Double the cook means double the flavour when it comes to these twice-cooked pork ribs! Tender on the inside yet crispy on the outside, these handheld morsels are made for sharing with friends and family. Served with pineapple hot sauce on the side (make it as mild or spicy as you dare), and you’ve got the best pork ribs recipe ever.
1kg (2 lb 3 oz) pork spare ribs, cut into individual ribs
1 tsp white peppercorns, crushed
4cm (1.5”) piece ginger, peeled, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
200ml (7 fl oz) chicken stock
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
1 cup potato starch (or cornflour/cornstarch)
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Pineapple hot sauce
1 cup fresh pineapple, roughly chopped
1 lime, juice only
3 habanero chilli peppers, roughly chopped, seeds in or out (your choice)
¼ cup chopped coriander (cilantro), roots and leaves
⅓ cup white vinegar
¼ cup white sugar, plus extra if needed
½ tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). Let’s start by making the marinade for the ribs. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the peppercorns, ginger and garlic to a rough paste, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, mirin, honey, brown sugar and salt, then whisk to combine. Place the ribs into the braising liquid and ensure they’re evenly coated all over. You could leave them to marinade for a couple of hours, otherwise they’re good to go straight away.
Transfer the ribs to a shallow baking tray and spread out into an even, single layer. Pour the liquid over the top of them. Now cover the ribs with a layer of baking paper, followed by aluminium foil (the double wrap will keep as much steam and moisture in with the ribs as possible to help ensure they get nice and tender). Transfer tray to the oven and cook for 45 minutes, then remove from oven. Turn the ribs over and baste with the cooking liquid, then return to the oven and cook for a further 45 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, remove the ribs from the liquid (this can be discarded) and transfer to a clean tray. Refrigerate until chilled.
Meanwhile, for the pineapple hot sauce, place the pineapple, lime juice, habanero peppers and coriander into a food processor. Blitz until smooth then transfer to a saucepan placed over medium-high heat. Add in the vinegar, sugar and salt, adding in extra sugar and salt to taste if needed. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from heat and set aside to cool and for the flavours to infuse.
Fill a wok or large saucepan one-third of the way up with vegetable oil and place over a medium-high heat.
While the oil is coming to temperature, place the potato starch on a large shallow tray. Transfer the ribs into the potato starch, then toss to coat them evenly all over.
Once the oil is hot (small bubbles will appear when you did in the handle of a wooden spoon), fry the coated ribs, in batches, for about 2–3 minutes or until golden and crispy. Transfer to a tray lined with paper towel to drain any excess oil. Serve immediately with pineapple hot sauce
– If you like to make ahead, you could prepare the pineapple hot sauce in advance – it will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.