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Sticky lamb ribs with chilli-vinegar

These sticky lamb ribs are perfect for a party crowd, with a sharp chilli-vinegar on the side.

By Emma Knowles
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 20 mins cooking plus marinating
Sticky lamb ribs with chilli-vinegar
Sticky lamb ribs with chilli-vinegar

Finger-licking lamb ribs are irresistible, especially brushed with the sticky soy and chilli glaze we've made here. These ribs are perfect as a snack, but if you want to make a more substantial meal out of them, serve them with steamed jasmine rice and stir-fried Chinese greens.


  • 3 tsp white peppercorns
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 lamb rib racks (about 1.6kg)
Chilli glaze
  • 200 ml Chinkiang vinegar
  • 100 gm honey
  • 60 ml soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Chiu Chow chilli oil (see note)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Chilli vinegar
  • 50 ml soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chiu Chow chilli oil (see note)


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 140C. Dry-roast peppercorns and cumin seeds in a saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, adding chilli for the last 10 seconds (30 seconds). Tip into a mortar, add 2 tsp sea salt and pound with a pestle until crushed, then set half aside. Add ginger and garlic to remainder, pound to a coarse paste, stir in oil, then rub all over lamb racks and leave to marinate for 30 minutes. Place lamb in a roasting pan lined with baking paper and roast for 2 hours, then turn and roast until lamb is tender and starts to pull away from the bone (30-40 minutes). Remove from oven and cut into individual ribs.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for chilli glaze, simmer all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat until mixture is reduced to a glaze consistency (15-20 minutes).
  • 3
    Increase oven to 200C. Place ribs on a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush with glaze and roast until sticky and glossy (8-10 minutes).
  • 4
    Meanwhile, for chilli vinegar, combine ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • 5
    Scatter ribs with reserved spices and spring onion and serve hot with chilli vinegar.


Chiu Chow chilli oil is a roasted chilli and garlic oil available from Chinese supermarkets.
Drink Suggestion: Full-bodied shiraz. Drink suggestion by Max Allen