Beginner’s Choice: Aroy Mak Mak Quick Dish

P’Pew, my friend in Bangkok, sent a photo of the braised pork spare ribs in soy bean paste dish which P’ Pad, her sister, cooked. She said it was yummy (aroy in Thai, mak mak means very) and it didn’t take long to cook. I am always looking for recipes of dishes which don’t take long to cook, so I immediately asked if I could have the recipe. I am very grateful that P’Pew and P’Pad are always very kind to me.

From the photo, the braised pork ribs look like the Chinese braised pork ribs in soy bean paste that is served in Singapore, but from the recipe, I can see the Thai influence of Tamarind, coconut sugar and chili. It’s a “must try” recipe for me.


300 -400gm spare ribs cut into one and a half inch pieces

2 pieces ginger 1×1/2 inch
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon soy bean paste
2 tablespoon tamarind (liquid)
1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 chilli (any colour) sliced thinly
2 tablespoon oil


  1. Lightly smash the ginger and garlic
  2. Heat oil in a pan add ginger & garlic
  3. Add spare ribs till half cooked
  4. Stir in bean paste and tamarind
  5. Pour in enough water to cover the mixture
  6. Once it boils, lower the heat and simmer till ribs are tender. More water may be added to prevent burning.
  7. When ribs are tender and about half the liquid has evaporated add sugar to balance the sourness and saltiness of the dish.
  8. Mix in the chillies just before serving.

Sugar ,salt, soybean paste and tamarind can be adjusted according to individual taste. Some dark soy sauce can be added for extra colouring.

By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1,21 November 2021

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