So delicious and cleaning hassle-free! You only need one skillet to cook this braised pork spare ribs recipe (suon ram man). It is a classic Vietnamese home-cooked meal featuring the most tender and savory pork ribs.
I've been making this spare ribs recipe for years. I must cook this dish at least once a month. The written recipe, which is super easy to follow, is precisely how I make it every time.
Vietnamese braised pork spare ribs (Suon ram man)
They are marinated in fish sauce and sweet soy sauce mixture with a delicious seasoning mix. These spare ribs are finished braising in coconut juice/water with super tender meat and addictive caramelized sauce. It is best to serve over a hot bowl of white rice.
This braised ribs recipe uses just one pan from start to finish. I use a 10-inch double bottom skillet, which works perfectly for 1.5 to 2 pounds of spare ribs.
Why you'll love this recipe
- 1-pan only: less cookware to deal with, less mess & grease.
- Easy to make: you can rustle these ribs up for lunch and dinner. They are so delicious that no side dish or other main course would be required.
- Flexible: there are 2 versions for you to pick from, one with eggs and one without egg.
- Kids friendly & family favorite: both kids and adults won't stop eating these lips smacking and fingers licking braised spare ribs with super tasty caramelized sauce. You can cook up a big batch to please a hungry crowd.
Spare ribs substitution
This Vietnamese recipe is usually made with spare ribs, but baby back ribs will work fine. Just ask the butcher to cut these ribs into 2 x 1-inch pieces. If you use more enormous ribs than this size, you may need to cook them for a more extended period.
How to make these delicious pork ribs
- Marinade pork spare ribs: Add all seasoning ingredients to pork ribs and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Sear on high heat: Make sure your skillet is hot before adding pork ribs. Brown them on all the sides. Don't worry about cooking them all the way in this step. The purpose of searing is to have that attractive color at the end.
- Add coconut water: braised pork ribs with coconut water, uncovered, on medium-high heat for 30 minutes.
- Add eggs (optional): Add eggs to the pan if preferred and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Finish cooking: the ribs are ready when the meat becomes tender (almost falls off the bone) and the sauce is reduced by two-thirds.
- Serve immediately: serve braised pork spare ribs hot with a bowl of hot white rice. If desired, you can garnish ribs with chopped cilantro, green onion, and fried garlic.
Coconut juice substitution
If you don't have coconut juice, you can use regular water for this braising recipe. Don't use chicken stock; thus, it will change the final taste of these ribs.
These ribs tend to be saltier because they are supposed to serve over rice. Unlike other types of roasted pork ribs, you shouldn't eat these spare ribs by themselves.
Tips for making perfect suon ram man
- Use evenly sized pork spare ribs so they cook at the same time.
- Use quail eggs thus they are about the same size as these ribs.
- Don't over cook these ribs. The whole braising process for 1.5lb spare ribs is taking somewhere from 40 to 50 minutes over medium high heat. The meat is supposed to almost, not completely, fall of the bone.
Braised pork spare ribs (Suon ram man)
- 2 sprig cilantro chopped
- 2 sprig green onion chopped
- 1 tsp fried garlic optional
- In a large mixing bowl, combine pork spare ribs and marinating ingredients. Mix well and let the ribs marinate for at least 30 minutes.1.5 lb pork spare ribs, 7 cloves garlic, ¼ c fish sauce, 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce, ½ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp white pepper, ¼ tsp black pepper, 2 small Thai chilies
- Add vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add marinated pork ribs and brown on all sides, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Don't worry about cooking them all the way in this step. The purpose of searing is to have that attractive color at the end.2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Add coconut juice to the pan, just enough to cover the pork ribs (I used 2 cups). Raise the heat to a high setting and bring the whole pan to the boiling point, about 30 to 40 seconds.2 - 2.5 c coconut water or juice
- Then immediately lower the heat back to a medium-high setting and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add cooked quail eggs to the pan and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to medium-low and cook for another 10 minutes; by this time, all the liquid is reduced almost by two-thirds. Stir occasionally toward the end of the braising process to coat the ribs with caramelized sauce evenly.10 quail eggs
- When the meat is tender and almost falls off the bones, and the sauce becomes thickened, turn off the heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro, green onion, and fried garlic.2 sprig cilantro, 2 sprig green onion, 1 tsp fried garlic
- Serve hot immediately with a hot bowl of rice.
What to do with leftovers?Leftover braised pork spare ribs can be kept in the fridge in a storage container for up to 2 days.
How do I reheat these spare ribs?Add leftover ribs to a pan together with ¼ cup of coconut juice or water and reheat over medium heat, approximately 5 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally to coat the ribs evenly with the sauce.
Can I freeze these braised pork spare ribs?
- With uncooked ribs: store in a freezer-type container in a freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw the ribs overnight in the refrigerator, then you can proceed to braising process the next day.
- With cooked ribs: frozen cooked spare ribs can be kept for up to 2 weeks. Before proceeding with the reheating process (see above), remember to thaw them in the fridge overnight.