Shanghainese Pork Ribs





Shanghainese Pork Ribs

I want to introduce to you how to cook this famous Shanghainese pork ribs, characterized by the sweetness of rock sugar, the sourness of the black vinegar  and the flavor of Shaoxing wine. The braising liquid is cooked down and caramelized into a thick, luxurious red sauce with rock sugar, which enrobed the ribs within.

The method is simple, but be prepared for prolonged braising, and you will be rewarded with the seductive flavor of this culinary wonder.



2 lbs pork ribs
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine), divided
3 tablespoons oil, divided
8 thin slices of ginger
4 scallions (white parts only), chopped
2 tablespoons sugar (rock sugar is preferred if you have it)
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
2 cups water



Step 1:    Rinse the ribs and pat them dry with a paper towel. Marinate the ribs with 1 tablespoon light soy sauce and 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine for 15 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a flat bottomed pan over medium heat and brown the ribs on all sides. Set aside.




Step 2:    Heat another tablespoon of oil in a clean wok over medium heat, and cook the ginger and scallions until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Take them out of the wok and set aside. Add another tablespoon of oil, and with the wok on low heat, add the sugar. Stir and let it melt. Add the ribs and coat them with the melted sugar. Turn off the heat. Add the second tablespoon of shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, vinegar, water, and the cooked ginger and scallion. Turn up the heat and bring everything to a boil. Then cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. After 30 minutes, if there’s still too much liquid in the pot, take off the lid and turn up the heat, stirring continuously until the sauce has thickened and the ribs are coated and sticky.