Chiang Mai Spare Ribs with Broccoli & Black Bean Sauce


As I wrote here previously, I have had the good fortune to come across a Thai lady called Nitsa, who works at my local supermarket. She makes her own curry pastes and this Chiang Mai is, in my opinion, the jewel in her crown.

In fact, her pastes have proved such a hit with the locals that, supported by her husband Alan, Nitsa is now making them for sale, under the label: ‘My Thai Curry’.

Nitsa writes: ‘All curry pastes are not created equal! that was the first thing I learned when coming to the UK form my native Thailand. I had to make my own pastes to be able to create authentic Thai curries. Now you can do the same. Enjoy!’

Her website is still in development, but when it’s up and running, I’ll let you know about it here.

In the meantime, although I don’t have the recipe for the paste, I can give you a couple of links that might – just might – re-create it in the comfort of your own kitchen.

They key ingredients are tamarind, onions, chillies, galangal, ginger, cloves, turmeric, cassia bark, star anise, garlic Thai fish sauce, Thai white cardamom, peanuts, cumin, pepper and salt.

I used the paste on pork spare ribs and served them with broccoli, stir-fried with black bean sauce.


Serves 2-4

2 sheets pork spare ribs, cut into individual ribs
3-4 tbsp Chiang Mai curry paste
Golf ball-sized piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 2mm-thick slices
100ml Shaosing Chinese rice wine

To serves

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets and parboiled for 2 mins in pan of boiling water
1 tbsp sunflower oil
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 tbsp black bean sauce, from a jar


1. Put the ribs and Chiang Mai paste in a bowl or freezer bag and thoroughly massage, then put in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours or overnight.

2. When you’re ready to cook, transfer the ribs and marinade to a slow cooker. Add the ginger and Shaosing rice wine. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours, until the meat is very tender.

3. When cooked, remove the ribs and transfer them to a foil-lined roasting tin. Cook in a very hot oven (230C/Gas 7) for 10-15 mins, to crisp-up the ribs.

4. Meanwhile, drain the remaining stock into a saucepan and bring to a fierce boil. Reduce to a sticky glaze, then brush over the ribs.


5. To make the broccoli, add the sunflower oil to a large frying pan or wok. Turn up the heat and when it it smoking, add the broccoli. Stir-fry for a minute or so, then add the black bean sauce. Stir-ry again for a further minute.

6. Serve the ribs and broccoli together.


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