Vietnamese cuisine is known for its bold and complex flavors that are a combination of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. One dish that encapsulates these flavors is Suon Ram, a Vietnamese-style pork rib dish that is marinated in a flavorful mixture of fish sauce, garlic, shallots, and sugar, and then grilled or baked until caramelized and tender. In this blog post, we will explore the history, ingredients, and techniques behind Suon Ram, and why it is a must-try dish for anyone looking to explore the rich and diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine.
History of Suon Ram
Suon Ram is a popular dish in Vietnamese cuisine that has its origins in the south of Vietnam. The dish is believed to have been influenced by Chinese cuisine, as the word "Ram" in Vietnamese means "caramelized," which is a technique commonly used in Chinese cooking. Over time, the dish has evolved and become a staple in Vietnamese households, with each family adding their own unique twist to the recipe.
Ingredients of Suon Ram
The key to making a delicious Suon Ram dish is to use quality ingredients that are packed with flavor.
The main ingredient featured in this recipe are small spare short ribs, which are marinated in a mixture of fish sauce, garlic, shallots, and sugar.
The fish sauce adds a salty umami flavor, while the sugar provides sweetness and helps to caramelize the ribs.
The garlic and shallots add an opposing flavor that complements the sweetness and saltiness of the marinade. Other ingredients, such as lemongrass, chili peppers, and ginger, can also be added to the marinade to enhance the flavor.
Techniques for Cooking Suon Ram
There are several techniques for cooking Suon Ram, including pan-frying and grilling.
Pan-frying is the traditional method for cooking Suon Ram, and is a great way to achieve a crispy texture on the outside of the ribs. To pan-fry Suon Ram, the ribs are first marinated, then placed in a hot pan with oil and cooked for several minutes on each side until caramelized and crispy.
Grilling is another popular method as it adds a smoky flavor to the ribs. To grill Suon Ram, the ribs are first marinated, then placed on a hot grill and cooked for several minutes on each side until caramelized and cooked through.
This recipe uses coconut water instead of the usual Coco Rico. It's a T.S.A. Coconut Water than can be found in most Asian super markets.
- 2 lbs of pork ribs
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of MSG (optional)
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 shallots (medium), chopped
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons of sliced ginger
- 1 12 oz can of coconut water (T.A.S. Coconut Water or Coco Rico)
- Create a marinade by mixing together the fish sauce, shallots, garlic, sugar, brown sugar, MSG (optional), shallots, and black pepper.
- Put the pork ribs in a bowl and add the marinade. Mix well, and set aside for 30 minutes.
- When the pork has been marinated, heat a large pan and the vegetable oil on medium high heat. Add in ginger until golden.
- Add in the entire marinade mixture and cook on high heat.
- Pour a can of Coco Rico into the skillet with the marinade and shallots. Cook until the meat is tender.
- Serve over a bed of jasmine rice.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 932Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 159mgSodium: 612mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 16gSugar: 6gProtein: 48g
Final Thoughts on Suon Ram
Suon Ram is a delicious Vietnamese-style pork rib dish that is packed with bold and complex flavors.
By using quality ingredients and marinating the ribs in a mixture of fish sauce, garlic, shallots, and sugar, and then grilling or baking until caramelized and tender, you can create a mouth-watering dish that is sure to impress. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner, Suon Ram is a must-try dish for anyone looking to explore the rich and diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine.
Other Vietnamese Pork Recipes
If you loved this pork recipe, you might check out these other authentic Vietnamese recipes as well!
- Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Pork
- Banh Mi Roast Red Pork
- Vietnamese Pork Chop Suon Nuong
- Vietnamese Bun Bi Noodles
- Vietnamese Bitter Melon Soup
- Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Suon Ram