Image: The New Paper 

Impress your guests with this festive dish that adds glamour and visual appeal, as much as a tasty main course.

Maple syrup roasted ribs is so easy to prepare and it involves minimum washing up.

This is the kind of food you want for a party with people you love and feel comfortable around so you can ditch the cutlery for caveman-style hearty eating.

Now, generous as you may be, here is something I want to share with you: There is no need to splash out on prime ribs.

Prime ribs offer a meatier choice but at premium prices. I recommend you stick to buying spare ribs. You get more bang for your buck and more importantly, with everyone being health-conscious and all, spare ribs are a whole lot less fatty.

And here is a secret to getting those spare ribs all nicely moist and tender — put olive oil in the marinade.

Next, slow and steady wins the race. Slow roasting seals in the juices and gets the meat tender without drying it out.

Don’t use a wire rack for this recipe. What you want is a braising effect as the meat cooks slowly in the marinade, absorbing the full flavours as the marinade reduces into a coat of savoury sweetness. And that is what I call festive fare.

It takes less than two hours to prepare and you get sufficient time to prepare the other side dishes like roasted vegetables.


800g spare ribs, cut into individual ribs

For the marinade:

120ml maple syrup

100ml olive oil

6 garlic cloves

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp peri peri hot sauce or Tabasco sauce


1. Cut the rack of spare ribs into individual pieces. 

2. Use a fine skewer or toothpick to make incisions in the meaty part of the ribs.

3. Place the ingredients for the marinade in a blender and blitz everything into a smooth mixture. 

4. Place the ribs in a resealable bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag and keep it in the fridge for two to three hours.

5. Preheat oven to 200 deg C.

6. Line a baking tray with foil and place the ribs on the foil. Pour half of the marinade over the ribs. 

7. Reserve the remaining marinade for basting.

8. Bake for 20 minutes. Baste and continue baking for one hour and 25 minutes at 180 deg C or until the ribs are tender. During the cooking process, baste with the remaining marinade at around 30-minute intervals.

This story was originally published in The New Paper

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