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Hed Chef: Braised ribs

You don't need an oven for this

You can cook ribs at home even if you do not have an oven.

Braising is a wonderful cooking method that can make meat tender. You can also apply this recipe to other types of meat: chicken, duck, beef or lamb - just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

With the rich hues of the dark soya sauce, the meat looks almost as if it were roasted instead of braised.

Braise the meat whole. Do not braise it to the point of melt-in-the-mouth tenderness or it would be impossible to slice it up.

If you prefer it fall-off-the-bone tender, braise the full racks, slice into individual ribs and braise it further.


  • 1.6kg pork ribs (2 full racks)
  •  1 whole daikon, cut into six parts
  •  2 heads of garlic
  •  30g galangal
  • 30g ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp fine sugar
  •  60g spring onion
  • 80g fresh coriander
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4.5 litres water


  • 1 black cardamom
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 piece cinnamon
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns
  • 5 cloves


  • 6 tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 1 flat tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp light soya sauce


1. Boil enough water in a pot and blanche the pork ribs until there is no visible blood.

2. Discard the water.

3. Dry fry the spices until fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside. (above)

4. In a clean, sturdy pot, heat the sugar over low heat until it caramelises.

5. Add the pork ribs into the pot and fry until browned.

6. Add the spices into the pot. (above)

7. Pour in the 4.5 litres of water and add the garlic, ginger, galangal and bay leaves.

8. Bring to a boil. Add the seasoning and add the daikon, sesame oil, spring onion and fresh coriander into the pot. (above)

9. Boil for 20 minutes on high heat then simmer for another 30 minutes or until the meat is tender.

10. Remove the ribs and daikon from the pot. Strain the cooking liquid and discard the ingredients in it.

11. You can serve the cooking liquid as a gravy on the side.