Suon Rim Mang – Vietnamese Braised Spare Ribs

Suon Rim Mang 1

Mmmmm.  Caramelized spare ribs.  That’s what you would hear if you could read my mind anytime I see this week’s Mom’s 52 dish, Suon Rim Mang – Vietnamese Braised Spare Ribs.  This traditional Vietnamese dish is full of flavors and a favorite among children and adults alike.  A balance of salty and just slightly sweet, this savory dish reminds almost any Vietnamese person of home.  Suon Rim Mang is finger lickin’ good.

For a faster weekday dinner, Mom recommends marinating the spare ribs and storing in the refrigerator the night before.

Most Vietnamese/Chinese markets will sell pork spare ribs in cross cut strips, which are easy to bring home and slice between each rib for individual pieces.  At the Vietnamese market, Mom says to look for “suon non.”

Suon Rim Mang –  Vietnamese Braised Spare Ribs

INGREDIENTS – to serve 4-5:

  • 4 lbs. of pork spare ribs, cross cut, then sliced between the ribs to yield individual pieces.
  • 1 tsp. pepper, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 C. of nuoc mam, aka fish sauce
  • 3.5 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. EVOO, aka extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 (12 oz.) can of Coco Rico coconut flavored soda
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • green onions & cilantro, chopped, for garnish

—–

STEP 1:  MARINATE THE PORK SPARE RIBS

  1. In a large bowl, combine the pork spare ribs, 1 tsp. pepper, 1/4 C. fish sauce, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 of the chopped shallots.  Mix well.
  2. Let the ribs sit in the marinade for at least 45 minutes, or overnight.

    Marinate the spare ribs the night before to cut down on cooking time for Suon Rim Mang.
    Marinate the spare ribs the night before to cut down on cooking time for Suon Rim Mang.

—–

STEP 2:  CARAMELIZE & BRAISE THE SPARE RIBS

  1. Heat 3 Tbsp. EVOO in a large saucepan, using high heat.
  2. After one minute, sprinkle 1.5 Tbsp. sugar onto the heating oil.

    Sugar sprinkled atop the heating oil.  Watch carefully, as the sugar will burn quickly to create the caramel color for Suon Rim Mang.
    Sugar sprinkled atop the heating oil.
    Watch carefully, as the sugar will burn quickly to create the caramel color for Suon Rim Mang.
  3. Watch the sugar carefully.  After approximately two minutes, it will start to brown and burn.  Once the sugar turns a medium brown color, immediately add the chopped garlic and remaining chopped shallots.  Stir.

    Chopped garlic & shallots added to caramelized sugar & oil, for Suon Rim Mang.
    Chopped garlic & shallots added to caramelized sugar & oil, for Suon Rim Mang.
  4. Carefully add the marinated pork spare ribs to the saucepan.  Toss to brown the meat.
  5. Once the ribs have browned, gently pour into the saucepan one 12 oz. can of Coco Rico coconut flavored soda.  (If you don’t have any Coco Rico on hand, try chicken broth as a substitute.)
    Coco Rico coconut flavored soda, found in most Asian or Latin supermarkets, for Suon Rim Mang.
    Coco Rico coconut flavored soda, found in most Asian or Latin supermarkets, for Suon Rim Mang.

    Coco Rico added to Suon Rim Mang will foam initially, but the foam will dissipate after a few minutes.
    Coco Rico added to Suon Rim Mang will foam initially, but the foam will dissipate after a few minutes.
  6. Also add to the saucepan 1/4 C. fish sauce, 1 Tbsp. honey, and 1 Tbsp. sugar.  Stir gently.  Cover the saucepan halfway to let some air out.  Turn the heat down to medium.
  7. Depending on the size of your spare ribs, it will take 40-50 minutes to cook and transform them into soft, tender spare ribs.  During this cooking time, check the heat to maintain a low boil, and toss the ribs periodically.  The sauce will thicken some when ready, and the ribs will be tender, not chewy.
  8. Once done, ladle onto a serving platter, garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions, and sprinkle with pepper.

Serve Suon Rim Mang with a side of jasmine rice and freshly cut cucumbers.

Before reheating refrigerated leftovers of Suon Rim Mang (assuming you have any leftovers!), discard the white fat that has congealed at the top.

Was this Mom’s 52 recipe helpful?  Do you have any questions about this recipe?  Please post your comments below.  If I don’t know the answer, I’ll send your question to Mom! 

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