Sticky Singaprean spareribs

September 9, 2015 (Last Updated: January 11, 2019)

This is food for sharing and eating with your fingers. Pile the ribs into a big dish, place it in the middle of the table and enjoy!

TO DRINK: Grangehurst Pinotage 2001 has a bold, powerful plum character with a full mouth feel to stand up to this dish.

Sticky Singaprean spareribs

Serves: 4 – 6
Cooking Time: 40 mins


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 20ml (4 tsp) fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 red chillies, seeded
  • 10ml (2 tsp) chilli paste
  • 1 lemon grass stalk, chopped
  • 5ml (1 tsp) fish sauce
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) sesame oil
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 20ml (4 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 10ml (2 tsp) salt
  • 80ml (¹/³ cup) oil
  • 1kg pork spareribs, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 x 420g tin coconut milk
  • 100g spring onions, sliced
  • steamed rice, to serve
  • 60ml (¼ cup) plum sauce, to serve (see Cook’s Tip below)



For the paste, put all the ingredients into a pestle and mortar and pound to a smooth paste.


Heat the oil in a wok for about 1 minute and fry the paste until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spareribs and stir-fry until the meat is well coated with the spices, about 10 minutes.


Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cook until the meat is almost tender, about 30 minutes.


Continue to cook over a low heat until the sauce has thickened. Add the spring onions and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes.


Serve with steamed rice and plum sauce while the ribs are still hot.


Find plum sauce at Asian supermarkets, Woolworths nationwide or specialist delis such as Thrupps in Johannesburg, 011-268-0298.

Send this to a friend