This recipe is adapted form the classic
Chinese sweet and sour spare ribs. The Vietnamese version, however, is a
little different, with the additional of fresh basil leaves and the
ubiquitous fish sauce, nuoc mam. This is messy finger food, requiring
finger bowls, and is perfect served with sticky rice and a salad.
Vegetable or sesame oil
Fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
Fresh basil, stalks removed, leaves shredded
In a bowl, mix together the hoisin sauce,
nuoc mam and five-spice powder with 15 ml of the oil, then set aside.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil,
then add the pork ribs and blanch for 10 minutes. Drain them thoroughly,
then set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a wok. Add the
crushed garlic and grated ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant,
then add the blanched pork ribs.
Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the
ribs are nicely browned, then tip in the hoisin sauce mixture, turning
the ribs so that each one is well coated.
Continue stir-frying for 10-15 minutes,
and serve the ribs straight from the pan, offering dinner guests finger
bowls and plenty of napkins to wipe sticky fingers.