Slow-cooking these Asian-inspired sticky pork ribs so they are really tender is definitely worth the wait and the effort. Don’t be afraid to ditch the utensils and get your hands into these – just make sure you have some napkins handy.
These free-range pork ribs can be slow-cooked on a charcoal barbecue or outdoor grill for an extra smokey flavour. The watercress, mango and sesame salad is fresh, vibrant and is a fantastic, healthy accompaniment. You could substitute watercress for baby spinach or any other leafy greens. This smoky corn, avocado and potato salad is another great side for this dish. If you’re preparing these ribs for a special occasion or party, feel free to prepare the sauce ahead of time, coat the ribs and pop them in the fridge to marinate.
Sticky pork ribs
- free-range pork spare ribs 2kg (I got my butcher to cut my ribs in half to make short ribs, but it's fine to leave them as long ribs too)
- hoisin sauce 2/3 cup
- apple juice 2/3 cup
- soy sauce ¼ cup
- sesame oil 2 teaspoons
- rice vinegar 3 tablespoons
- Chinese five spice ½ teaspoon
- star anise 4
- chipotle sauce 3 tablespoons
- ginger 2cm, sliced
- water 1/3 cup
Mango, watercress and sesame salad
- watercress 2 large handfuls (baby spinach or any other leafy greens are a great substitute)
- ripe mango flesh of 1, thinly sliced
- cabbage 2 cups, finely shredded
- coriander ¾ cup chopped
- sesame seeds 2 tablespoons toasted
- lime juice from one (or from one lemon)
- extra-virgin olive oil drizzle of
Preheat oven to 165degC/330 Fahrenheit.
1. Cut in between every second rib so you have pairs of ribs. In a deep oven tray combine all sticky ribs ingredients and mix well to coat the ribs. Cover with baking paper, then wrap tightly with tinfoil and place in the oven to cook for 1½ hours.
2. Remove tinfoil and baking paper, and increase oven temperature to 180degC/360 Fahrenheit. Cook ribs, uncovered, for a further 1 hour. Use a large metal spoon to skim any excess fat off the top of the liquid.
3. Pour liquid into a pot and boil over a medium-high heat until reduced by two thirds. Strain the sauce and pour over the ribs. Mix to coat evenly. Return to the oven to cook for a further few minutes until the ribs are glazed and sticky.
4. Toss all salad ingredients together and dress with lime juice and extra-virgin olive oil.
Serve ribs piled on a plate, with a large bowl of the salad on the side.