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Five-spiced Baked Ribs

So, very very tasty and super easy, this is messy, sticky finger food. For me, they are
exquisite! Serves 3–4


  • About 800g–1kg pork spare ribs

  • ½ bunch of spring onions, trimmed and chopped

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Rub

  • 1 star anise

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

  • Few whole Szechuan pepper

  • 1 tbsp five-spice powder

  • Salt

  • Sticky Honey Glaze

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • Few squidges of honey

  • 1–2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 150ml soy sauce

  • Grated zest of 1 lime

  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

  • 1–2 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6. Place some foil on the base of a large baking tray or roasting tin (this dish gets quite messy!). Crush the star anise, fennel seeds and Szechuan pepper in a pestle and mortar, then put in a small bowl, add the five-spice powder and some salt and mix together to combine.

  • 2.

    Put the ribs in a bowl and sprinkle over the rub mix. I like to get my hands in and rub everything in, then tip the ribs onto the baking tray and spread them out in a single layer. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the honey glaze in a small pan. After 45 minutes, take the ribs from the oven and brush with the honey glaze generously, then sprinkle with the spring onions and season well with salt and pepper. Set the rest of the honey glaze aside for later. Return the ribs to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes.

  • 4.

    Once the ribs are cooked, remove them from the oven and tip them onto a large plate. Reheat the remaining sticky glaze and serve as a dipping sauce with the ribs and a large green salad. I like to serve everything in the middle of the table so everyone can help themselves.

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