Wholesome Cook
5 Ingredients or less

5 Ingredients: Sticky Five-Spice Pork Ribs with Red Cabbage Slaw

It only takes 5 ingredients to make these delicious Sticky Five-Spice Pork Ribs, accompanied with a light and crunchy Red Cabbage Slaw.

I have to admit these are the best home-made ribs I’ve ever tasted and I have tried a few different combos in my time. They are sticky, crunchy, beautifully sweet and juicy all at the same time – the meat would fall off the bone if it wasn’t for the sticky sauce with just the right balance of exotic spice keeping it in place. Fingerlicking good!

“Damn the ribs smell good” read a text I received from Mr Chipsonnoisseur last night, and for a second I thought the beautiful aroma of Chinese five spice, soy and caramel had spread beyond the apartment…  Then I realised he was wandering home past Darling Harbour and, like every other time, was probably tempted to make a quick dash into Hurricanes for a juicy rack of ribs. Little did he know he was in for a treat at home…

The smoky smell of slow-grilled ribs from the two nearby American-style steakhouses carries over here with the Easterly long before lunchtime and it is impossible not to feel like ribs every time you walk past either of those places. So much so actually that I’ve had ribs three times in the last week. [Did I just say this out loud?]. It was for research and it has paid off!

Serves 2 and, according to Mr Chipconnoisseur, the meal is more accurately described as serving 1.7, they are so irresistibly good you just keep wanting more. To make the meal less meaty serve sticky ribs with this delicious red cabbage and mint slaw for a hint of acidity and freshness.  

Print Recipe Pin Recipe
No ratings yet

5 Ingredients: Sticky Five-Spice Pork Ribs with Red Cabbage Slaw

If you think one lot may not be enough, use double the ingredients. They can be easily reheated in an oven - covered with foil, or on a barbecue!
Servings: 2


For the Sticky Five-Spice Pork Ribs:

  • 500 g spare pork ribs
  • 1/4 cup ketjap manis
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp five spice

For the Red Cabbage Slaw:

  • 1/4 small red cabbage shredded thinly
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • large handful of mint leaves sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup fat-free Italian dressing
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp unrefined sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper


To marinade the Ribs:

  • Combine ketjap manis, garlic, honey and five spice in a large bowl. Add spare ribs, mix to cover and marinade for at least 30 minutes (best overnight).

To make the Sticky Five-Spice Pork Ribs:

  • Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan-forced, 350F, Gas mark 4).
  • Place ribs with the marinade in an ovenproof dish, cover with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 1.5 hours.
  • After this time remove the foil and roast uncovered for another 15 minutes.
  • Drain fat and marinade off into a small saucepan and return ribs to the oven for another 15 minutes to dry roast and crisp up.
  • In the meantime cook down the marinade on low heat until it resembles sticky barbecue sauce in consistency.
  • Spread over the ribs and allow to rest in the oven for another couple of minutes before serving.

To serve:

  • Serve with a good helping of the red cabbage and mint slaw ( recipe below).

To make the Red Cabbage Slaw:

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  • Season with black pepper to your liking.
  • Cover with cling wrap and chill until serving.
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholesomecook or tag #wholesomecook



Christmas pork roast with prunes and walnuts | Wholesome Cook December 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm

[…] Serve warm with rice or bread and lashings of gravy. Make sure to use all the crackling during the first serving as that’s when it is at its best. For salads, try the red cabbage and mint slaw. […]

Tina March 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm

The pork ribs taste very delicious. I did it slightly different. I chopped onion & garlic and finely with blender and smeared the mixture all over the rib and let it marinate in fridge overnight. It tastes delicious, the only disappointment is I forgotten to baste the rib as I roasting it. I should tried out this dish with my new purchased
basting brush.

wiolakk April 12, 2013 at 3:38 am

They look delicious, I am just marinating them, so I will taste as well :) Beautiful photos.

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook April 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Czesc Wiola, mam nadzieje ze Wam smakowaly ;-)

wiolakk April 12, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Mam nadzieję, że noc w marynacie im nie zaszkodzi, będą dopiero dzisiaj, to dam znać :)

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook April 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Wydaje mi sie ze beda jeszcze lepsze!

wiolakk April 13, 2013 at 7:16 am

Pyszna odsłona żeberek :)
Delicious, soft inside, crispy outside. For the next time I would add a little bit black pepper (I think it is in 5 spices but maybe not enough for me) or chili powder, just a tiny bit. But thank you Martyna very much for sharing this :)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.