Easy Pork Ribs with Palm Sugar Glaze

Easy Pork Ribs with Palm Sugar Glaze
Jean Cazals Copyright © 2016
  • Yield: 6 servings


2 racks St. Louis-style pork ribs
2teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1cup Palm Sugar Caramel (recipe follows)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the caramel
2cups palm sugar
1tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2cups thinly sliced shallots (from 4 to 6 large shallots)
1 dried hot red chilli, such as chilli de árbol
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2cup Asian fish sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 225°F.
  2. Season your ribs on both sides very simply with salt and pepper and dust with the Chinese five-spice powder.
  3. Place the ribs meat-side down in a pair of aluminum or glass baking dishes. Cover the dishes with tin foil and roast the meat for 4 hours.
  4. While meat is roasting, make the palm sugar glaze. In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the palm sugar, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water and bring the mixture to a boil. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any sugar crystals that have stuck to the side of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer undisturbed until it begins to reach a medium amber colour, about 20 minutes (watch the pot carefully, because caramel can go from pale to burned in a matter of seconds).
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the shallots, chilli, star anise, cinnamon, and black pepper. Carefully whisk in the fish sauce and another 1/4 cup water—the caramel will seize up and spit. Return the pan to medium heat and stir it until the caramel is smooth and dissolved. Pour it into a heatproof bowl and let it cool completely. Remove the chilli, star anise, and cinnamon stick and use while warm.
  6. Drain off the drippings. Flip the ribs over using two spatulas (and an extra pair of hands, if you have them) so the meat side is now up. Be gentle, as they may be so tender they start falling apart. Paint a layer of palm sugar caramel on the ribs and return them to the oven uncovered for an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Serve straight out of the oven.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Cooking, Blokes & Artichokes © 2016 by Brendan Collins, Kyle Books