Sticky Hoisin Ribs

If you are a fan of ribs and are awaiting barbecue season, then this oven baked ribs recipe is one to try. Tender, fall of the bone meat with a sticky, sweet and salty hoisin glaze. These ribs are always a hit with my family. The ribs are first brined in the fridge. Then they are steamed in the oven before being slathered in hoisin sauce and caramelised to perfection.

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Key Ingredients

(see below for full list of ingredients)

  • Pork Ribs: I get these from my local supermarket and they come cut into individual ribs (as opposed to the whole rack).
  • Salt: This is the key ingredient for making a brine. Brine is basically a solution containing salt and water. It can also contain herbs and spices for extra flavour. Meat can be soaked in brine and this causes the meat to absorb the water. In this recipe soaking the ribs in a salt-water-spice solution adds depth of flavour and the salt also makes the meat on the ribs more succulent.
  • Hoisin Sauce: I personally love Lee Kum Kee hoisin sauce. It has a lovely sweet and salty flavour with a hint of garlic. It’s quite concentrated, so a little goes a long way.

How To Make Sticky Hoisin Ribs

Step One: Add 3 cloves garlic minced, 1 tbsp onion powder, 2 tsp salt and 1.5 tsp brown sugar to a medium sized baking dish. Add enough water to just add a layer of liquid to the bottom of the dish and mix well until the sugar and salt has dissolved.

Step Two: Add in the ribs and make sure they are coated in the liquid. Top up with warm/room temperature water such that the ribs are completely submerged in liquid.

Step Three: Cover with clingfilm and place the baking dish in the fridge for 2 hours to over night.

Step Four: Preheat your oven to 180 °C fan (200 °C conventional/Gas Mark 6/400 °F).

Step Five: Transfer the ribs to another baking dish and cover with foil. Discard the brine. Bake the ribs with the foil on for 40 minutes. Increase the heat to 200 °C fan (220 °C conventional/Gas Mark 7/425 °F).

Step Six: Brush the ribs all over with half of the hoisin sauce (50 g) and return the ribs to the oven for a further 10 minutes.

Step Seven: Brush the ribs all over with the remaining (50 g) of hoisin sauce and turn the ribs over. Cook for another 10 minutes until the ribs are starting to go brown and the sauce begins to caramelise.

How To Serve Sticky Hoisin Ribs

  • For a Chinese style meal serve with stir fried noodles and vegetables, or fried rice.
  • Ribs are a great addition to a fakeaway – sometimes I also cook ribs on pizza night.

Tips for Making Sticky Hoisin Ribs

  • The brine really does add flavour to the meat. Even if you only have enough time to brine the ribs in the fridge for an hour do not skip this step. Brining the ribs over night is more ideal.
  • These can also be cooked on the barbecue. Just follow the steps to when the ribs are steamed in the oven (Step 5) and then finish the ribs off on the barbecue.

Sticky Hoisin Ribs Recipe


Serves:
4
Preparation Time:
5 mins
(plus 2 hours to over night for brining)
Cooking Time:
1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp brown sugar
  • hot water and warm water
  • 700 g pork ribs
  • 100 g Hoisin sauce

METHOD

  1. Add the garlic, onion powder, salt and sugar to a medium sized baking dish. Add enough water to just add a layer of liquid to the bottom of the dish and mix well until the sugar and salt has dissolved.
  2. Add in the ribs and make sure they are coated in the liquid. Top up with warm/room temperature water such that the ribs are completely submerged in liquid.
  3. Cover with clingfilm and place the baking dish in the fridge for 2 hours to over night.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 °C fan (200 °C conventional/Gas Mark 6/400 °F).
  5. Transfer the ribs to another baking dish and cover with foil. Discard the brine. Bake the ribs with the foil on for 40 minutes. Increase the heat to 200 °C fan (220 °C conventional/Gas Mark 7/425 °F).
  6. Brush the ribs all over with hoisin sauce and return the ribs to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  7. Brush the ribs all over with a second coat of hoisin sauce and turn the ribs over. Cook for another 10 minutes until the ribs are starting to go brown and the sauce begins to caramelise.

Filipino Adobo

One dish that we ate regularly during my childhood is adobo. It’s a dish that brings me comfort to this day. My mum would make it for dinners, and our friends would cook it when we would visit their houses. Every Filipino has their own way of cooking adobo, and I will share my very own version.

Adobo is the unofficial traditional dish of the Philippines (and should not be confused with the Mexican/Spanish/Portuguese marinades bearing the same name). It normally consists of chicken or pork, or sometimes both, braised in vinegar, and soy sauce, and delicately flavoured with black pepper and bay leaves. Once it’s cooked up the flavours mesh together to form what I can only describe as adobo-y yumminess. It’s neither salty or sour, it’s just a hearty savouriness that’s unique to Filipino adobo.

It’s so tasty and simple to make, definitely worth a try.


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Filipino Adobo Recipe


Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 g skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • 500 g pork belly strips (each strip cut into 3 pieces)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 15 ml white vinegar
  • 45 ml lemon juice
  • 120 ml low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 240 ml water
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

METHOD

  1. Add the chicken, pork, garlic, white vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, bay leaves and black pepper (essentially all the ingredients apart from the water and the sugar) to a large bowl and mix together.
  2. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to marinade for at least 1 hour or over night.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan.
  4. Scrape the marinade from the meat (as best as possible) and set aside the marinade for later.
  5. Brown the meat in batches on a high heat. Fry each piece for roughly a minute on each side.
  6. After the meat is browned add all the pieces back into the saucepan.
  7. Add the water and bring the pot to a boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer.
  8. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.
  9. Stir in the sugar and continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes.

NOTES

  • Meat with a generous fat content is an absolute must in this dish as the fattiness of the meat adds to the flavour. It will not taste the same if you use chicken breast. Chicken legs or even boneless chicken thighs will work though if you’re not keen on meat on the bone.
  • Steps 3 to 6 are optional. If you are pushed for time then you can just add the marinaded meat straight to the saucepan and continue from step 7. However, I find that browning the meat in advance adds a little extra flavour.
  • If you’re not a fan of pork you can use 1kg of chicken thighs instead, either with the bone in or boneless. If using bone-in thighs then increase the simmering time in step 8 by and additional 10 minutes. Likewise this dish also works great with just pork, although I would stick to just 500 g of pork belly and use an additional 500 g of lean pork pieces to keep the fat content reasonable.
  • You can use regular light soy sauce instead of the low sodium version. I prefer the low sodium soy sauce as I’m quite conscious of my family’s salt intake. It also does not take anything away from the authenticity of the flavour.
  • Traditionally whole black peppercorns are used in this dish. Personally, I’m not keen on the crunch and intense pepperiness this causes every few mouthfuls. Hence I use freshly milled cracked black pepper instead.
  • Serve with steamed basmati rice, steamed vegetables or salad.