A recipe from Nigel Slater for pork in a sour sweet sauce.
Put a large pan of water on to boil then pack the pork ribs into a steamer basket and cook on top of the water, covered with a lid, for 30 minutes. I find it easiest to do this in two small batches.
Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4. Remove the ribs from the pan and transfer to a roasting tin, placing them in a single layer, not too tightly packed. In a mixing bowl combine the light soy sauce and maple syrup.
Grate the ginger coarsely into the bowl, then add the peppercorns, lightly crushed. Peel the garlic and finely crush it then add to the syrup together with the five spice powder, tamarind paste and chilli flakes.
Pour in 200ml of hot water and mix the ingredients together thoroughly.Tip the sauce over the pork ribs, cover with foil, then bake for 50 minutes.
Remove the foil, turn the ribs over in their sauce, and continue baking for a further 45-50 minutes until the ribs are soft, sweet and glossy. Check them regularly towards the end of cooking (it’s a short step from sweet and sticky to cinder toffee). The sauce will thicken a little once out of the oven.
Warm the sesame oil in a frying pan then add the sesame seeds and cook for a couple of minutes over a moderate heat until golden and fragrant. When the ribs are ready, spoon some seeds over and eat.