Sticky Soy Ribs with Asian Slaw
- Prep Time
- Cook Time
Step By Step
- 1 finger-length piece fresh ginger
- 3 fat cloves garlic
- 4 1/2 lb (2 kg) pork spareribs
- 1/2 cup (100 g) superfine (caster) sugar
- 1 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 2/3 cup (150 ml) light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 large or 2 smaller heads Napa cabbage (Chinese leaf)
- 1 bunch scallions (spring onions)
- 1 fat red chile
- Scant 1/2 cup (100 ml) rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1. Finely grate the ginger and the garlic, then rub all over the ribs.
- 2. Put 5 tablespoons of the sugar, the five-spic powder, then the soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sesame oil into a non-metallic container or a large plastic food storage bag. Mix together, then add the ribs. Massage the marinade around the meat, then let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. The longer the better.
- 3. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C / Gas Mark 3). Lift the ribs from the marinade, then put them into a large roasting pan. Reserve the marinade. Splash a cup of water into the bottom of the pan, then cover the whole thing with a tent of aluminum foil- the ribs are going to steam until tender.
- 4. Bake the ribs for 2 1/2 hours, then have a look and see how they are doing. The meat should be very tender and easy to pull away from the bones. If not, spoon some of the juices over the ribs (or add more water if the pan looks dry), then re-cover the pan and return to the oven for another 30 minutes before testing again. Smaller racks will take less time and vice versa. The ribs can be cooked and chilled ahead of time, ready to be grilled (barbecued) the next day.
- 5. To prepare the slaw, finely shred the Napa cabbage (Chinese leaf) and thinly slice the scallions (spring onions). Put into a large bowl, then cover and chill until needed.
- 6. To make the dressing, deseed and finely chop the chile, then put it into a small bowl. Mix in the vinegar, remaining sugar (about 2 tablespoons) and sesame oil, then season with a pinch of salt. Cook the sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes until golden and toasted, stirring often.
- 7. Skim the excess fat from the juices in the roasting pan (beef ribs will release a lot), then pour the juices and remaining marinade into a pan and boil until syrupy (about 10 minutes).
- 8. Before you begin the final cooking, check that your charcoal is glowing white hot, or your gas grill (barbecue) is preheated to 400°F (200°C). Toss the salad dressing through the slaw and set aside to let the dressing soak in. Cook the ribs for about 5 minutes on each side, until sizzling and dark golden. If you are cooking from cold, give them a little longer to be sure they're heated through. Transfer to a board, then cut into individual ribs, or portions of several. Spoon the syrupy sauce over the ribs and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serve with the salad.
Using Beef Ribs
Beef ribs are delicious cooked this way too. They need around 3-4 hours to tenderize in the oven, depending on their size.
If It Rains
Finish the ribs under a hot broiler (grill) until sizzling.
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