Coconut Grits with Vietnamese Short Ribs

(from castro15’s recipe box)

Categories: Meals


  • For the short ribs:
  • 3 lbs. bone-in short ribs
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, cut into 3-inch pieces and smashed with the flat side of a knife
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. chili-garlic sauce
  • For the Grits:
  • 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned grits
  • Pickled vegetables, for topping (see recipe)
  • Torn fresh cilantro and/or mint, for topping


  1. Make the short ribs: Preheat the oven to 325. Toss the short ribs with the five-spice powder and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the short ribs and cook, turning, until browned, 10 minutes. Remove to a plate and spoon off all but a thin layer of the drippings. Add the garlic, shallots, ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon and star anise to the pot and cook, stirring, until the garlic and shallots are softened, about 3 minutes.

  2. Stir 2 1/2 cups water, the soy sauce, 2 tbsp. each brown sugar and rice vinegar, 1 tbsp. fish sauce and the chili-garlic sauce into the pot. Return the short ribs to the pot in a single layer. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Bake until the meat is very tender, adding up to 1/2 cup more water if the pot is too dry, about 2 1/2 hours.

  3. Remove the short ribs to a plate; discard the bones. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl or fat separator. Skim or pour off any excess fat, the pour the liquid into a large skillet. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. each brown sugar and rice vinegar and the remaining 1 tsp fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Return the short ribs to the skillet and continue to cook, turning often, until glazed, 4 to 8 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, make the grits: Combine the coconut milk, 2 1/2 cups water and 1 tsp salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Gradually add the grits, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. If the grits seem too thick, thin with water, 1 to 2 tbsp at a time.

  5. Divide the grits among 4 shallow bowls. Top with the short ribs and pickled vegetables. Sprinkle with cilantro and mint.

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