There’s no reason why coffee and pork should taste so addictive but it totally does. Rich, sweet and intense, this Singapore dish tastes totally amazing, and I love how quick and easy it is to make, especially as it’s in the air fryer. But don’t worry if you haven’t got one at home: I’ve got the work around you need. Grab the napkins, my friends.
800g (1 lb 12 oz) pork ribs, cut into individual ribs
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp instant coffee powder or granules
sesame seeds, to garnish
finely sliced long red chilli, to garnish
roughly chopped coriander (cilantro), to garnish
11/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder (check out my homemade five spice recipe)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/3 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
For the pork marinade, combine ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine well. Add the pork ribs, toss to coat, then cover the bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavours to develop.
Place the barbecue sauce, honey, ½ cup of water, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and coffee in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cook for around 5 minutes or until it’s thickened slightly (you want it to be sort of like a thin syrup texture). Turn the heat off and set aside until your ribs are cooked.
Place the ribs in the bowl of an air-fryer making sure they’re well spaced (do this in batches if you need to). Cook at 180°C (350°F) for 10 minutes*.
Transfer the ribs to the pan with the sauce. Turn the heat back on to high and cook, tossing, for 3-4 minutes or until the ribs are well coated and the sauce has thickened. Transfer to a serving place and sprinkle over the sesame seeds, chilli and coriander.
– If you don’t have an air fryer, you could deep-fry the ribs instead. Fill a wok or heavy based saucepan with one-third of vegetable oil and place over high heat. Once the oil is hot enough (180°C/350°F, or when a wooden spoon dipped in forms small bubbles), drain the ribs of any excess marinade, then carefully lower into the hot oil (you’ll probably need to do this in two batches). Cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Drain on a tray lined with kitchen towel, then repeat with the remaining ribs. Now you can head back to step 4!