Coconut Grits with Lemongrass-Ginger Short Ribs

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 30 min
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
Seasonings common to the Vietnamese kitchen infuse these short ribs with layers of aromatic flavor, while coconut milk guarantees the creamiest of grits to serve alongside.


For the Short Ribs:

For the Grits:

Pickled Vegetables:


  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 tablespoons each brown sugar and rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon 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, then pour the liquid into a large skillet. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon each brown sugar and rice vinegar and the remaining 1 teaspoon 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 teaspoon 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 tablespoons at a time. 
  5. Divide the grits among 4 shallow bowls. Top with the short ribs and pickled vegetables. Sprinkle with cilantro and mint.

Pickled Vegetables:

Yield: 4 servings
  1. Put the carrot and daikon in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the vegetables and press down they are covered in brine. Cool slightly, stirring a few times, cover and refrigerate until chilled and pickled, at least 2 hours.