Put down your fork...
These ribs demand to be eaten with your hands – and they’re finger-sticking good.
Ikeep coming back to pork ribs because they are so damn easy. The key is to make sure that you slow cook them first to get them tender. Finish them on the barbecue if you fancy. And I forbid anyone to eat these with cutlery. This is food to end up covered in. Totally worth it too.
If you can’t get hold of plums, swap them out for a half cup of plum sauce or even some tamarind pulp – available from Asian supermarkets.
PORK RIBS WITH PLUM, STAR ANISE, AND SESAME
Serves 4 Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 3 hours marinating Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes 1 cup light soy sauce 2 tbsp sesame oil 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1 tbsp black vinegar 1 tbsp fish sauce 2 tbsp hoi sin sauce 1 tbsp brown sugar 3 whole star anise 1 tsp ground Chinese five spice 3 red plums, thinly sliced (or ½ cup plum sauce) Thumb’s worth of ginger, peeled and sliced 2 spring onions: 1 chopped, 1 shredded 1kg pork ribs, in a whole piece(s) Combine all ingredients, except the shredded spring onion, in a roasting dish. Using your hands, rub everything over and into the pork. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. Preheat the oven to 160C. Add enough water to the marinade so that the ribs are submerged at least halfway in liquid. Pop in the oven to gently bake, basting and turning the ribs over occasionally, for about an hour, until the meat is tender.
Remove from the oven, bring the heat up to 200C and cut the ribs up. Toss them in the leftover liquid from the dish and pop back in the oven to roast quickly for another 10-15 minutes, until the ribs are lovely and caramelised and the liquid has reduced down. Take care not to let them burn.
Remove ribs from the oven, allow to cool a little, and then serve with the shredded spring onion over the top.