250 ml (1 cup)soy sauce250 ml (1 cup)Shaoxing wine120 gmrock sugar, coarsely crushed (see note)50 gm (10cm piece)ginger, thickly sliced6golden shallots, halved4spring onions, coarsely chopped, plus extra thinly sliced horizontally, to serve1head of garlic, halved4star anise2cassia quills1.5 kgbeef short ribs (4 ribs)80 gmhoneyFor brushing:vegetable oilTo serve:roasted sesame seedsCucumber-sesame relish1garlic clove, coarsely chopped2 tsproasted sesame seeds50 mlrice vinegar1 tbspcaster sugar1 tspfinely grated ginger4baby cucumbers, unpeeled, cut into julienne on a mandolin
For master stock, bring soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, ginger, shallot, spring onion, garlic, spices and 1.5 litres water to the simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir to dissolve sugar and simmer to infuse (30 minutes). Set aside to cool completely.
Place ribs and enough cold water to cover generously in a large saucepan over high heat, bring to the boil, cook for 2 minutes, drain and rinse ribs under cold running water. Add to master stock and bring to the simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until meat almost falls from the bone (2½-3 hours). Remove ribs with a slotted spoon and set aside on a tray to dry (1 hour).
Strain 250ml master stock into a clean saucepan (reserve remaining master stock for another use), add honey, bring to the boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a glaze (5-6 minutes) and set aside.
Meanwhile, for cucumber-sesame relish, pound garlic, sesame seeds and ½ tsp sea salt in a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste, stir in vinegar, sugar, ginger and 1 tbsp hot water, then transfer to a non-reactive bowl. Add cucumber, toss to combine and stand to pickle (10-15 minutes).
Heat a char-grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush ribs lightly with oil and char-grill, turning and basting occasionally with reduced master stock, until glazed and warmed through (2-3 minutes). Serve hot topped with cucumber-sesame relish, extra spring onion and roasted sesame seeds.
Note Rock sugar is available from select
supermarkets and Asian grocers; if it's unavailable, substitute