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Sticky Chinese Ribs

Published Friday, 14 January, 2011 by Gemma Pouncy

An easy, cheap meal which somehow still seems extravagent



  • Total Prep time - 5 minutes. Total Cooking Time - 3 hours
  • 1 rack of ribs for every 2 people - whole racks, not individual ribs!
  • About 3 tablespoons of Honey or Dark brown sugar
  • Dried Chilli flakes
  • Fresh Chilli, roughly chopped
  • Fresh Garlic, roughly chopped
  • Chinese Five Spice
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Coriander
  • Dried Ginger
  • Root or Stem Ginger
  • Tomato ketchup
  • A couple of tablespoons of Soy sauce
  • A couple of tablespoons of Cider or Rice Vinegar
  • A few drops of Fish Sauce (optional)
  • To Serve - Stir fried veg / noodles / rice / prawn crackers


1/ Place your ribs in a deep roasting tray or pyrex dish (Cut the rack in half if it's too long to fit in the tray.

2/ Cover with the dry ingredients. Use as much or as little as you like, according to your own taste (e.g. if you're a spice freak, use loads of chilli, or if you love your ribs tooth achingly sweet, use loads of sugar) and experiment with different spices (the ones listed above just happened to be what I had in the cupboard at the time).

3/ Add the wet ingredients in sensible quantities (not too much soy or fish sauce or it will be really salty, not too much vinegar or it will taste vinegary) until the marinade has a slightly runny, but not wet consistency - so it will more or less stay put when spooned onto something.

4/ Cover with a lid or foil and leave for the flavours to develop for a couple of hours, or up to 24 if yu have the time.

5/ Preheat the oven to about 120 Celsius / 250 Fahrenheit / Gas Mark 1/2.

6/ Add some water to the marinade and put the ribs in the oven, covered, for an hour. Then spoon over the marinade, turn the oven up to 150 Celsius / 300 Fahrenheit / Gas Mark 2 and put the ribs in, covered, for an hour and a half, spooning over the marinade every 20 mins or so. Add water if the marinade dries out.

7/ Remove the cover from the ribs and spoon the marinade over the top. Turn the oven up to 200 Celsius / 400 Fahrenheit / Gas Mark 6 for the last 30 minutes of cooking, taking care that the marinade doesn't burn.

8/ Cut the rack into individual ribs. Serve with stir fried vegetables and noodles or rice.

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