Sweet and spicy Indonesian spare ribs

These Indonesian spare ribs may be the first spare ribs we have eaten. And now they are just as delicious as they were then. A friend of ours always made them in advance and grilled them at bbq parties.

These spare ribs are not smoked, but smothered and then grilled. These are perhaps the fastest made and the tastiest spare ribs you’ve ever eaten.

The first thing to do is to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Insert a dinner knife between a bone and the membrane somewhere in the middle. Then you pull off the membrane. You can grab the last pieces with some paper towels.

Pour 3/4 of the marinade over the spare ribs and put it in the fridge overnight. You keep the rest to make the BBQ sauce tomorrow.

The next day you cut the spare ribs into parts and take a pan where they just fit in. The less space left, the better. Now pour the marinade over the spare ribs in the pan. With a little luck, they are entirely covered. If this is not the case, add a little water.

Now put the pan on the stove and let the marinade simmer for 30 minutes. This is stewing and not to be confused with par-boiling. It is crucial that the marinade does not actually boil and that you do not simmer for longer than half an hour. This way, most of the collagen remains in the meat.

At this point, you could let them cool down in the pan and keep them in the fridge for a few days before your next barbecue party.

Bring the marinade that you kept apart yesterday to a boil and add the apple syrup. Stir until a smooth sauce that, when warm, sticks to your spoon. When the sauce cools, it is just thick enough.

After half an hour, remove the spare ribs from the marinade, coat them with the apple syrup sauce and grill them over direct heat until they are to your liking. Apply with the sauce one more time halfway through. Turn regularly so that the sweet sauce does not burn.

Doesn’t this look great? And we can assure you that they taste great too. Apply with the sauce just before serving, open a cold beer, and enjoy.


  • 2 strands of baby back ribs
  • 300 ml sweet soy sauce
  • 100 ml of olive oil
  • 100 ml of chili sauce
  • 100 grams of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons of apple syrup


  1. Mix the soy sauce, olive oil, chili sauce, brown sugar, curry powder, salt, and garlic. Keep a quarter of the marinade aside.
  2. Remove the membrane from the spare ribs and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. The next day, cut the ribs into parts so you can just fit them in a pan. Pour in the marinade and add some water until the ribs are just under.
  4. Bring to the boil and let the spare ribs simmer gently for 30 minutes with the lid on the pan.
  5. Meanwhile, heat up the remaining marinade and add the apple syrup. Stir well.
  6. Remove the spare ribs from the liquid and coat them with the apple syrup sauce.
  7. Prepare the grill and grill them alternately until they are to your liking. Brush the ribs again halfway through and at the end with the apple syrup sauce.

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