Hey there! I’m excited to share with you my all-time favorite recipe for Vietnamese caramel iced pork ribs. Growing up Vietnamese, this dish was a staple in my family dinner.
The combination of savory and sweet flavors with tender and juicy pork ribs is just irresistible. Every time I make this dish, the aroma fills my kitchen and takes me back to my childhood memories.
This dish is surprisingly easy to make at home. So, let’s get started.
Ingredients for Vietnamese pork ribs
- 2 lbs pork ribs (flanken style)
- Minced shallot
- Minced garlic
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- ½ tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Water or coconut water
Getting your pork ribs in flanken style
You can ask your butcher to cut your ribs in flanken style, it should be 1 inch tall. Or, you can buy pre-cut flanken-style pork ribs at any Asian grocery store.
How to make caramelized pork ribs
- Blanch the ribs for 2-3 minutes to render off excessive fat and remove impurities.
- Marinate the pork for 15 minutes with minced shallot, minced garlic, soy sauce, honey, sriracha, and cooking oil.
- Coat your pan with cooking oil on medium heat.
- Add the ribs, and caramel sauce (see instructions below for the caramel sauce), and stir for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add water or coconut water until the ribs are submerged in liquid.
- Braise the meat for about 15-20 minutes (with the lid covered) until they become tender. Make sure to stir in between so the ribs are cooked evenly.
- If you want your ribs to be more concentrated, braise them with the lid opened until the liquid thickens (like I did).
- The caramel sauce is what gives the meat a nice golden brown in the end. Make sure to not burn the sauce or the ribs will taste bitter.
How to make caramel sauce
- Heat up a pan on high heat,
- Add white sugar and wait for it to caramelize (sugar turns golden brown)
- Lower the heat to medium, and continue caramelizing the sugar until it turns a rich caramel color.
- Finally, add a bit of water to stop the caramelizing process.
Notes: This step might be tricky, make sure to watch it carefully and wait until the sauce turns slightly dark brown to add water. If it’s too dark, the caramel is burnt, and you might want to start it over.