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Sticky master-stock beef ribs with cucumber-sesame relish

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for sticky master-stock beef ribs with cucumber-sesame relish.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 40 mins cooking plus cooling, drying, pickling
  • Serves 4
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Sticky master-stock beef ribs with cucumber-sesame relish


  • 250 ml soy sauce (1 cup)
  • 250 ml Shaoxing wine (1 cup)
  • 120 gm rock sugar, coarsely crushed (see note)
  • 50 gm ginger, thickly sliced (10cm piece)
  • 6 golden shallots, halved
  • 4 spring onions, coarsely chopped, plus extra thinly sliced horizontally, to serve
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 cassia quills
  • 1.5 kg beef short ribs (4 ribs)
  • 80 gm honey
  • For brushing: vegetable oil
  • To serve: roasted sesame seeds
Cucumber-sesame relish
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 50 ml rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 4 baby cucumbers, unpeeled, cut into julienne on a mandolin


  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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).
  • 3
    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.
  • 4
    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).
  • 5
    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 caster sugar.
Drink Suggestion: Full-bodied cool-climate cabernet. Drink suggestion by Max Allen