COOKS 1.5hrs


For the Ribs

  • 600g pork spare ribs (or 4 good size ribs)
  • 3cm piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (make sure your ginger is fresh or otherwise it'll be stringy and hard to cut)
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used rapeseed oil)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 235ml plus 2 tbsps low sodium soy sauce
  • 355ml shaoxin wine or dry sherry
  • 50g sugar
  • 3 tbsps honey
  • 1tsp chilli flakes
  • 2tsp 5-spice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Honey Soy Glaze

  • 160ml braising liquid
  • 4tsp honey 

Iced Cucumber Salad

  • 1/2 a cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2tbsps rice wine vinegar
  • 2tbsps sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to season
  • brown rice to serve (I am rubbish at getting brown rice right and it always takes ages so until I've figured this one out I recommend using the microwave version. M&S's rice is lovely.)
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • a couple of tsps of sesame seeds


  1. Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl, stir thoroughly and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Then take out and refrigerate while you're cooking the ribs.
  2. Rinse the ribs under cold water and place in a large pot. Fill with water and add the sliced ginger. Place pot over high heat and boil for 30 minutes, skimming the fat from the surface as it forms.
  3. Drain and rinse rib pieces in cold water for a second time, removing any excess fat, debris and ginger. 
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C.
  5. Place a large Dutch oven, heavy bottom pot or any other large, oven-proof pot over medium-high heat and add oil. Add the ribs and season with salt and pepper. Brown for about 3 minutes. Add the ginger, chilli and 5-spice and cook for a minute or so. De-glaze the pot with the wine and leave to bubble for a few minutes. Now add the sugar, soy sauce, garlic and honey.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil then cover and place the pot in the oven.
  7. Simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and turn the ribs. For the last 15 minutes remove the lid.
  8. Scoop 160ml (approximately 2-3 ladles full) of the sauce into a small pot (skimming off any excess fat) and stir in the honey. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until mixture has reduced by 1/3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
  9. Serve the ribs on top of the rice, spoon over the sauce and brush the ribs with the honey soy glaze. Top with the spring onions and sesame seeds and serve alongside the iced cucumber salad.