Thai Marinated Crispy Fried Pork Ribs

Thai Marinated Crispy Fried Pork Ribs

The Spruce / Christina Musgrave

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 48 mins
Marinate: 20 mins
Total: 83 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1085 Calories
89g Fat
21g Carbs
51g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1085
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 89g 114%
Saturated Fat 22g 111%
Cholesterol 238mg 79%
Sodium 1570mg 68%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 51g
Vitamin C 8mg 41%
Calcium 70mg 5%
Iron 4mg 25%
Potassium 815mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fried ribs are a wonderful preparation when you have pork and beef ribs. Frying pork ribs is a less common cooking method for ribs than braising, smoking, or grilling, but it's very common in Thailand, and the ribs come together fairly quickly without the need for precooking or baking. A garlicky cilantro marinade coats the ribs, and seasoned flour is all that you need before they go into the oil. A simple and flavorful preparation, these ribs can double as an appetizer or a whole meal when served alongside your favorite sides, like a pasta salad, roasted vegetables, or crispy potatoes.

Other cooking methods suggest soaking the ribs in vinegar, parboiling them to render some of the fat, or steaming them in the oven to speed up the cooking process later, but for these crispy ribs, there is no need, as they go from raw to the plate in less than one hour. For best results, have a food thermometer at hand so you can control the oil temperature in your wok, and again to check for doneness after the frying time is up. Different thicknesses of ribs take different amounts of time for thorough cooking, so always be sure your pork is at least 145 F on the inside.

Serve as an appetizer with Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping. Make sure to use a frying oil that can support high temperatures, like canola or coconut.

1:26

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"Ribs are always flavorful when marinated in a tasty, herbaceous, garlicky sauce like this one, but they’re extra delicious because they’re dredged in seasoned flour and then fried until crispy." —Diana Andrews

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Ingredients

  • 7 to 8 cloves garlic

  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro, leaves and stems

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sherry

  • 2 pounds pork ribs, separated (optionally, chop into 2- to 3-inch segments)

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup oil for frying, more as needed

  • Thai chili sauce, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Crispy fried pork ribs recipe ingredients

    The Spruce / Christina Musgrave

  2. Place garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, and sherry in a food processor or high-speed blender.

    Place garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, and sherry in a food processor

    The Spruce / Christina Musgrave

  3. Process until a thick paste forms, scraping down the bowl often.

    Cilantro mixture in a food processor

    The Spruce / Christina Musgrave

  4. Place the pork ribs in a mixing bowl and add the marinade. Toss well to coat. Cover and set in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to overnight.

    Slathering marinade on pork ribs

    The Spruce / Christina Musgrave

  5. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour with the salt and pepper. Gently roll the ribs in the flour mixture until well coated.

    Coating marinated pork ribs with seasoned flour

    The Spruce / Christina Musgrave

  6. Heat at least 1-inch deep of oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat to 350 F. If you don't have a thermometer and want to be sure that the oil is ready, simply dip one corner of a floured rib into the oil; if it begins to sizzle, the oil is ready.

    Placing pork ribs into oil

    The Spruce / Christina Musgrave

  7. Carefully place the first batch of ribs in the oil, being sure not to overcrowd the pan or disturb them during the first minute of frying. Reduce heat to medium or just hot enough to keep ribs frying nicely.

    Frying the pork ribs

    The Spruce / Christina Musgrave

  8. Fry the ribs 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until deep golden brown, flipping once or twice throughout cooking. To see if they are cooked, check with an instant-read thermometer or simply remove one from the oil and slice it open close to the bone. It should be white or a very light pink inside.

    Pork ribs fried to a crispy golden brown

    The Spruce / Christina Musgrave

  9. Remove the ribs from the oil and drain on a clean paper towel; alternatively, place the ribs on a cooling rack while you fry the rest and collect the drippings on a plate. Keep warm while cooking the remaining ribs. Serve with Thai chili sauce for dipping.

    Thai marinated crispy fried pork ribs

    The Spruce / Christina Musgrave

Frying Tips

When frying foods, there are a few things that you should keep in mind:

  • Type of Oil: Each oil has its own smoking point—the point at which the oil will start smoking. A high smoking point oil is what you want when frying—canola, peanut, safflower, sunflower, and corn oils are great for high-temperature frying.
  • Don't Overcrowd: Putting too much food in the hot oil at once is a bad idea because the oil level will rise, causing the hot oil to spill over. Secondly, the temperature of the oil will drop, making the food soak up more oil and turning it into a soggy, greasy mess.
  • Oil Temperature: While it varies depending on what food you are frying, the oil for most fried food hovers at 375 F. A deep-fry thermometer is best to measure the temperature, but if you don't have one, just sprinkle a small dusting of flour onto the oil. If it sizzles, then the oil is ready to go.
  • Appropriate Pan: Pans that aren't made of sturdy material don't conduct heat as well; an appropriate pan will keep the temperature consistent.
  • Avoid Splatter: For safe frying, use a splatter screen, a mesh screen that is placed on top of the food that is frying to limit the oil from getting on you or the stove.

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