Put down your fork...

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - FOOD WITH SAM MANNERING - Pho­to­graphs & Styling/ Sam Man­ner­ing

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.


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.

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