A popular appetizer from Hunan province in China, sweet-and-sour spare ribs, or tang cu pai gu, are not that difficult to make, and are incredible with the right ingredients.

simmering in the wok

We used a recipe from a book by Fuchia Dunlop – “Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, Recipes from Hunan Province”. We followed the recipe exactly except for adding a few pieces of star anise, using Baoning vinegar instead of Chinkiang vinegar and adding couple of tablespoons of white vinegar.

Sweet-and-Sour Spar Ribs

Ingredients we used:


Test the ribs so they are don’t fry too long, they may not need the full five minutes.

The ribs are often made ahead and served at room temperature.

Photos by Tony Fitzgerald