When I was growing up, I remember being fascinated by this small red fruit that is both tart and sweet. It’s a not a regular at home as bananas or mangoes. When I ask my parents to buy me strawberries, I remember them telling me that they are not readily available at the wet market and that you can only buy them in special places like Baguio. Perhaps, that’s what’s gotten me hooked with strawberries in the first place, the fact that it is special and it is not always available.
So, why is strawberry my favorite fruit?
Come to think of it. I really don’t know…
Perhaps it’s that pucker-up-red color?
Perhaps it’s that wonderful flavor that could only come from it’s pulp that is both tart and sweet at the same time…
Perhaps it’s all those “seeds” outside that really is the true fruit of the strawberries. (The “seeds” you see on the outside of a strawberry are actually the plant’s ovaries and are called “achenes”. Each achene is an individual fruit with a single seed inside)
Or perhaps because it looks like little bundles of love that adds romance to any recipe you put it into. Perhaps it’s that or it just tastes really wonderful for me.
My fascination with strawberries led me into experimenting with it and adding it to dishes that looks promising like my favorite Sinigang. Yes, I did make Pork Belly Sinigang with Strawberry and I liked it. The problem was I was the only one in my family who did.
There was this one time, though, we ate at this Chinese restaurant. Strawberry Spare Ribs was one of the dishes that we ordered. The meat was crispy on the outside but soft, tender and juicy inside. Each piece of flavorful meat was coated with sweet, tart, salty strawberry sauce. Everyone loved it. I savored each and every bite as I made a mental note to try and remake it at home.
Surprisingly, I was able to replicate it on the first try! Unlike the Strawberry Spare Ribs we ordered, mine has fresh strawberry pieces to accent the dish and make it more appetizing and delectable.
I hope this recipe makes its way into your lunch table. If you’re into sweet and sour recipes, you’ll absolutely love this.
- 500g Pork Spare Ribs
- ½ cup strawberries, hulled and cut in half
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp shao xing or rice wine
- cooking oil for frying
For the Sauce
- 4 tbsp strawberry jam or strawberry preserves
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp water (optional)
- Cut ribs into pieces and marinate in soy sauce, sesame oil, shao xing, baking soda, and egg for 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine strawberry jam, water, and vinegar. Set aside.
- After 30 minutes, add cornstarch into the ribs and mix well. Make sure each piece is coated.
- Heat oil in a wok and fry ribs until golden brown. Remove and drain in a paper towel or strainer.
- Put 1 tbsp oil in a skillet and saute onions until translucent.
- Pour in the strawberry jam mixture and mix well.
- If the sauce seems a bit thin to you, you can add cornstarch- water mixture to thicken it.
- Add strawberries and let it cook for about 20 seconds.
- Mix in ribs evenly with sauce until each pieces is coated.
- Serve while the spareribs is still crispy.