Friday, January 6, 2012

Sticky ribs

One of the great bonuses of buying pork belly is the attached spare ribs. You could cook the belly with them attached, but quite frankly they make portioning and serving the belly more work than it should be. I usually slice them off as a whole rack, bag and freeze them for use later as stock bones or a very tasty lunch.

Cooking ribs is an easy two step process, simmering the ribs until they're cooked and almost falling off the bone, then grilling and glazing. Fill a pot large enough to hold the ribs with water, soy sauce, star anise and a chopped up onion, bring it to the boil and place in the ribs, simmer for 30 minutes.

While the ribs are simmering, preheat the oven to 200-220°C (or get the BBQ going), in a bowl mix together tomato ketchup; five spice; minced ginger; minced garlic; soy sauce; ground chilli; and honey.

Drain the ribs and pat dry, be careful as they will be fragile. Brush the ribs with the glaze and place in the hot oven. After 10 minutes remove from the oven, flip and baste with the glaze, cook for a further 10 minutes. Repeat twice more (40 minutes in total, they may be done after 30).

I like to serve a couple of ribs with some simple steamed rice, coriander and slices of spring onion, the accompaniments help clean the palate. A finger bowl on the table is a good idea too.

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