Rusuk Merah

Rusuk Merah

Darsh’s Rusuk Merah (which literally means Red Ribs) is a flavour bomb of a dish. Here, meaty, humble spare ribs are dressed in a special sweet, spicy, salty sauce which has been cooked to reach optimal stickiness levels. Umami, check. Intensity, check. Finger-lickin’ awesomeness, double-check.

Eat these ribs in front of the telly, served them as a side or with rice. Either way, you will love this!


  • 500g pork spare ribs, sliced into individual ribs
  • 1 tbsp honey [you can replace this with sugar]
  • 2 cloved garlics, diced
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil such as canola
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted
  • Spring onions, diced or cut into long strips for garnish
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • For marinade
  • 1 tbsp gochujang [Korean chili paste]
  • 1 tbsp doenjang [Korean fermented soybean paste]
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper [can add more if you like your food extra peppery]
  • Water, only if needed


  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. [The doenjang and gochujang pastes can get a little thick so add about 1 tablespoon or so of water to ensure the paste is mixed well and is of the right consistency to coat all the ribs.]
  2. Leave to marinate for at least two hours, but ideally for eight hours or overnight.
  3. Remove as much of the marinade from each piece of rib as you can. Set aside the access marinade for later.
  4. Grease a skillet or pan with a little oil and place over high heat.
  5. One hot, add the ribs and quickly cook just to colour the meat. Reduce the heat if too hot so as not to burn the pork. Remove once all sides are coloured.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the rest of the oil, and sauté the garlic for about two minutes. Take care not to brown the garlic.
  7. Add the remaining marinade and honey. Stir the mixture and cook for a further two to three minutes.
  8. Add water, and return the ribs to the pan. Mix well, and leave to cook until the meat is cooked and partially coming off the bones and the sauce reaches the desired level of thickness and stickiness. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning and to ensure all the ribs are coated. During this time, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  9. Once done, add the toasted sesame seeds, and mix to coat. Serve hot, topped with spring onions for that pop of green freshness.

Amp it up!


Try adding a sour note (in a good way) to the dish with 1/2 to 1 tbsp of tamarind paste when cooking. For an even more Korean feel, you can add about 1/4 cup of chopped up kimchi and some of the juices instead.

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