Crispy Fried Pork Ribs With Thai Marinade

crispy ribs

 The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
573 Calories
26g Fat
30g Carbs
52g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 573
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 148mg 49%
Sodium 1177mg 51%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 52g
Calcium 214mg 16%
*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.)

A popular street food in Thailand, these crispy fried ribs feature a thick, aromatic marinade made of cilantro (also known as fresh coriander), garlic, fish sauce, and sherry. Then the pork ribs are dusted with flour and shallow-fried until crispy and golden brown. They are easy to make and full flavor all the way through. Any type of pork rib will work, from baby back ribs to spareribs, as long as they're cut into small pieces. Serve as an appetizer with Thai sweet chile sauce for dipping.

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Ingredients

  • 7 to 8 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro (fresh coriander) leaves and stems
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or cooking sherry
  • 1 to 2 pounds pork ribs (chopped into 2- to 3-inch segments)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 cups oil for frying, such as coconut or canola

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Crispy Fried Pork Ribs recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Place garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, and sherry in a mini chopper or food processor.

    Ingredients placed in a mini chopper
     The Spruce
  3. Process until a thick paste forms.

    Processing until a paste forms
     The Spruce
  4. Place prepared pork ribs in a mixing bowl. Add the marinade and toss well to coat. Set in the refrigerator to marinate at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours.

    Slathering marinade on pork ribs
     The Spruce
  5. In another bowl, combine the flour with the salt and pepper. Gently turn or "roll" the ribs in the flour mixture until well coated. Place on a clean plate.

    Coating marinated pork ribs with seasoned flour
     The Spruce
  6. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat (it should be at least 1-inch deep). To test if oil is hot enough, dip one corner of a floured rib into the oil; if it begins to sizzle, the oil is ready.

    Testing the oil to see if it's ready
     The Spruce
  7. Carefully place the first batch of ribs in the oil, being sure not to overcrowd the pan or disturb them for the first minute of frying. Reduce heat to medium, or just hot enough to keep ribs frying nicely.

    Frying the pork ribs
     The Spruce
  8. Fry the ribs 5 to 6 minutes each side, or until they turn a deep golden brown. To see if they are cooked, remove one from the oil and slice it open close to the bone; it should be white or very light pink inside.

    Pork ribs fried to a crispy golden brown
     The Spruce
  9. Remove the ribs from the oil and drain on a clean tea towel or paper towel. Keep warm while cooking remaining ribs. Serve with Thai sweet chile sauce for dipping.

    Dipping cooked ribs in Thai sweet chile sauce
     The Spruce
  10. Enjoy.

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, which is the point at which the oil will start smoking. A high smoking point is your friend when it comes to frying. Those include canola oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and corn oil. 
  • Don't Overcrowd: Putting too much food in the hot oil at once is a bad idea for two reasons: One, the oil level will rise, causing the hot oil to spill over, and second, the temperature of the oil will lower making the food soak up more oil, turning it soggy and greasy.
  • 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 temp, 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.
  • Use a Sturdy Pan: This is important because pans that aren’t made of sturdy material don’t conduct heat as well. And conducting heat is very important when frying food to keep the oil temperature consistent.
  • Watch for Splatter: The oil is very hot, so be careful of splatters. A great tool is 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 on the stove.

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