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



  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In a frying pan wide enough to hold the ribs in one layer, place 1 teaspoon oil and heat over medium fire.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • After 30 minutes the sauce should have reduced and begin to cling to the meat.
  • 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.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with chopped scallion.
Author: Jehan Powell