‘Too good to include’ oriental pork ribs

Oriental pork ribs 1

I first made these ribs for inclusion in a chili recipe, but that didn’t work out so well. It turned out that they were so good that not only did most of the meat end up in my mouth rather than the chili as I was stripping it from the bone, but they also totally dominated the chili with their sweet, spiced goodness. So the chili had to say goodbye and the ribs were free to accompany some more appropriate companions: a heap of bright white rice and a sprinkle of spring onions.

Oriental pork ribs 3

Oriental pork ribs
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 


These are roughly the quantities for the marinade, but at least you get the general idea, sweetness from mirin, salt and savouriness from the soy, and then lots of other eastern flavours. How long it actually takes for a marinade to have much effect seems to be a point of contention, but a few hours in the fridge seems like a safe bet.
  • 650g pork ribs
  • 30 ml mirin
  • 70ml soy sauce
  • 1 tbspn sake
  • 1 tbspn rice vinegar
  • 1 tbspn vegetable oil
  • 1 star anise
  • tspn chinese five spice
  • Fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • tspn fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a small pan and bring to the boil. Immediately take off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
  2. Place the ribs in a snug roasting pan and pour the marinade over, cover and leave in the fridge for a few hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C and when hot cover the pork with tin foil and place in the oven.
  4. Cook for 1 hour, then remove the foil and cook for a further hour, turning the ribs a few times, the meat should be very tender and the marinade reduced to a thick sticky sauce.
  5. Watch closely as the marinade can burn quickly as it thicken to the end of cooking, you want a thick sticky sauce that clings to the bones, and a few black extremities are ok, but don’t let it burn.
  6. When the meat is cool enough to handle, strip from the bone, trying to avoid as much gristle as possible.
  7. Serve over cooked Japanese rice with a sprinkle of finely sliced green onions.


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