Vegetarian recipe ideas
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First cook the ribs (this can be done a day ahead, with the ribs kept in the fridge until ready to finish). Put the ribs in a large wide pan or casserole with 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp ketchup and 2 tbsp molasses. Add enough water to just cover the meat, then bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 50 minutes-1 hour or until the meat is tender and comes away from the bone easily when poked with a fork. Drain and cool, then pat dry.
Mix the remaining molasses, soy sauce and ketchup with the fish sauce, lime juice, peanut butter and five-spice in a jug with 150ml of just-boiled water.
Make a caramel by spreading the sugar evenly over the bottom of a wide, heavy-bottomed pan. Cook over a medium heat until the sugar begins to melt around the edges. When the syrup begins to turn to a pale amber colour, gently stir in towards the centre until all the sugar looks sticky. Continue, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted and looks like a dark maple syrup. Take off the heat and stir in the mixture from the jug. The caramel will splutter – if some hardens completely, put the pan back on a low heat and stir to melt back into a sauce.
Pour ½ the sauce over the ribs and leave to marinate for 30 minutes (or overnight, if you have time).
When ready to eat, heat the oven to 200C/ fan 180C/gas 6. Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper or foil, then tip on the saucy ribs. Space them apart and pour or brush the remaining sauce over the top (you might need to gently warm it to loosen). Cook, turning halfway, for 25-30 minutes or until the ribs are caramelised and the sauce is sticky. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over.
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