I often cook multiple dishes with overlapping ingredients at the same time for ease. So while the Chinese Braised Oxtails with 5-Spice and Hoisin Sauce were simmering away, I also made a pot of Thit Suon Kho Ngu Vi (Vietnamese Braised Spare Ribs with 5-Spice).
This is another classic Vietnamese recipe, along the same lines as Thit Heo Kho Trung (Vietnamese Braised Pork with Eggs), but I elevated it just a bit with a little Chinese 5-spice powder. The key, though, is the caramel sauce, which provides a slight sweetness and depth to the dish, as well as all that lovely color.
Thit Suon Kho Ngu Vi (Vietnamese Braised Spare Ribs with 5-Spice)
For 2 lbs of spare ribs, you'll need:
2 tblsp Nuoc Mau (Vietnamese Caramel Sauce) or substitute with 1 tblsp Indonesian kecap manis
2 lbs spare ribs, cut into individual sections
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
1 12-oz can Coco Rico or fresh coconut juice
Clean and wash the spare ribs. Cut them into individual sections. Set aside.
Make the caramel sauce and right when the sugar darkens, add 1 cup of water and the spare ribs. Or cheat like I do and use 1 tblsp kecap manis.
Then add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp fish sauce, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder, and a can of Coco Rico.
The Coco Rico makes the liquid a little bubbly at first, but it'll disappear. Partially cover the pot and let simmer on medium-low heat for an hour.
The liquid will go down a bit and the spare ribs can actually be eaten now if you want. But, I leave the lid off for another half hour to reduce the liquid and tenderize the meat further. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Now, it's almost perfect for eating. A little too fatty for me. So I put it in the refrigerator overnight for the fat to harden.
The next morning, just spoon off the fatty layer and reheat the spare ribs.
Serve with rice or spoon over clay pot rice, but that's a recipe for another day.
Some other braised dishes you might like:
Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew)
Bo Kho Mang (Vietnamese Braised Beef with Bamboo Shoots)
Chinese Braised Oxtails with 5-Spice and Hoisin Sauce
Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy)
Osso Bucco (Italian Braised Beef Shanks)
Suon Kho Xa Gung Toi Ot (Vietnamese Braised Pork Chops with Lemongrass, Ginger, Garlic, and Chilies)
Suon Kho Xi Muoi (Vietnamese Braised Pork Chops with Preserved Plums)
Thit Heo Kho Dau Hu (Vietnamese Braised Pork with Tofu)
Thit Heo Kho Mit (Vietnamese Braised Pork with Jackfruit)
Thit Heo Kho Trung (Vietnamese Braised Pork with Eggs)
Vietnamese-French Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine and Mushrooms
Xiu Mai (Vietnamese Meatballs)
1 year ago today, Dragon Fruit Literally Blooms in Hours.
2 years ago today, Bo Nhung Dam (Vietnamese Beef Dipped in Vinegar).
3 years ago today, No-Knead Bread with Whole Wheat.