hoisin pork ribs & cucumber pickle

I'm constantly on the hunt for rib recipes. I adapted this one from a recipe I saw in Gourmet Traveller magazine by doubling the amount pickle and changing the cooking method for the ribs. I was planning to try the original recipe where the ribs get marinated briefly and then placed straight onto the grill. As it happens, my husband decided to invite my brother-in-law and his partner for lunch and since I hadn't tried this recipe before I decided to play it safe with the cooking method. From my experience, ribs can often burn before they get cooked especially when the sauce is sweet like this one. I didn't want our guests to be dining on charred meat! I decided to pre-cook the ribs at a low temperature so that all I had to worry about was making the sure the sauce would caramelise nicely on the ribs. I increased the amount of sauce so that I don't end up with dry ribs and the extra sauce tastes great with the rice. 

Hoisin Pork Ribs and Cucumber Pickle by Bent Street Kitchen


pork ribs

1.5 kg pork ribs, cut into individual ribs

handful of coriander leaves 

1 T sesame seeds



1/3 c hoisin sauce

1/3 c oyster sauce

2 T light soy sauce

2 T shaoxing wine

2 T honey

1 T ginger, finely grated

1 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 t sesame oil

2-3 dashes of ground white pepper

cucumber pickle

2 lebanese cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, sliced into 3 cm pieces

2 T ginger, finely grated

1 garlic clove, chopped

4 T rice wine vinegar

4 t white sugar

2 t sesame oil


Mix all marinade ingredients in a large enough bowl to fit ribs and place ribs in it for 30 mins.

Combine ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar and oil together. Add cucumber and toss until lightly pickled. 

Preheat oven grill to 250°C.

Place ribs on foil lined baking tray and place in oven's topmost shelf. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn over, baste with marinade and cook for another 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 225°C, move ribs to lower shelf to prevent burning and cook for 5 minutes. Turn ribs over again and cook for another 5 minutes. Ribs should be a bit charred but not burnt.

Place 4-5 pieces of ribs on top of some steamed rice on a plate. Top with cucumber pickle, coriander leaves and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Serves 4. 

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salt & pepper pork

Salt and Pepper Pork by Bent Street Kitchen

Salt & pepper crab, salt & pepper prawns, salt & pepper squid. How can anything dubbed as simply as "salt & pepper" taste so good? Problem though is they're often deep-fried dishes and I rarely deep fry anything at home. Don't get me wrong. I love deep-fried stuff and would frequently order them when I eat out.  Let's face it. It's hard to beat that fat-epidemic-inducing combination of a crispy crunchy batter with a tender juicy bit of meat or vegetable pocketed inside.

I came home with a deep fryer years ago and still recall the look of fear my husband

gave me. He was scared I was going to slowly kill us with fat. Hot, sizzling, fat. I thought he was being overly dramatic. I wasn't going to use it all the time, I told him.  As it turns out, when I saw how much oil I had to use to get that crispy crunch for my calamari, I balked. I haven't used that deep fryer since. I still see it, sitting at the bottom shelf of my parents' cleaning cupboard, taunting me for my purchase mistake.

 I searched for a salt & pepper dish that didn't require deep frying and came across Adam Liaw's recipe for salt & pepper pork belly in his book "Asian After Work". This is his recipe with some very minor adjustments to suit my taste. I increased the garlic and shallots because they taste fantastic with rice and there never seems to be enough of them go around whenever I order this dish. This is a simple recipe you can easily whip for a week night meal. In fact, that's what the recipes in Adam Liaw's book are all about.


500 g pork belly, skin removed

1 t sesame oil

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 bird's eye chilli, sliced

4 shallots (spring onions), white and light green sections only, trimmed and sliced

2 t sea salt flakes

1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

handful coriander leaves


Slice the pork into 3 cm squares, about 1 cm thick.

Heat wok until very hot and add sesame oil. Fry the pork in 3 batches until well browned on all sides and cooked through.

Remove any excess fat from wok and add garlic, chilli and shallots. Fry over very high heat until mixture is fragrant and garlic starts to brown. Return pork to the wok, add 1 t salt and the black pepper. Do a taste check and add more salt if needed. Toss to coat well. Transfer to warm plate and garnish with coriander.

Serves 4.

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