Recipe: Vietnamese Caramelised Spare Ribs (Sườn Ram Mặn)

Vietnamese Caramelised Spare Ribs (Sườn Ram Mặn) is another must try Vietnamese classic dish. If you want a simple dinner, try this dish as it will require you to braise the pork ribs slowly until they are tender and the sauce is reduced to a thick, flavour-packed glaze coated all over the ribs. Mind you, the yummy aroma of this dish while simmering on the stove will make you hungry!!

I love this dish as the caramelising has added flavour and colour to this dish. It is best served with sliced cucumbers or some fresh lettuce and hot steamy rice. Dinner is ready!!!

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Serves 3 to 4 persons


500g to 600g pork spare ribs


3 tbsp minced onion (white parts)

1 tbsp minced garlic

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 ½ teaspoon salt

Chopped green onion (the green parts)

1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cooking oil


1 cup coconut juice


  1. Rub 1 tablespoon of salt on the ribs and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
  2. Rinse and drain well.
  3. Add the minced garlic, spring onions (white part only), pepper and the rest of the salt to the ribs.
  4. Mix well and set aside for about 30 minutes.
  5. Heat a sauce pan on medium heat.
  6. Then add in the cooking oil, and sugar. If need be, gently swirl the pan. Wait until the sugar melts and it will turn into a caramel-coloured liquid.
  7. Add the ribs and stir-fry until the ribs change colour.
  8. Add the coconut water (you may use water if you cannot find coconut water) and bring to a boil.
  9. Add fish sauce and stir well.
  10. Cover the lid and cook on medium-low heat for 25 minutes to tenderise the ribs.
  11. Then take the lid off and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes or until most of the sauce has evaporated and thickened.
  12. Add in the chopped green parts of the onion and mix well.
  13. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with cilantro. Serve with hot steamed rice.



  1. My reference for this dish is from Helen’s Kitchen. I have made some minor adjustments to the quantity of the ingredients and the steps.

Mummy's Kitchen

Hi! My name is Josephine Go. I blog at in a segment called Mummy’s Kitchen. I love to use fresh and natural ingredients in my cooking to promote healthy eating. Some of my recipes may not be in line with the traditional methods of cooking to the extent that some of the ingredients are different, but hopefully new recipes are being created in my style. I certainly hope that what I do will help guide kitchen first-timers on how to cook their first meal as well as further equip kitchen veterans with new recipes. My loving husband and two wonderful children are my best guinea pigs and critics. They have enjoyed (or endured) the food that has been served to them for all these years. Mind you, I did not know how to cook or ever knew that I could cook till I got married. So there is hope for everyone. If I can cook, you can cook. You will not know how good or talented you are until you put your hand in the plough.

2 thoughts on “Recipe: Vietnamese Caramelised Spare Ribs (Sườn Ram Mặn)

  1. Its a lovely dish. I always want to cook it but do not know how. Inspite of having many Vietnamese friends, none can tell me the correct procedure to prepare it. Thank you so much, will be trying soon.

    1. Hi Mary. I hope yours turns out well! Feel free to share a picture of your results on our Facebook page.:-) Happy cooking!

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