Thai Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs

Published: 26th March 2010
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* (2kg) pork spare ribs

* 1 red onion, finely chopped

* 2 garlic cloves, minced

* 1 tbsp grated ginger root

* 1 tbsp peanut oil

* 1/2 cup (125ml) pineapple juice

* 2 tbsp fish sauce

* 1/4 cup (60ml) tomato paste

* 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lime juice

* 2 tbsp honey

* 1/3 cup (90ml) thai sweet chilli sauce

* Separate the ribs by slicing between the bones with a large knife or cleaver. Simmer the separated ribs in large pan of salted water until just tender, about 30 minutes.

* Drain. Rinse under cold running water and drain again. Leave to cool completely. Place onion, garlic, ginger and oil in a small pan. Stir fry over medium heat until softened, 5-10 minutes.

* Add pineapple juice, fish sauce, tomato paste, lime juice, honey and 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce. Bring to the boil. Simmer gently until thick, 10 minutes.

* Leave to cool completely. Brush the sweet sour mix over the ribs. Grill according to instructions below, basting with the remaining chilli sauce throughout. Serve hot.

Outdoor on the barbecue
* Grill over medium-hot coals, turning frequently and basting, until brown and crusty, 15 minutes.

* Preheat broiler. Broil, removing from under the broiler every 5 minutes to baste, until brown and crusty, 15 minutes.

Think ahead

* Pre-cook the ribs up to 1 day in advance. Cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Make glaze up to 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate.

Cooks note

* Pre-cook the ribs in simmering water to remove the layer of outer fat. This not only prevents flare-ups during cooking, but allows the rib meat to stay tender and juicy inside and crispy on the outside.

Recipe variation - Spiced Hoisin Ribs

* Omit all ingredients for the sweet sour mixture. Combine instead 1/2 cup (120ml) hoisin sauce, 1/2 tsp chinese five-spice, 4 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tbsp gratred fresh ginger root, 2 tbsp medium dry sherry, 1/4 cup (60ml) soy sauce, 2 tbsp hot chinese sauce, and 1/2 cup (120ml) packed brown sugar. Reserve 2 tbsp hoisin mixture for basting. Brush remaining mixture over ribs. Grill according to recipe above.

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