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Sweet & Sour Lamb Ribs

It's been found that Aussies spend at least one day a week creating a lamb roast meal. Meat & Livestock Australia have launched a group of recipes reflecting our love affair with lamb.


  • 4kg lamb ribs (kept whole)

  • 1 bunch round leaf mint

  • 1 bunch coriander

  • 1 bunch Vietnamese mint

  • lime wedges

  • Masterstock

  • 9L water

  • 375ml Chinese cooking wine

  • 375ml light soy sauce

  • 125ml dark soy sauce

  • salt – to taste

  • 125g rock sugar

  • 10 eschallots

  • 10 cloves of garlic

  • 10cm piece of ginger

  • 1 bunch green shallots

  • 5g liquorice root

  • 10 star anise

  • 2 cassia bark

  • 5 cloves

  • 2 pieces of Chinese cardamom

  • Sweet & Sour Sauce

  • 500g sugar

  • 150ml Chinkiang vinegar*

  • 175g fish sauce

  • 150g Kimlan soy paste*

  • 2 lemongrass, sliced as thinly as possible

  • 1.5 tbsp cumin powder

  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 x 3cm piece of ginger, finely chopped

  • Note

  • Chinkiang vinegar and Kimlan soy paste are readily available at Asian grocery stores


  • Masterstock:

  • 1.

    In a food processor, roughly chop garlic, eschallots and ginger

  • 2.

    In a big stock pot, on medium heat, saute the garlic, ginger and eschallots until golden coloured

  • 3.

    Deglaze with Chinese cooking wine, bring to a rapid boil and continue boiling until alcohol is evaporated - about 3 minutes or so. Add water, dark and light soy sauce, rock sugar and salt to taste.

  • 4.

    Put liquorice, cassia, star anise, cloves and Chinese cardamom in cheese cloth, tie with butcher's twine, then add the spice sachet to the masterstock.

  • 5.

    Add the roughly chopped bunch of green shallots. Bring to boil, then turn down to a simmer for at least half an hour to let the flavours infuse.

  • Lamb:

  • 1.

    Trim lamb ribs of cartilage and excess fat. Add to masterstock, bring to a boil, then simmer until the meat almost falls away from the bone — about 2 – 3 hours.

  • 2.

    When the ribs are cooked, lift out and place on wire racks until completely cooled. When the ribs are cold and manageable, use a knife and cut along the ribs to separate.

  • Sweet And Sour Sauce:

  • 1.

    Melt sugar in a large pot with a touch of water and caramelize the sugar until it reaches a light tan colour — around 170°C.

  • 2.

    Once the sugar caramelizes, deglaze the pot with Chinkiang vinegar, soy paste, and fish sauce.

  • 3.

    Add chilli, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and cumin. Bring to boil, set aside. Pick the leaves of mint, coriander, and Vietnamese mint.

  • 4.

    Deep-fry the ribs in a deep-fryer, 175°C, until crispy.

  • 5.

    Coat the ribs in liberal amounts of sweet and sour sauce, then toss with mint, coriander, and Vietnamese mint.

  • To serve:

  • 1.

    Serve with lime wedges

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