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Grilled pork ribs with umeboshi plum vinegar

Australian Gourmet Traveller Japanese recipe for grilled pork ribs with umeboshi plum vinegar.

By Lisa Featherby & Alice Storey
  • Serves 6
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 30 mins cooking plus cooling
Grilled pork ribs with umeboshi plum vinegar
Grilled pork ribs with umeboshi plum vinegar

These ribs are the ultimate drinking snack. The umeboshi plum vinegar adds both a salty and tart element to the pork.


  • 1.5 kg pork baby back ribs, halved
  • 25 gm ginger, thinly sliced (5cm piece)
  • 2 spring onions, coarsely chopped
  • 250 ml sake
  • 160 ml soy sauce
  • 120 ml mirin
  • 110 gm caster sugar (½ cup)
  • 60 ml umeboshi plum vinegar (see note) (¼ cup)
Shiso salt
  • ½ cup baby shiso (firmly packed)
  • 30 gm sea salt flakes (¼ cup)


  • 1
    Combine ribs, ginger and onion in a large saucepan over low-medium heat, add enough water to just cover and simmer until ribs are tender (2 hours). Remove ribs with a slotted spoon (discard liquid) and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut into single ribs.
  • 2
    Bring sake, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and umeboshi plum vinegar to the simmer in a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add ribs, reduce heat to low and cook until ribs are very tender and sauce is thick (18-20 minutes).
  • 3
    For shiso salt, preheat oven to 160C. Scatter shiso over an oven tray and dry in oven until crisp (6-8 minutes), then coarsely crush with sea salt using a mortar and pestle.
  • 4
    Serve ribs hot scattered with shiso salt.


Note Umeboshi plum vinegar is the juice extracted when making umeboshi. It's available from Japanese grocers, select delicatessens, and Spiralfoods; if it's unavailable, substitute brown rice vinegar.
Drink Suggestion: Umami-rich yamahai sake. Drink suggestion by Max Allen