I couldn’t decide on the protein braised dish I wanted to pair with the Stir-fried Water Spinach with Garlic last night, so I decided to add shrimp to my braised pork ribs and quail eggs recipe for some epic surf and turf action with all the protein hanging out in the pool of braising liquid together having fun on a chill Sunday afternoon. It did not disappoint. I love the different textural experiences when eating food and the shrimp adds another bouncy tender delicious texture to the fall off the bone tender pork ribs. The combination works well and great when sauced up.
I don’t like the rubbery and tough texture of overcooked shrimp, so I added it with about 10 minutes left in cooking so it can cook perfectly and not get overcooked before serving. The shrimp, in the short time still soaked up all the braising liquid flavors without any issues so it was all good!
2 pounds pork spare ribs, cut into 1-inch bite-size pieces
1 pound shrimp, deveined and peeled
2 can of Quail Eggs, water removed
1/2 cup of fish sauce, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon Vietnamese caramel cooking sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 can coconut juice
1 cup warm water
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, chopped to 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Parboil Ribs – Add ribs to a medium pot and cover ribs with water. Bring the pot to a vigorous boil for 10 minutes. Remove ribs from pot and wash each piece thoroughly.
Marinate Ribs – Add ribs, fish sauce, sugar, black pepper, caramel color, minced shallot, and minced garlic into a medium bowl and mix well. Allow ribs to marinate for at least an hour.
Braise Protein – Heat braising pot on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add ribs plus juices. Sear ribs for 2 minutes on each side. Add quail eggs, coconut juice, and water. Make sure ribs are covered with braising liquid, if not add a bit more water to cover the ribs. Give everything in the pan a quick stir. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Braise for an hour. After an hour, increase the heat to medium and simmer the ribs uncovered for about 15 minutes. With about 10 minutes of cooking, add shrimp. Turn off heat and gently combine the green onions with the ribs.
- Shell-on shrimp works great too!
- For a thicker sauce, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 1-2 tablespoons of warm water and adding it into the braising liquid at the end of the cook.
- If you do not have caramel color, substitute for molasses or dark soy sauce. You can skip this ingredient also if you like, but it won’t look dark.
- I use store-bought Vietnamese caramel cooking sauce. You can find online recipes and make them yourself. Here’s a sample.
- Coco Rico soda and coconut water are great substitutes for coconut juice.
- The quail eggs are very delicate so remember to always gently stir so eggs do not fall apart