Asian Five-Spice Ribs


This is a really popular Chinese short rib recipe using five-spice powder; my friend gave me this recipe but it was too salty for my taste, so I revised it and added 1.5 tablespoons of lime juice and prepared my own personal five spice herb mix, different from the ready-made, store-bought powder.


With a mortar and pestle, I pounded equal parts of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise, peppercorn, and fennel. I used 1/2 tablespoon of each and pounded them altogether until they were coarsely pulverized. Let’s gather the rest of the ingredients.




2 tbsp. five-spice powder

3 trays of bone-in beef short ribs

2 pounds of beef chunks

2 tbsp. olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves (smashed/sliced thinly)

1 medium onion, sliced

1/3 cup of each red wine, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil

2 thumb sized grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup sugar cane dissolved in 2/6 cup of boiling water

rind of 1 orange and its juice

1 and 1/2 tbsp. lime juice

1 tbsp. Chinese Chile Sauce

I potato (peeled/sliced)

2 pieces each of red and yellow small sweet peppers (sliced)



1. Drain the short ribs and beef chunks in a colander and dry with paper towel.

2. With clean hands, rub the ribs and beef chunks with the five-spice herb mix.

3. Brown each side of the ribs and beef chunks in a large Dutch pan with 2 tablespoon of oil in medium heat until everything are all browned. Set aside in a huge bowl.

4. In the same Dutch pan, sautée garlic then onions until translucent for 3-4 minutes, careful not to burn them. Pour wine, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, chile sauce, fresh ginger, orange rind, orange juice, lime juice, and sugar mixture. Stir well for 2-3 minutes on high heat and add the short ribs and beef chunks. Cover the pan, boil until it simmers, turn the heat down and let it slowly simmer on low for 30-40 minutes. In the last 5 minutes put sliced potatoes and add sliced red and orange bell peppers on its last minute or you can braise it; the beef inside the covered cast iron  while baking inside the oven like a French way of cooking at 450ºF for 1-2 hours.

Next time I’ll prepare Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon (hopefully when I get my next night off). I was inspired by the movie “Julie and Julia” where I saw that recipe for the first time, and I didn’t stop until I got the recipe right!

Please look down below as I start to simmer this on the stovetop with a cover.



Serve these ribs with some Jasmine rice! Patience is key with this very strong and tasty recipe, and the five spice herb mix imparts a very unique, cultural, Asian flavor.

-Peaches, Masarap!


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