Spicy Beef Short Ribs


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

These ribs are first roasted to give them colour and render some of the fat, then it’s just a matter of making the sauce and braising the beef gently until tender. For such a simple recipe, it has all the great qualities of a well-braised dish: deep flavour and tender melting beef, with an added complexity and deep rich taste from the Korean bean paste. This was a favourite at the bar at XO; you could have ribs, a cold beer and some rice and have a lip-smacking good time.


  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) beef short ribs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 knob of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) shaoxing
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 115 g (4 oz/½ cup) sugar
  • tablespoons Korean bean paste
  • tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) mushroom soy sauce
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) tamarind water
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) fresh chicken stock


    Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Put the ribs on a baking tray and roast for about 1 hour, or until golden brown.

    Heat the wok until smoking. Add the oil and, when hot, add the ginger, garlic and sea salt and stir-fry until fragrant. Deglaze the wok with the shaoxing, then add the tomato and simmer until the tomato breaks down. Stir in the sugar and cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the sugar to caramelise a little. Stir in the bean paste, oyster sauce, soy sauce and tamarind water. Add the ribs to the wok, cover with the chicken stock and stir together. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours, or until the ribs are tender. Remove the lid and skim off any impurities. Remove the ribs, increase the heat and simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens. Pour the sauce over the ribs to serve.