Sticky Lamb Ribs with Grilled Plums

Make the most of your unripe fruit with our mouth-watering recipe for sticky lamb ribs with grilled plums
Sticky Lamb Ribs with Grilled Plums
ITP Images
Sticky Lamb Ribs with Grilled Plums
January 20, 2019
Level Intermediate
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Serves 4

PHOTO BY Hein Van Tonder
RECIPE BY Christine Capendale
FOOD STYLING BY Hein Van Tonder & Emma Nkunzana


1.5kg lamb riblets
spinneysFOOD Salt, to season
spinneysFOOD Black Pepper, to season
100ml lamb stock

For the sticky plum sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled
500g overripe plums, stoned and halved
60g soft brown sugar
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp chilli flakes, or use half a chopped chilli
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
spinneysFOOD Salt, to taste
spinneysFOOD Black Pepper, to taste

For the grilled plums

8 unripe, firm plums, halved and stoned
2 tsp olive oil
spinneysFOOD Salt, to taste
spinneysFOOD Black Pepper, to taste
Sesame seeds, toasted, for garnishing
Spring onions, chopped, for garnishing


  • 1

    Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3

  • 2

    Season the riblets very well with salt and black pepper and place in a casserole with a lid

  • 3

    Add the lamb stock and place in the oven for 2 hours for the meat to become very tender (keep the lid on the casserole). If the meat is still tough – leave it in the oven for another 30 minutes or until the meat is done. Add a little more stock if needed during the cooking time

  • 4

    To make the sticky plum sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the plums, sugar, vinegar, chilli flakes, hoisin sauce and the Chinese five spice and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce is thick. Season with salt and pepper

  • 5

    Drain any excess liquid from the ribs and baste with the sticky plum sauce

  • 6

    Turn the oven temperature up to 180°C, gas mark 4

  • 7

    Remove the lid from the casserole and roast the ribs until sticky and golden brown – about 20 minutes

  • 8

    To make the grilled the plums, heat a griddle pan until very hot on medium heat. Brush the plum halves (cut side) with the olive oil and chargrill for 5-8 minutes until golden and cooked

  • 9

    To serve, season with salt and pepper and serve with the sticky lamb riblets. Garnish with the sesame seeds and chopped spring onions



Who knew unripe fruit could taste so good? Awaken your taste buds with this plum carpaccio with salmon and pickled ginger