For the best results, marinate these Vietnamese pork ribs overnight and cook them on an unlined oven tray; lining the tray creates a steaming effect, so the ribs won’t be as glossy and sticky.
- 400 ml fish sauce
- 400 g caster sugar
- 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1.5 kg American-style pork ribs (see Note), cut into individual ribs
- mint and coriander leaves, sliced tomatoes, sliced, Lebanese cucumber, sliced red birdseye chilli, sliced spring onion, steamed rice, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 5 hours
Drink 2011 Yalumba Y Series Vermentino, South Australia ($11)
Place fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, garlic and white pepper in a bowl. Whisk until sugar dissolves. Place ribs in a large bowl and pour over marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 190°C. Drain ribs, reserving marinade. Place ribs on an oven tray and drizzle with a little of the reserved marinade. Bake, drizzling with more marinade halfway through cooking, for 20 minutes or until browned and sticky. Serve with mint, coriander, tomato, cucumber, chilli, spring onion and steamed rice.
• American-style ribs are back ribs from the top of the rib cage. They still contain a bone, whereas spare ribs do not. You may need to order them from your butcher.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 9, pg76.
Photography by Derek Swalwell.