Thursday, June 19, 2014

Braised Sweet & Sour Zhenjiang Vinegar Spare Ribs (浙江糖醋排骨)

Braised Sweet & Sour Chinkiang Vinegar Spare Ribs (浙江糖醋排骨)
Braised Sweet & Sour Chinkiang Vinegar Spare Ribs (浙江糖醋排骨)

Chinkiang or Zhenjiang fragrant black vinegar (镇江香醋) is a dark, slightly sweet rice vinegar with a smoky flavour.  It is normally made from black glutinous rice and malt, although sometimes millet or sorghum may be used as well.  This vinegar is often used in cooking the Chinese version of sweet and sour pork.  The sharpness of this vinegar can be balanced with the sweetness of sugar and smoothed with saltiness.  It is often used in braised dishes, in noodles, soup or as a dipping sauce for dumplings.

There are quite a few brands out there, but it is said that Gold Plum's brand of Chinkiang Fragrant Vinegar is generally considered to be the best.  It had won the prestigious French Laurier d'Or de la Qualite Internationale in 1985.   Chinkiang black vinegar may be substituted with balsamic vinegar.


400g pork spare ribs, cut into small pieces

1/2 tbsp  finely minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp cooking oil

1 tsp corn flour 
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese Rose Wine (玫瑰露酒)
1 tsp ginger juice
dash of pepper

4 tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar  (镇江香醋) (adjust accordingly)
3 tbsp sugar (adjust accordingly)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 cup water
salt & pepper, to taste

  • Rinse and pat dry pork ribs.  Marinate for at least 2 hours.
  • Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan, sear the pork ribs.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Heat up 1 tbsp oil in the same saucepan, sauté ginger and garlic until aromatic.  Add in pork ribs and the sauce.  Bring to the boil and reduce heat to simmer until ribs are tender. Stir occasionally.
  • Once the sauce has reduced to a heavy, syrupy consistency, turn off the heat.
  • Serve with steamed rice.

Chinkiang Vinegar  (浙江糖醋排骨)


  1. mmmm, yummy!!!! love such vinegar dishes.. bookmarked!! ^^

  2. Hi Veronica, yummylicious pork ribs with black vinegar. I have seen many Chinese recipes using black vinegar when cooking pork ribs. They look good. How long do you need to braise the ribs until tender?

    1. Hi Kimmy, It took me about 45 mins to braise until the desired tenderness. I didn't want it to fall off the bone in this dish.

  3. Wow, Veronica! This is the type of spare ribs dish that I love, sweet and sour. I have bookmarked to try!

  4. My mother makes a delicious version of this! I must ask her for the recipe and see how it compares to yours! :D

    1. Oh Lorraine, please ask your mom for her recipe and share it with us ;D

  5. Sweet, tangy, smoky...what a flavour party!

  6. Hi Veronica, pork rib is my favourite meat & your braised sweet & sour pork ribs with zhenjiang vinegar looks like restaurant standard!

  7. Hi Veronica,

    Chinkiang vinegar is a must have ingredient in my kitchen :D Your sweet and sour vinegar pork ribs look finger-licking good!!!


  8. I must go look for this vinegar, your dish looks so finger licking good like Zoe said:)

  9. I love it when pork is cooked this way. I must give this a try because the family likes pork toO!. Thanks for sharing :)

  10. hi veronica, i' hv not tried this vinegar. It may sound like the type that i hv eaten at a restaurant, thx for the recipe, hope to try someday too

  11. Hi Veronica,
    I always love your cooking.
    I must Try this vinegar spare ribs.
    May I know is there any Chinese wine to substitute Chinese rose wine?
    Thank you :)


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