• If you aren’t licking the succulent sauce off your fingers when you’re done, you’re eating these sticky Asian beef ribs with savoy cabbage pancakes and bok choi wrong.

    Recipe by Thulisa Martins

    Sticky Asian beef ribs with savoy cabbage pancakes and bok choi

    Serves: 6
    Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins


    • Ribs

    • 2kg beef back ribs (ask your local nbutcher to cut them)
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 125ml (½ cup) Tamari soya sauce
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) chilli oil
    • 60ml (¼ cup) hoisin sauce
    • Caramel sauce

    • 500ml (2 cups) water
    • 200g castor sugar, sifted
    • 50g butter, cut into cubes
    • 5 small red chillies, sliced (optional)
    • Savoy cabbage pancakes

    • 420g cake flour, sifted
    • 2 large eggs
    • 625ml (2 ½ cups) water
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    • ½ red onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) fish sauce
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) chilli oil
    • 1 small carrot, grated
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • leaves of 4 baby savoy cabbages, washed
    • Bok choi

    • 100g bok choi
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive/avocado oil
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) sesame seeds
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • To serve

    • handful Asian rice crackers, to serve



    Preheat the oven to 170°C. For the ribs, season them with salt and pepper. Mix the soya sauce, chilli oil and hoisin sauce together in a bowl. Pour half of the sauce over the ribs and coat thoroughly. Set aside the remaining sauce. Place the ribs in a roasting tray, cover with foil and roast, 45 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the oven setting to grill and grill until golden brown, 10 – 15 minutes.


    For the caramel sauce, heat the water and sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat, without stirring, until it turns caramel in colour, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat when a quarter of the syrup turns a dark straw colour. Carefully whisk in the butter, taking care not to burn yourself. The mixture should be a light-caramel colour. While the mixture is still warm, whisk in the remaining beef sauce until mixed through. When the beef comes out of the oven, coat with the soyacaramel sauce and sprinkle with red chilli slices, if desired.


    For the pancakes, whisk all of the ingredients together, except the savoy cabbage leaves, until mixed through. In a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, place a savoy cabbage leaf on the pan, quickly pour about 80ml (1/3 cup) pancake mixture over to cover the cabbage leaf and fry, 2 – 3 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining leaves and batter.


    For the bok choi, heat a non-stick pan over high heat and fry in the oil until tender, 2 – 3 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and season to taste.


    Serve the ribs with the savoy cabbage pancakes, bok choi and Asian crackers.