Passion for Pork

Sous Vide Asian Pork Ribs with Crispy Pineapples & Roasted Peanuts Recipe

Mijune - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sous Vide Asian Pork Ribs with Crispy Pineapples & Roasted Peanuts Recipe

This is a collaboration post with Brenda (@mightyvanilla) who wrote the recipe and took the photos.

Eating meat off the bone is a carnivorous pleasure. I love the saucy meatiness of ribs, and meat cooked on the bone is more flavourful than boneless (don’t get me started on boneless skinless chicken breasts). Rib meat has a fair amount of connective tissue so it requires a longer cooking time at lower temperatures. This makes sous vide an ideal preparation method.

The 5 volume set of Modernist Cuisine contains pages and pages of cooking tables for the cooking times and temperatures of many different types of meat and their cuts. For pork ribs, they listed the following options:

  • 60C/140F for 48 hours results in a tender, yielding texture (preferred)

  • 65C/149F for 48 hours results in a tender, flaky texture

  • 75C/167F for 7 hours results in a very flaky texture

I decided to go with Modernist’s preferred choice of 60C/140F for 48 hours. For the flavouring, I wanted to try something a different from the usual BBQ sauce. A quick search on the internet yielded this recipe for Thai glazed pork ribs on the Sous Vide Supreme website. I liked that the glaze ingredients contained some of my favourite Asian seasonings (ginger, garlic, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, lime leaves) and I used it as a starting point to what I had on hand. I also significantly decreased the amount of salty ingredients since the ribs would be cooking for 48 hours. Plus a chamber vacuum sealer was used to seal the ribs in the bags, which meant that the seasonings would flavour the meat more than a regular marinade process would.

The initial preparation is simple: mix the glaze ingredients in a bowl, cut the pork ribs into individual sections, divide the ribs and glaze evenly between sous vide bags, seal in a chamber vacuum sealer. Then comes a leisurely 48 hours of waiting. (Though if you are like me and didn’t get the ribs into the water bath until late at night, you can turn the temperature up a few degrees near the end so that dinner is on the table at a reasonable hour. I’ve found sous vide to be a very forgiving and flexible cooking technique.) When the ribs were fully cooked, the liquid was drained from the bags and reduced to the consistency of a sauce. Some of it was brushed onto the ribs and then the ribs were broiled for 8-10 minutes in the oven (or they could be finished on a hot grill). The heat of the broiler gave the ribs a nice dark caramelization and pulled the meat back from the bones.

The flavour of the marinade had completely penetrated the meat and I could taste the flavours infused throughout. I especially liked that the lime leaf flavour was still present. Due to the long and slow sous vide process, the meat was thoroughly cooked to firm/tender but with a nice pinkish colour.

Sous Vide Pork Ribs 8Since this was an Asian flavoured pork, Mijune suggested playing around with the idea of Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple. I love fresh pineapple, and it pairs extremely well with Asian herbs. To keep things simple, I diced up ripe pineapple and stirred in some chopped mint and Thai basil. Another option is to serve the ribs with a side of crispy pineapple chips, or top them off with crumbled crispy pineapple bits.

The ribs were garnished with chopped mint, Thai basil, cilantro, green onions, chopped roasted peanuts and crispy pineapple chips (optional). The pork

Sous Vide Pork Ribs 1Serve the ribs on their own or with steamed rice or noodles. Five spiced pineapple chips or a fresh pineapple salsa tossed with mint is also a great side.