With influences from Polynesia, Asia, Portugal and the Americas, to name a few, Hawaiian cuisine is fusion food at its finest. Lilikoi is a Hawaiian variety of passionfruit, adored for its tropical, tangy hit. Locals use it to add a distinctive island twang to dishes, resulting in a deliciously sweet-sour flavour, but you can use any available passionfruit. These pork ribs are a familiar sight at a luau (a Hawaiian feast) and are often barbecued, the sweet lilikoi glaze making them truly addictive.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (22 votes)


  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 4 cm-piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 kg baby pork back ribs


Passionfruit sauce

  • 375 g (1⅓ cups) tomato sauce
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) passionfruit pulp
  • 75 g (⅓ cup firmly-packed) brown sugar
  • 90 g (¼ cup) runny honey
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink match Hawaiian margarita: blend together 40 ml Espolon Tequila Blanco ($46) with 20 ml lilikoi concentrate or passioinfruit juice and 3 pineapple wedges. Serve over ice.

Place garlic, ginger and ribs in a large saucepan, season with salt and pepper and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove ribs and place on a wire rack set over a tray to drain.

Meanwhile, to make the passionfruit sauce, place the tomato sauce, passionfruit pulp, brown sugar, honey, oyster sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire, Tabasco and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until liquid is reduced and syrupy.

Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan over high heat. Generously brush cooled ribs with passionfruit sauce. Cook ribs, basting and turning every 2 minutes, for 8 minutes or until lightly charred. Serve with remaining passionfruit sauce.


Photography Brett Stevens


As seen in Feast magazine, October 2013, Issue 25. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.