Grilled lamb ribs

Grilled lamb ribs

Earl Carter

We have the wonderful chef Tony Tan to thank for this delicious recipe. You can make a deluxe version by substituting lamb rack cutlets for the lamb ribs, in which case you can skip the steaming and just grill the marinated meat.


Quantity Ingredient
2kg lamb ribs, intact as whole plates
2 tablespoons ground, roasted dried chillies
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon sichuan peppercorns
3 teaspoons white peppercorns
2 star anise
4 cloves
115g brown sugar
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground 13-spice or chinese five-spice
2 cheeks lemons


  1. Cut off any excess fat from the lamb ribs.
  2. Combine all the spices with the sugar, except the 13-spice and ½ teaspoon of the sea salt. Grind them to a fine powder in an electric spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle.
  3. Coat the lamb ribs with the spice mix, rubbing it into the meat with your hands. Place the ribs in the refrigerator overnight to marinate.
  4. The following day, place the ribs in a steamer over a saucepan of vigorously boiling water. Steam them for 1½–2 hours until the meat is soft and giving. When cooked, place the ribs in the refrigerator to cool.
  5. When ready to serve, slice the ribs into individual pieces and cook on a hot barbecue with no oil, or fry them with a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan, until golden and caramelised.
  6. Mix together the 13-spice and the ½ teaspoon sea salt.
  7. Serve the lamb ribs immediately, sprinkled with the spiced salt, and with the lemon cheeks on the side.
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