If you're looking for a different way to make pork ribs, here’s a Southeast Asian–influenced spin from a local eatery.
This recipe draws inspiration from nouc cham, or Vietnameses dipping sauces, and comes from Bryan Satterford, the chef and co-owner of Juke Fried Chicken, Ribs, and Cocktail Bar, located in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
“These tasty pork ribs can either be deep fried as they are described below or grilled before being tossed with nouc cham vinaigrette and pickled chilies,” Satterford says.
Vietnamese-Style Nuoc Cham Pork Ribs
Yield: about 20 to 24 pieces
15 g coriander seed
15 g fennel seed
15 g turmeric
15 g sweet smoked paprika
6 g cumin seed
6 g ginger, dried ground
4 g cayenne
4 g allspice
2 g clove
salt, preferably diamond kosher
2 full racks of St. Louis side ribs, cut and trimmed
2 L duck fat or canola oil (or enough to cover)
In a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, crush spices until they resemble a fine powder.
Rub the spice mixture evenly on the ribs and allow to sit for a minimum of four hours, preferably overnight.
Once marinated in the spices, season the ribs with salt and place in a high-sided roasting pan and cover with the duck fat or canola oil.
Place in a 300 F (about 150 C) oven and confit until ribs are tender but still hold their shape, about 90 minutes.
Allow the ribs to cool fully to room temperature before removing from the oil, then chill the racks fully in the fridge.
Slice the ribs into single bone pieces before deep frying.
Nouc cham vinaigrette
125 ml fish sauce
125 ml rice wine vinegar
30 ml sugar
30 ml tamari sauce
1 Thai chili, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
Place rice wine vinegar, sugar, Thai chili and garlic in a pot and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat and add fish sauce and tamari.
Allow to steep and cool before using.
You can use any sort of hot peppers you like for this. Some good medium heat options are jalapeños, serrano, birds eye, or Fresno chilies.
100 g chilies, thinly sliced
75 ml vinegar
35 ml water
15 g sugar
5 g salt
Mix vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Pour mixture over sliced chilies.
Cover container and allow to come to room temperature on the counter before refrigerating.
Additional ingredients to finish
Rice flour and cornstarch, mixed 1/1 (enough to dredge the ribs)
Torn mint and Thai basil
Sliced green onion
Toasted sesame seeds
Canola oil for frying
Using either a counter top deep fryer or a high sided pot on the stove, heat canola oil to 350 F (about 175 C).
Dredge the individually cut confit ribs in the rice flour and cornstarch mixture, being sure to cover them evenly.
Tap off the excess flour and drop into the hot oil, a few ribs at a time making sure you don’t overload your pot.
Allow the ribs to fry until they become golden and the center is hot, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the ribs from the fryer and place on a rack to allow the excess oil to drip off.
Repeat steps 2 to 5 until all the ribs are cooked. Be sure to allow the oil a few minutes between batches to come back up to temperature.
Once all the ribs are cooked, place in a large bowl and toss them with the nuoc cham vinaigrette and pickled chilies.
Place ribs on a high rimmed platter and top with the herbs, peanuts, and sesame seeds.