Fiery Sulawesi Pork Ribs

Fiery Sulawesi Pork Ribs


2 racks baby back pork ribs

Bumbu spice paste:

5 small red Asian shallots, peeled
5 garlic cloves, peeled
3-4 large red chillies, seeded
5cm piece ginger, peeled
2 Tbs dark palm sugar (gula jawa), shaved

Dabu dabu dipping sauce:

3 tomatoes, finely diced
2 large red chillies, seeded and finely sliced
1 red birds eye chilli, finely sliced (optional)
2 small red Asian shallots, finely chopped
Juice of a lime
2 tsp dark palm sugar (gula jawa), shaved
1 tsp salt


Bumbu spice paste:

Roughly chop all the ingredients and blend into a paste in a food processor.

Add a little water to help it come together, if needed. Season generously with salt and black pepper.


Use a small knife to remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs.

Smear half the bumbu onto the ribs and place them in a shallow oven dish. Cover tightly with foil and leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours.

Pre-heat oven to 150 C (300 F). Roast under the foil for 2 1/2 hours, basting once or twice during cooking. The fat should have melted, leaving the meat very tender.

Heat a barbeque, grill or griddle pan to high heat. Grill the ribs on both sides until they start to char and caramelise, then smear over the remaining bumbu. Continue grilling until the sauce is dry and fragrant.

Dabu dabu dipping sauce:

Combine all ingredients, taste for heat, sweetness and tang and adjust.

Eat the ribs with your fingers, dipping into the dabu dabu as you go.

Credits: ‘Images and recipes from Fire Islands by Eleanor Ford, Murdoch Books RRP ‘$49.99’. Out now.

Photo Credits: Photography by Kristin Perers

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