First posted: May 1, 2015

Sticky Asian Ribs and The Wine Show


As if the Parklife Food & Music Festival this coming weekend isn’t enough fun for us all, then you don’t need to look any further for your next happy outing than The TOPS at SPAR Wine Show at Joburg’s Sandton Convention Centre from the 7-9 May. And in honour of the event’s 10 year anniversary, they asked me to cook up a few bubbly-paired nibbles, some of which you can head over and taste in The Wine Theatre next Saturday evening.

I did four recipes with pairings, including Mushroom & Truffle Risotto; Prawns in Tarragon Butter; these gorgeously sticky Asian-spiced Ribs, and dinky little Fig & Camembert Bites with Salted Caramel. I can’t wait to share all the recipes with you over the next few weeks.

The ribs are ridiculously easy to prepare; a generous coating in lots of Asian flavour and then into the oven to do their thing. Here’s how…



Cooks in:        Serves:4-6 as a snack

For the Spice Mix
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 star anise, crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg pork ribs, trimmed and separated
For the Sauce
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
To Serve
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
  • Small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Lime wedges

What to do

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C and set aside a shallow casserole with a lid, or baking dish with tinfoil ready to cover.

2. Season your ribs with salt and pepper, mix together the spice mix and olive oil and rub this into the ribs, making sure that they are well coated.

3. Place the ribs into your casserole / baking dish in the oven for 45 minutes, covered with a lid or tinfoil to prevent them drying out.

4. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce in a small saucepan over low heat, until warmed through, 2-3 minutes. Taste and check for balance of flavours and adjust if necessary.

5. Remove the ribs from the oven, coat with half the sauce, and return to the oven, uncovered, for a further 20-30 minutes, or until golden and sticky.

6. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter, garnish with the sesame seeds, chilli and coriander and serve immediately with fresh lime wedges and the extra dipping sauce on the side, or drizzle it over.

More about the TOPS at SPAR 10th Annual Wine Show
There's going to be something for everyone next weekend - a Wine Extra Theatre (where I'll be doing a food and bubbly pairing and they will have various interactive talks and edu-tainment sessions hosted by wine buffs), pop-up Bubbly Bar and 100s of exhibitors set to entertain Jozi wine lovers.

“The TOPS at SPAR Wine Show isn’t just a wine exhibition; it’s an experience that all lovers of fine wine – from seasoned foodies who are looking for the perfect pair to share at their next dinner party, to newbies who have recently discovered the world of wine - are sure to enjoy,” says Woodward.

Tickets can be bought pre-show for R140 from or at the door for R160. It includes a 10th year crystal tasting glass, all tastings, access to The Wine Extra Theatre and a map to help navigate the show. You can also find out more on Facebook and Twitter.

Dates: Thursday 7th May – Saturday 9th May 2015
Times: 16h00 – 21h00 (Thursday & Friday)
12h00 – 21h00 (Saturday)
Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg

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