Sticky Tamarind and Maple Syrup Glazed Pork Ribs

, from Issue #88. December, 2019
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Sticky Tamarind and Maple Syrup Glazed Pork Ribs

Apart from being super delicious, what I love about making ribs is that both the ribs and the glaze can be prepared in advance then just finished off on the barbecue for a finger-licking feast of deliciousness.

Serves: 6


3 x 500-gram racks pork spare ribs
1 cup hot water
sea salt lime wedges for squeezing


2/3 cup maple syrup
½ cup kecap manis (thick, sweet Indonesian soy sauce)
¼ cup each oyster sauce and black vinegar (chinkiang vinegar)
2 tablespoons each tamarind concentrate and sriracha chilli sauce
1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and sea salt


Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake.

Ribs: Use a sharp knife to cut loose one edge of the skin, which is the thin membrane on the bone side of the ribs. Grab the edge with a kitchen towel then pull off the entire silver skin and discard.

Season the ribs with salt then place in a large baking dish. Pour in the water then cover with baking paper then foil to seal tightly. Bake for 1 hour. Remove and pat dry with kitchen towels.

Glaze: Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool.

Preheat the barbecue or a grill plate to medium-low.

Tip half of the glaze into a serving bowl and set aside for serving.

Brush the ribs with some of the remaining glaze and place over the heat. Turn and brush the ribs every 5 minutes until golden and sticky, about 15 minutes. Don’t have the heat too hot or the glaze will quickly catch and burn.

To serve: Transfer to a serving board and serve with the reserved glaze for dipping and lime wedges for squeezing.

Cook’s note: The glaze can be made several days ahead, and the ribs can be baked 3 days ahead of glazing. Store both in the fridge.