Braised Pork Ribs

Everyone loves pork ribs in a rich dark garlicky sauce. This one is a simple to put together dish that is always a winner.

The smells while the pork is stewing will get everyone salivating from outside the kitchen.


600-700g of pork ribs (about 3 long ribs, cut into 9 pieces of ribs)
A handful of garlic cloves (I used 8 )
1/2 C of mushrooms
1.5 C Shaoxing Huatiao wine
3 C water
2 T oyster sauce
1 T thick dark soy sauce (or 1.5 T of regular dark soy sauce)
2 t sugar
2 t of dark vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)
1 long stick cinnamon
5 star anise
1 T cloves
Sliced Chili (to taste)
Sliced spring onions (to garnish)


Make sure you choose ribs with plenty of good meat on them. Cut the pork ribs into even pieces.

Peel the garlic. Give them a good press with the blade of your knife until they are just bruised. Don’t bother chopping them up, they’ll melt in the stew later.

Add a tablespoon of cooking oil into a very hot saucepan (that has a lid).

When the pan is smoking hot. Add the pork ribs to brown them. Don’t cover the pan, you want it as dry as possible so don’t trap the moisture in.

After a couple of minutes, turn the ribs over to brown the other side.

When both sides are nicely browned, add the garlic and stir for a minute till garlic is toasted and gives off a nice aroma.

Keeping the pan hot, add the Shaoxing Huatiao wine.

Pour about 1.5 C of the wine into the pan. It will sizzle up and release all the nice pork juices that had stuck to the pan earlier.

Add 3 C of water.

Add 2 T of oyster sauce. I can never manage to show a level spoonful, so when I say 2 T, each T looks like this.

Add the thick dark soy sauce. I am in love with this. I found this super flavourful dark soy sauce in Auckland. It’s so good with cut red chili, chicken rice and for stews like this one. But if you don’t have it, regular dark soy sauce works fine too, although you may need a little more to get the equivalent flavour.

Add 1 T of the thick dark soy sauce.

I like to use balsamic vinegar in my cooking. It always gives the dish body and all the flavours a good lift.

About 2 t of vinegar goes in. You can taste and add more if necessary. Vinegar evens out the flat salty taste of food and brings out flavours and character.

Add 2 t of sugar.

And all the spices – 1 cinnamon, 1 T cloves and 5 star anise.

I had some dried sliced shitake mushrooms, so I threw those in as well. Mushrooms add wonderful flavour to stews. Stir the mixture up nicely.

Cover the pan, turn the heat to medium (or to a moderate rolling boil), then walk away. Go take a bath, cook some rice or watch some TV.

Check after 20 minutes. Give it a good stir. If the liquids have dried up too fast, add a little more water.

Simmer with the lid open for another 5 mins till the sauce becomes thick and glossy.

Add some sliced chili and stir them in.

Dish it up, garnish with the leftover cinnamon stick (if u like, I thought it looked quite impressive) and lots of sliced spring onions.

Serve hot with rice.

Printable version is here. (large file, please wait for it to download & display)

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  1. hey Bing…
    Vanessa here again.
    love your braised pork ribs.
    you know what’s funny… i never thought Chinese food could look so interesting and yummy… i always preferred to cook Western dishes. but you have inspired to try out more Asian cooking too. heh.

    ps. tried out the boeuf bourguignon and potato gratin last weekend. the potato gratin was absolutely fabulous… i think i need to work on my beef stew though. heh. but thanks for the photo tutorials… keep ’em coming! 😉

    • Hi Vanessa, glad to hear that the gratin went well. What happened to the beef bourguignon? I did the same style, but with chicken and it didn’t turn out well. And I realised it was because I didn’t use as fine a bottle of red wine. When I made the beef bourguignon, I popped a good bottle of red wine and I think that really made a difference.

      If you find a red wine base stew too overpowering, try making my other beef stew recipe that uses stout/dark ale – My husband prefers this to the french bourguignon style. This one is a hit with the kids as well.

  2. I cooked this yesterday! Friends love it. They love your step-by-step recipe better. They asked for recipe and when I whipped out the print-out, they were very happy to be receiving it. You will have more fans soon!

    • Haha… glad you all like the recipe. It’s one of our fave dishes. Leftovers are even better the next day. So much flavour!


  1. Braised Pork Ribs. » Story of Bing - [...] Check out more photos here + recipe. It’s a step by step tutorial.   [...]
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