In this Vietnamese dish the pork ribs braisedÂ first marinated and thenÂ quickly flash fried to seal in all the flavour and to give some colour. The cooking is then finished by lightly braising the ribsÂ in young coconut juice, adding a wonderful natural sweetness.Â Serve as part of a shared meal.
6 cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons)
1 red Asian shallot, diced
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
10 1/2 ounces/ 300 g pork spare ribs, cut into 3/4-inch by 1 1/4-inch/ 2 cm by 3 cm pieces
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
1 cup/ 250 ml young coconut water
1 onion, sliced into segments
2 fresh coriander ( cilantro) sprigs
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon garlic, shallot, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. Mix well, then add the pork ribs and stir to coat well. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
Pour the oil into a wok and heat to 350 degrees F/ 180 degrees C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds.
Add the undrained pork in batches and deep-fry over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until brown.
Remove the pork and drain on a kitchen paper-lined tray.
Put the coconut water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Add the pork ribs and simmer for 5 minutes, then increase the heat and cook for a further 3 minutes, or until the coconut water has reduced to a quarter of its original amount.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, onion, and a pinch black pepper. Stir constantly for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
Transfer the ribs to a serving platter and garnish with coriander (cilantro).
Serve with steamed jasmine rice.