Skill level

Average: 4.6 (5 votes)


  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds or 1½ tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 80 ml (⅔ cup) vegetable oil
  • 1½ tbs soy bean paste (taucheo) (see Note) or dark miso
  • 500 g spare ribs (see Note) or pork belly, cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, stems removed, halved
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate (see Note)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • coriander leaves and steamed rice, to serve

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.


Place coriander seeds in a frying pan over low heat and toast for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Using a mortar and pestle, grind coriander seeds, 1 tbsp at a time, to a very fine powder. Set aside.

Process onion and garlic in a food processor to a smooth paste. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat and cook paste for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add the soy bean paste and ground coriander, and cook for a further 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Stir in the pork, mushrooms, soy sauce, cinnamon, tamarind and 250 ml water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until pork is tender. Just before serving, add sugar and stir to dissolve, then season. Top with coriander leaves and serve with rice.


Taucheo is a Malaysian soy bean paste, available from Asian food shops.

Spare ribs do not contain a bone, whereas American-style pork ribs do.

Tamarind concentrate is available from selected supermarkets and Asian food shops.

As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 12, pg53.

Photography by Chris Chen