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Sweet & Sour Pork Spare Ribs with Cucumber & Mint Salsa - Em's Food For Friends

Sweet & Sour Pork Spare Ribs with Cucumber & Mint Salsa


Sweet & Sour Pork Spare Ribs with Cucumber & Mint Salsa

I reckon these babies, Pork Spare Ribs,  are the unsung hero of the meat department.  Luckily the restaurants don’t seem to have cottoned on so they are still well within budget (unlike pork belly and lamb shanks) and are really easy to cook with.  I’m calling this ‘Sweet & Sour’ instead of ‘Char Sui’ pork as I really wanted to sharpen up the dish, not only in the marinade but with the cooling and zesty cucumber and mint salsa that I paired it with.  A fragrant spring onion and ginger rice gave this meal another depth of flavour that took it from standard yum to super yum!

To save time if you have to go to work, marinate the spare ribs in the morning or even the night before.  The longer they marinate, the better the flavour.


Prep time:  25  Minutes          Cooking time:  1 Hour + at least 1 Hour marinating time                $$ Medium Budget


Serves 4


8-12 pork spare ribs (depending on size and look for nice lean ones)

3 tbs of char sui sauce

2 tbs of soy

1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar

2 tbs of Sriracha chilli sauce (found in the Asian section of the supermarket)

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbs of palm or brown sugar

1 spring onion, finely sliced diagonally  and lime wedges for garnish


For the Cucumber Salsa:


2 lebanese cucumbers, deseeded and finely chopped

1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1/2 cup of mint leaves, finely chopped

1/2 cup of coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 tbs of rice wine vinegar

1 tbs of caster sugar


For the Rice:


11/2 cups of Jasmine rice

21/2 cups of water

Sea salt

1 tbs of finely grated ginger

1 tsp of sesame oil

2 spring onions, finely sliced


In a bowl, with a whisk combine the char sui sauce, soy, vinegar, lime juice, sugar and chilli sauce.  Place the ribs in a shallow baking dish and pour over the marinade.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.


Preheat the oven to 200°C.  Use a pair of tongs and lift the spare ribs out of the marinade and place them in a baking dish lined with baking paper.  Pop them in the oven and baste them with the marinade every 10 or so minutes, turning them each time you baste, for 1 hour until the ribs are golden and sticky.


While the ribs are cooking, place the cucumber, chilli, mint, coriander, vinegar and sugar in a bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Set aside.


Place the spring onion garnish in a bowl of iced water for maximum crispiness and a lovely curly effect.


Place the rice and water in a saucepan with a generous sprinkling of salt and the ginger.  Bring the rice to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid for 12 minutes.  After 12 minutes, remove the lid very briefly and add the spring onion.  Don’t worry about stirring it through at this stage as you don’t want the steam to escape.  After five minutes, add the sesame oil and fluff the rice with a fork, stirring through the spring onion at the same time.


To plate the dish, use a ramekin to spoon the rice into and then invert it onto the serving plates.  Arrange the spare ribs around the rice and spoon over the cucumber mixture.  Drizzle over any remaining pan juices, top with the spring onion and serve with the lime wedges (sorry forgot to put those on the plate when photographing the dish, but it gave it a nice citrus lift!)



1 Comment

  • Tracy Appleby
    Posted May 23, 2017 2:51 pm 0Likes

    I made this at the weekend. We made our own Char Sui sauce as we couldn’t find any in the supermarkets. The ribs were amazingly tasty and sticky. I will be making theses again and again as we have almost a full bottle of sherry to use up 😉 I did forget the spring onion garnish at the end, but nothing spoilt. I also loved the ginger and oil in the rice, never gad that before!

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