Cucumber and Spare Ribs

Here is another oriental recipe using spare-rib chops. It is inexpensive and full of flavour. Use hairy cucumbers if you can get them from Oriental supermarkets.


  • 8 dried Chinese mushrooms or 12 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • lb / 570 g spare-rib chops
  • 1 tbsp groundnut (peanut) oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Soak the dried mushrooms, if using, in ¼ pt / 140 ml water for 30 minutes. If using fresh mushrooms, poach them for 5 minutes in the same quantity of water. Drain and reserve the liquid. Slice the mushrooms. Peel the cucumbers and cut into wedges (hairy cucumbers need scraping, not peeling). Dice the pork. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan, and fry the pork until browned all over. Add the vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes, then add half the mushroom liquid. Cook for a further minute or two, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


You can use six medium-sized courgettes instead of the cucumbers.