Sweet & Sour Ribs

This ain’t your cheap take-out version of sweet ‘n sour.

No “all-you-can-eat,” MSG BS. This is authentic Chinese sweet and sour, applied to spare ribs. These are the best. I know, because my Asian granny taught me how to make this, and my granny is more Asian than yours.

Note: This recipe can be applied to other meats, like chicken or other parts of the cow that everyone eats but no one really understands.


  • As much spare ribs as you need. Is “spare ribs” singular…?
  • 1/2 cup white sugar. Preferably the sweet kind.
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar. But I’ve done this with red wine vinegar and it was still good.
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce. Ah, the Asian ketchup.

You can adjust the above ratios, as needed. If you have more spare ribs, you can use more amounts of sugar/vinegar/soy sauce. If you have less ribs, use less seasoning. In the end, it doesn’t actually matter that much; it’s all about your own preferences. I like the above ratio, and so does my granny, so who’s to argue?


  1. Fry the ribs until they’re a rich brown on the outside. This step is technically skippable — but then again, so is breathing. Frying just holds the meat together and adds that extra layer of flavor. I’ve skipped this step before, and the ribs kinda fell apart. This ain’t pulled pork, guys.
  2. After frying, put the ribs on the stove. Add sugar and vinegar and soy sauce.  Unceremoniously dump them in.
  3. Let simmer. Now wait for 15 minutes. If you find the liquid all evaporating, add a bit of water. No burnt spare ribs allowed under this roof.

Go That Extra Mile:

  • Thicken up dat sauce. Add 1 tbsp cornstarch to 1 tbsp water. Let it dissolve, then pour it on the ribs and stir.
  • Look presentable. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

I think my Asian granny would approve. ‘Cause I sure do.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Ash-Leonie says:

    I like this recipe. I never knew sweet and sour sauce was this easy to make.

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Yep, it’s pretty darn easy!

  2. Mimmi says:

    I want to eat everything on this blog! Cant wait for the next post 🙂

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Thanks! You just summed up my reaction to every food blog I encounter, haha.

  3. Mike says:

    I can’t wait to use this recipe next month. I love the ease of preparation and I know they will be delicious. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      You’re welcome! Tell me how it goes!

  4. Dewi says:

    *never stops drooling*

  5. jacobhhollis says:

    Nice and simple recipe…pork is my favourite…have you tried it with chicken wings, as an asian version of buffalo wings? Not sure what the asian equivalent of blue cheese dipping sauce would be though…wasabi mayo?

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Haha wasabi mayo indeed! That gives me so many ideas to dipping sauces. Maybe a spicy ranch? Although those kind of exist already. I’m sure this could work well on any type of meat, and sweet-and-sour chicken sounds delicious!

  6. Camille360 says:

    Made it today….Kitchen Cici ….I love you ! totally fed my craving for Chinese

    1. Kitchen Cici says:

      Aaahhhh I’m so glad you liked it!!! And me!!! Haha, thank you so much for your feedback!

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