Serves 2, 2hours Preparation, 3hours Cooking

These are a classic Chinese restaurant favourite that can be made time and time again.  Their melt-in-the-mouth tenderness and crispy texture makes them the perfect starter to a great Chinese banquet for 2!


• rack pork spare ribs, cut into individual ribs

For the spice coating:

• 1tsp Szechuan peppercorns • 1tsp sea salt • ½tsp Chinese five spice powder

For the marinade:

• 1tbsp light soy sauce • 1tsp brown sugar • 1tbsp Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry) • Freshly ground ground black pepper


  1. Grind all the ingredients for the spice mix in a coffee grinder to a powder.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the marinade by mixing half the spice mix and the marinade ingredients in a freezer bag or bowl. Add the ribs and leave in the fridge for at least 2hrs, or overnight.
  3. Add a little water to a slow cooker and cook the ribs and their marinade on low for 2-3hrs, until the meat is very tender, almost falling off the bone. If you don’t have a slow cooker, put the ribs and a little water in a casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid and put them in the oven at 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 for the same length of time. 
  4. Drain the ribs and pat dry. Toss again in the other half of the spice mixture to coat.
  5. Fill a large frying pan or wok with sunflower oil to a depth of 2cm and heat on the hob. When the oil is smoking hot, deep fry the ribs in batches for 1-2 mins. Drain on kitchen paper. Transfer to a plate and serve.

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