Swet and Sour Rib Tips-1

Rib tips have a fond place in my heart that stems from living in New York City during my teens and early 20s.    I had the nearest Chinese restaurant on speed dial.  I ordered so often that they knew who I was and what I wanted.  They would answer the phone by saying my order then promptly hang up; if I wanted to try something different, I would have to call back to change my order.  Pork fried rice with half fried chicken was the go-to item and it was only $5; that’s one of the things that I miss most about living in NYC – good, cheap food.  On some occasions I would order rib tips, there was something about the sweet sauce on the outside that clung to the fried rib tips.  I would then soak it in hot sauce and duck sauce before feasting; it was simple, delicious and satisfied both my hunger and taste buds.Swet and Sour Rib Tips-1-5

I find myself years later cooking my version of Chinese at home.  No, it’s not exactly like what I ate many years ago.  Some dishes are better and some just not quite there, either way I keep trying.  I shared a recipe for Char Sui Rib Tips here on the blog so be sure to check it out, its perfection.  This time around I cooked it a bit differently and coated it in a sweet and sour sauce – it’s a bit more sweet than sour but perfectly balanced.  Craving satisfied.Swet and Sour Rib Tips-1-3


Category: Main Dishes, Meat



  • 3 lbs rib tips cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 ½ cup pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Scallion to garnish


  1. Place rib tips in a large pot and cover with water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, cook for 10 minutes then strain.
  2. Make the sauce by mixing pineapple juice, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, crushed garlic and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a frying pan wide enough to hold the ribs in one layer, place 1 teaspoon oil and heat over medium fire.
  4. Add ribs in a single layer and cook for about 2-3 minutes on both sides allowing it to brown. Once the ribs have browned on both sides, use a spoon to carefully remove excess oil.
  5. Pour the prepared sauce over the ribs. Cover the pot and cook over low heat and allow ribs to simmer in the sauce for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  6. After 30 minutes the sauce should have reduced and begin to cling to the meat.
  7. In a small bowl mix cornstarch with cold water, then pour over ribs then stir. Cook for an additional 5 minutes on the sauce thickens.
  8. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped scallion.