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Chinese-Style BBQ Ribs

Saturday, 8 August 2009

If you've only got a flat in the city, with no garden, where would you barbecue? Do you know that barbecues and open fires are banned on most parks across London by Royal Parks' regulations? And by the Royal Parks, they mean Bushy Park, Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent's Park (with Primrose Hill), Richmond Park and St James's Park...what?! Those are the only parks I am familiar with in London! In the end, out of desperation, we barbecued on the balcony of our friend's flat. I pity the neighbours and also my friend's flat. I bet his flat smelt like smoke for the next few days.


So, if you really crave for some BBQ ribs and don't want to go through the hassle of setting up your barbeque set or annoy the hell out of your neighbours with an open fire, or have nightmares of fire at your flat, turn to your good old kitchen oven. You won't get the smoky taste, but it's good enough.

I came across this braising and broiling method on Good Eats and have been dying to try it out. When I saw this amazing drool-worthy picture of charred ribs over at Rasa Malaysia, I thought it's about time I give this method a try. The braising step produced extremely tender and flavourful meat while the broiling step charred the ribs - delicious!

BBQ ribs

Adapted from Rasa Malaysia

  • 1.2 kg pork ribs
  • 1/2 bulb garlic - peeled and minced
For marinade:
  • 2 tbs maltose
  • 2 tbs agave nectar (or honey)
  • 2 tbs char siu sauce
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
For glaze:
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 tbs char siu sauce
  • 1 tbs honey


  • Put all marinade ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave for about 30 secs then whisk to combine.
  • Mix together pork, garlic and marinade ingredients, marinate for at least 1 hr or even better overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 160°C.
  • Line a baking tray with aluminium foil.
  • Arrange ribs on foil, pour all the marinade liquid on ribs, cover tightly with more foil.
  • Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 hrs.
  • Remove ribs from oven, uncover carefully as a lot of steam will escape.
  • Switch oven to broil mode.
  • Brush the glaze onto the ribs.
  • Place under the broiler and broil until the glaze caramelises slightly. Keep a close look as they burn easily!
  • Brush another layer of glaze onto ribs, continue to broil until slightly charred.
  • Flip the ribs over and repeat the glazing and broiling steps.


  • Maltose is extremely sticky at room temperature, soften it by microwaving the whole jar for about 30 seconds.


lee kum kee char siu sauce

25 oink oinks...:

KennyT said...

Nice barbie ribs! Actually are there any public places that are set exclusively for barbies in London?

mycookinghut said...

I also do BBQ at the balcony!! heheeheh.. That's the only option! :)

pigpigscorner said...

Kenny: I am sure there are but not sure where exactly. Probably in the outskirts.

leemei: haha, I really wonder where ppl bbq in central London besides the balcony.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those look soooooooo good!



Elra said...

Your poor thing, hope you remembered to open all windows. It seem like you chose the right corner there. I can see from the photo that the place is pretty well ventilated.
Anyway, well done. This Chinese bbq I can't just pass without bookmarking it. Thanks Ann.

The Duo Dishes said...

Does one have to beg to get a taste of these? Pleeeease!

Jenn said...

I wish I had a small baby grill or hibachi so that I can really grill out in my porch. It would so great.

Bee Yinn said...

That's the same maltose I have. Yes, it's sticky. Thanks for linking to RM, your ribs look great, too!!

email2me said...

Those pork ribs looks as good as the one sold in Petaling street. Good to go along with a place of dry wan tan mee. Yummy!

doggybloggy said...

excellent technique - the look fall off the bone tnder....

The Little Teochew said...

The photo of the BBQ on the balcony is so cute! I guess I would do it too, out of desperation for good, smoky ribs.

5 Star Foodie said...

These ribs look fantastic, so tender and flavorful! I would love a taste!

Lizzie said...

I'm pretty glad they don't let you bbq in parks in London. Disaposible barbeques scorch the grass, and knowing teenagers... well, it'd be carnage. I am very pleased I have a big balcony to bbq on!

That maltose brings back memories... I used to eat it off a stick as a child.

lisaiscooking said...

The marinade sounds delicious! Must have been a fun day.

Hummingbird Appetite said...

I love bbq anything. We can't have an open fire in our apartment complex, so we broil our steaks a lot. We learned broiling from Alton Brown, too!

Grace said...

glorious. i can practically see the meat falling off the bones. i just wish it was falling into my mouth. :)

Little Corner of Mine said...

Looks delicious!

Dawn said...

Looooove these. Perfect top & texture.

Sugar & Spice said...

Hi there,

I've gone through some of your blog recipes and find them absolutely delicious. I'm from Malaysia btw - will bookmark this and come back to read more. Good job!

Big Boys Oven said...

walio so nice lar, I want some, make us some if you are back, we BBQ at my place! lol!

noobcook said...

wow those ribs look delicious! I stay in an apartment and I'm afraid of setting my house on fire, so no bbq even in the balcony for me lol

Tim said...

Wow, this looks amazing! Do you separate the ribs before or after they're cooked?

pigpigscorner said...

Tim: The ribs were separated when I bought them.

katie said...

so finger licking sweet, I just wonder how I will get it out of my hair...

Anonymous said...

Just want to let you know your recipe was a last minute lifesaver at my barbecue party - I had a request for asian style barbecue ribs and had no idea how to go about it until I stumbled upon your recipe. Didn't have baby ribs - had to use the normal pork ribs and forgot to extend the cooking time. 2 hours just wasn't enough oven time for the ribs. Will fine tune it for the next bbq. Thanks!

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