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Sticky pork ribs with rapadura salt

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for sticky pork ribs with rapadura salt.

By Emma Knowles
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 30 mins cooking plus marinating
  • Serves 6
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Sticky pork ribs with rapadura salt


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400 gm canned tomatoes
  • 1.5 kg American-style pork spare ribs
  • 180 gm rapadura (see note)
  • 160 ml white vinegar
  • 120 ml barbecue sauce
  • 120 ml tequila
  • 60 ml each Worcestershire sauce and chipotle sauce (see note)
  • To serve: lime wedges
Rapadura salt
  • 30 gm sea salt flakes
  • 100 gm rapadura
  • 2 tsp ground chilli, or to taste
  • Finely grated rind of 2 limes


  • 1
    Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes), then transfer to a food processor, add tomato and process until puréed. Transfer to a large non-reactive container, add remaining ingredients (except lime wedges), stir to coat ribs, cover and refrigerate to marinate (2-3 hours).
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 150C. Spread ribs and marinade in a single layer in two roasting pans, cover with foil and cook, basting occasionally, until ribs are tender (2½-3 hours).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for rapadura salt, combine ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • 4
    Transfer marinade to a saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to a glaze (15-20 minutes).
  • 5
    Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat. Char-grill ribs, turning and basting occasionally with marinade, until charred and sticky (12-15 minutes), then thickly slice. Serve hot with rapadura salt and lime wedges.


Note Rapadura is the Portuguese name for the sugarcane juice product common in South American countries including Brazil and Venezuela. It has a distinct caramel flavour and a fine grain. Chipotle sauce is available from Monterey Mexican Foods and select delicatessens.
Drink Suggestion: Plenty of icy cold lager. Drink suggestion by Max Allen