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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sườn Heo Ram Trứng (Caramelized Pork Ribs with Hard Boiled Eggs)

The area where I live is surrounded by farm land. You can see the lush vineyards driving along the perimeter of the area. There are fruit stands, cows, horses, fresh-chicken-eggs-for-sale signs all around. To be able to escape, even momentarily, from the fast-paced urban lifestyle and come home to a pastoral surroundings of growing fruits, vegetables, and livestock to me is the simple life I've always wanted. It allows an opportunity for my daughters to be close to nature by spending more time outdoors. 

It's nice to be able to cook meals with our homegrown vegetables and fresh home raised chicken eggs. Whenever we have so many eggs, I like to boil them, peel the shells off and cook them with ribs in caramelized sauce.

Caramelized pork ribs is one of many classic dishes of Vietnamese home-cooking at its best. The ribs are set to slow cook until the sauce is reduced to a viscous, flavor-packed glaze over the succulent meat.  The wonderful aroma of caramelized shallot, garlic, fish sauce, and ribs while simmering on the stove making you yearn for the meal to come quickly.
RECIPE: Sườn Heo Ram Trứng


2.5-3 pounds pork spare ribs or baby back ribs, 
ask the butcher to cut crosswise through the bone into 
long strips 1-1/2 to 2 inches wide
6-8 hard boiled eggs
about 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Coco Rico soda or coconut water, optional
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 whole garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3-4 red chili peppers, optional

Preparing Ribs

In this recipe, I use baby back ribs, but you could also use pork short rib or riblets, or even pork shoulder.

Par-boiling ribs: fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add ribs to boiling water. The water should be enough to just cover top of ribs. Blanch ribs until water is boiling again to remove any impurities. Remove ribs from boiling water. Rinse and drain. You may skip this process if you know your meat is fresh.  Most of the time, I don't parboil the meat unless I use it to make stock.

Cut ribs into bite sized pieces.

Caramelized Ribs and Eggs

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, sugar, garlic, and shallot over the oil. Cook until garlic and shallot start to turn brown.

Add the ribs, stirring occasionally, for a couple minutes.  Add fish sauce, Coco Rico or coconut water if used, fresh cracked black pepper, and red chili peppers, if used.  Mix it well then add eggs. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet with a lid, let simmer to reduce the juice for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

meat without par-boiling

Caramelized pork ribs and eggs are almost done when the juice has been absorbed, and what left is the fat oil from ribs. Let it cook for another couple minutes until the ribs are browned and eggs are coated with a beautiful amber color and the rib bones become soft enough that you can even chew on it.  


Serve this delicious caramelized pork ribs and eggs with jasmine steamed rice and a side dish of  fresh cold crispy cucumber slices on a hot day or a warm steamed vegetable dish on a chill day.  

Eat well. Stay hungry!


  1. Hi Loan! I only have white sugar right now, so could I substitute that for the brown sugar? Also, in the picture, the garlic looks bigger than I usually chop it. Does this affect taste at all? I'm planning on making this tonight, and cannot wait to see how it turns out! Thank you!

  2. White sugar works just fine. As for the garlic, you can mince it finely or slice it thinly just how I did it. It really doesn't matter how you cut it.