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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
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 30 mins cooking plus cooling
  • Serves 6
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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