- 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
- 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
- 1For 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.
- 2Place 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).
- 3Strain 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.
- 4Meanwhile, 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).
- 5Heat 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