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)
- ½ cup baby shiso (firmly packed)
- 30 gm sea salt flakes (¼ cup)
- 1Combine 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.
- 2Bring 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).
- 3For 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.
- 4Serve 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