Fast Recipes

Tony Tan's quick-braised pork ribs

Just add rice, and dinner's set.

By Tony Tan
  • Serves 4
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Braised pork ribs
This gorgeous recipe is from my friend, Janice Leung Hayes, one of the most authoritative food writers in Hong Kong. Ask the butcher to chop up meaty ribs for you.


  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce, plus extra to taste
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar, plus extra to taste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 600 gm pork spare ribs, cut through the bone into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 80 gm (⅓ cup) rock sugar, crushed (see note), plus extra to taste
  • Steamed rice, thinly sliced spring onions and dried chillies, to serve


  • 1
    Combine soy sauces and vinegar in a bowl. Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat, add oil and ribs, and fry, turning, until golden (2-3 minutes). Add Shaoxing and toss until almost evaporated (20-30 seconds).
  • 2
    Add soy mixture to pan. As soon as liquid starts to bubble, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Simmer until sauce is reduced by half (5 minutes; if it's reducing too quickly, add a little water). Add rock sugar and cook, stirring so pork doesn't stick to wok, until sauce is thick and syrupy and coats ribs (remember to keep heat on low or sauce will split).
  • 3
    Just before serving, taste and adjust seasoning with extra light soy, vinegar and rock sugar for balance. Serve pork with steamed rice, spring onion and dried chillies.


Rock sugar is available from Asian grocers and must be crushed in a zip-lock bag with a meat mallet before cooking.