the cookbook, Martin Yan's, "China".

The spareribs are first marinated with some cornstarch, egg, salt and Chinese rice wine which I have used a tablespoon more than the recipe calls for. (I have this habit of using more Chinese rice wine in most recipes). Keep refrigerated for an hour or so, then fry in hot oil on both sides until browned. Remove, drain and kept aside. The ingredients for the sauce are mixed in a bowl and kept aside. 

Saute the garlic and chilli until fragrant, add the sauce, bring to a boil, the spareribs are added in, stir for a minute, and cornstarch solution is stirred in to thicken the sauce. Serve hot.

This is a lovely dish, though I've got to adjust the seasoning amount according to my taste. I have used a lesser amount of Chinese black vinegar than the recipe calls for, as I find that 3/4 cup is a little too much for my taste, hence there isn't much sauce. I have used only 1/2 cup of the black vinegar and the dish is sour enough! The next time when I cooked this, I would definitely adjust the seasoning ingredients amount for more sauce.This dish is sweet, sour,  and salty, just as the name implies, very nice eaten with plain white rice.

Beijing Sweet-and-Sour Spareribs
(adapted from : "Martin Yan's China")
makes 4 servings
Marinade :
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry (I use 2 tbsp)
1 tsp salt
2 pounds spareribs, cut into 1 to 1-1/2-inch pieces

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Sauce :
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar (I use 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine (my addition)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 fresh jalapeno chile, thinly sliced
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp water

To make the marinade, combine the eggs, cornstarch, rice wine and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Add the spareribs and stir to coat evenly. Let stand for 1 hour, or cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

In a wok, stir-fry pan, or 2-quart saucepan, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches, deep-fry the spareribs, stirring gently to prevent the pieces from sticking together, until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes per batch. Remove with a wire strainer or slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Carefully pour the oil into a heatproof bowl, reserving the oil.

To make the sauce, combine the sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt in a small bowl and mix well.

Place a wok or stir-fry pan over high heat until hot. Add 1 tbsp of the served oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the garlic and chile and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the spareribs and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Add the cornstarch mixture and boil until the sauce thickens. Discard any remaining oil, or strain and save for another use.

Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

I'm linking this post  to :

Small Small Baker/Aspiring Bakers

 photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg


  1. Un plato muy sabroso hecho con mucha paciencia pleno de sabores me encanta,abrazos.

  2. i guess chicken is just as good for this dish, hor? sudah lapar, nasi 2 mangkuk cepat! :D

  3. I love the sweet and sour flavours. The ribs look mouthwatering, Joyce.

  4. Hi Joyce , love it , delicious good , thanks for sharing :)

  5. Who doesnt like Martin Yan...the title and your pic says it all....absolutely sound delicious

  6. Martin Yan's recipes never seem to fail, Joyce. I love his books! And just look at your ribs! Sweet, Sour, and Salty equals oh so yummy!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Joyce. You did deliciousness!!!

  7. Sounds like a very yummy dish to cook, I must say I have not opened any of my cookbooks of recent times, been too busy drooling over online food lol!

  8. Lovely looking Chinese recipe. Wonderfully prepared.

  9. Martin Yan is one of my cooking idol, am sure this is delicious!

  10. Hmmm.... very nice but I always avoid cooking this kind of dish when it requires deep frying. Can I just braise it with the seasoning sauce?

    1. Hi Kimmy,
      I did not use a lot of oil for deep-frying. I use just enough oil to fry the spareribs on one side till brown, turn the spareribs and fry the other side until brown. Use a wok, as the oil would be accumulated in a pool at the bottom, and you may need to fry a few batches. And the sauce would be too sour for braising, you would not want the spareribs to be too sour. The sauce is to coat the pre-fried ribs, quite good eaten with plain rice.

  11. These look delicious! Your family is very lucky to have you as the cook, always the food you prepare is simply beautiful and delicious.

  12. My husband adores sweet and sour ANYTHING and I always have rubs in my fridge - will definitely give this recipe a try!!! :)

  13. Hi Joyce,

    Being not a meat-eating person, I still like this dish... I will lick at the sauce and give my husband the spareribs... hee hee... Just kidding! I will get lots of scolding if I do this :p


  14. I love dishes like this. It is hearty and comforting. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  15. I have been watching Martin Yan since a child! Love his recipes and this one looks really delicious with all the sauce.

  16. Yum! Joyce, I love this style of pork ribs dish especially if the sauce is sweet and sour. My rice portions will surely go out of control!

  17. Such an appetizing food and it makes me want to have a taste of it!

  18. Hi Joyce, when I see this recipe contains black vinegar, I immediately bookmarked it! I love eating pork ribs but can't stand the frying step... so I haven't experimented with too many recipes. Yours look so delicious, I wish I can have some now! Thank you for joining me in Aspiring Bakers! :)