Rowena G's Recipes

Chinese Five-spice Spare ribs

Recipe by
3 hours
Prep: 1 hour | Cook: 2 hours | Servings: 2 / 3 people


For the spareribs

  • 750g/1½lb pork spareribs (entrecosto)
  • 600ml/1 pint groundnut (peanut) or corn oil

For the marinade

For the sauce

  • 6 very large garlic cloves chopped finely
  • 2 tsp five-spice powder
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 1 shallot or (very small onion) finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp Mirin ( or 2 tbspns sugar and a slug of white wine)
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated lemon peel (1 medium lemon will do it)
  • 160ml cider vinegar

Preparation method

  1. Have your butcher separate the spareribs into individual ribs and then into chunks which are approximately 7.5cm long. Alternatively do this yourself using a heavy sharp cleaver that can cut through the bones.
  2. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and steep the spareribs in the marinade for 25 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature. Remove the spareribs from the marinade with a slotted spoon if there is any liquid left.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large wok, if using a large wok do not let the oil burn, turn heat to medium for cooking, if using a deep fat fryer leave on the hot temp. When the oil is very hot and slightly smoking, slowly brown batches (4 or 5 at once) of the marinated spareribs until they are nicely brown. Drain each cooked batch on kitchen paper. Heat the oil up for a minute or two between batches as the cooking will lower the temperature of the oil) Leave the cooking oil to cool. Strain it through a filter if you want to re-use it when cooking pork.
  4. Put the sauce ingredients into a clean non stick wok or frying pan.
  5. Bring the sauce to the boil and then reduce the heat. Add the spareribs, half cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. If necessary, add a little water to the sauce to prevent the spareribs from drying up but you do need the sauce to boil down sufficiently to be sticky. Skim off any surface fat, turn onto a warm serving plate and serve at once or rewarm gently over low heat prior to indulging.

Based on

Ken Hom BBC Food

But adapted to what I had in the kitchen/garden March 2014. Really scrummy !!


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