Chinese five spice spare ribs

Chinese five spice spare ribs
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Mention BBQ spare ribs to an American and it will probably conjure up pictures of tender baby back ribs in a smoky, tangy, tomato glaze. Mention them to a Brit and top of the list will undoubtedly be these meaty Chinese ribs in a full flavoured five spice and hoisin sauce.

They can be served in the sauce as part of a Chinese meal or, for a snack, they can be finished off in the oven or on the bbq using the sauce as a glaze.

Serves 4


750g pork spareribs
Oil for deep frying
600 ml chicken stock
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
½ tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons yellow bean sauce
4 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2.5 cm root ginger, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornflour


Separate the spareribs into individual ribs and, using a cleaver, chop them into 7.5cm lengths.

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large wok. When the oil is very hot deep-fry the ribs for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Put the remaining ingredients into a large saucepan.

Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat. Add the spareribs, cover and simmer gently for about 45 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if the sauce gets too low. You can serve them at this point or finish them off in the oven or on the bbq.

While ribs are cooking preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mk 6.

When the ribs are tender remove from the sauce and place on a rack over a roasting tin, Brush with plenty of sauce and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until hot and browning slightly. Serve.

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