These ribs come from Comfort Food by Ryland Peters & Small, the British publisher of an exceptional line of cookbooks. The Comfort Food volume may be small and slim yet you will find it packed with comfort food ideas that will stir saliva:


I would suggest these ribs as an appetizer, but you’ll have guests asking to use your shower. The title says “Sticky” but that is an understatement. They are also very, very good. You can use short or loin ribs. I actually got a rack of baby backs, better quality meat, and divided them up before cooking.

The flavor is spicy yet sweet because of the hoisin and sweet chili sauce. The meatier your ribs, the more you will enjoy. These are, cleanliness aside, a great Super Bowl Sunday treat.

This recipe will seem heresy to some of you, for it involves beginning the rib cooking process by parboiling them in water. Rib connoisseurs are used to cooking their ribs for hours, and you can do that and the ribs taste grand. But here, after 5-10 minutes of boiling and some time for marinating, the oven time is just 40 minutes.

You are going to save an hour or two. Yes, the kitchen will not fill with tantalizing aroma for so long. Neither will your stomach growl with disapproval. Is the taste or texture compromised? Honestly, with this spicy rub, I was a very happy rib eater.

Accompany the ribs with deep and dark red wine or a margarita made with chile tequila and rimmed, not with salt, but with chile pepper.

Sticky Spare Ribs

Yield: serves 4


  • 2 pounds short or loin pork ribs or country-style pork spare ribs
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 tablespoons (clear) honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chile sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • A large roasting dish


Place the ribs in a saucepan of water, bring up to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes, then drain.

Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl, add the ribs and stir thoroughly to coat. Let cool and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Tip the ribs and marinade into a large roasting dish, cover with foil and cook on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the ribs over, basting them with the marinade, and cook for another 20 minutes until sticky and browned all over. Allow to rest for a couple of minutes before serving with plenty of napkins.

Source: Comfort Food from Ryland Peters & Small

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4 for1/50th second at ISO 1200