Apl’s Beef Back Ribs


Fogg, Passepartout and Aouda prepare to disembark among ‘the flotilla of junks, tankas and fishing boats which crowd the harbour of Hong Kong’, enclosed on one side by the Canton River and on the other by the South China Sea. A final hearty meal on deck above these watery surroundings: APL’s beef back ribs. Adam Perry Lang is a BBQ chef extraordinaire and a world expert on cooking meat with fire. No one does it better or with more passion.


  • 250ml/8fl oz dark soy sauce
  • 125ml/4fl oz water
  • 350g/12oz sugar
  • 55ml/2fl oz hoisin sauce
  • 8 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 kg/4.4 lbs beef back ribs


Whisk the soy sauce, water, sugar, hoisin sauce and crushed garlic together and add to a marinating bag.

Place one rack of ribs in the bag. If the ribs are too large, cut them in half through the meat, rather than the bone, to fit. Seal the bag, distribute the liquid and place in the fridge for 24 hours.

When the ribs are ready to cook, take them out of the bag and place them either in the basket of a large steamer, or in two separate smaller ones. Saving the marinade, bring it to the boil and then simmer in a small pan for 5 minutes.

Steam the ribs gently for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until tender. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. When the cooking time is up, remove the meat gently from the steamer.

Place the ribs on a rack in the oven, with a pan of water underneath. Brush the ribs with half of the reserved marinade and cook in the oven for half an hour, or until the meat begins to develop a beautiful roasted brown colour.

When the ribs are cooked, remove them from the oven, brush the top sides with the remaining marinade one final time, and pop under a hot grill for a few minutes, top side up, until crisp and sizzling.

Let the ribs rest for 5 minutes, then serve, with fingerbowls and napkins.