Braised Beef Short Ribs in Spiced Orange Tamarind Sauce

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Braised Beef Short Ribs in Spiced Orange Tamarind Sauce

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Adjust Servings:
4 kilograms beef ribs with bone
3 onions medium
3 Carrots
1 stalk celery
5 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaf
10 Black Peppercorns
For the Sauce
210 millilitres Water
150 grams Sugar
400 millilitres malt vinegar
120 millilitres light soya sauce
120 millilitres sweet dark soya sauce Indonesian type, kecap manis
1/2 lemon
1 1/2 orange
200 grams tamarind use dried tamarind in bricks, tamarind pulp can be substituted
8 cardamom
2 star anise
2 litres brown stock
1 to 2 piece red chillis
For Garnish
Sesame Seeds
red bell pepper deseeded, shredded
spring onions shredded
  • Serves 8
  • Medium


  • For the Sauce

  • For Garnish



A few years ago, I was working with Liana Doyle, a very talented Chef and a great personal friend. Liana had been working in the US for some time before making her way to Asia via Paris, where she headed the culinary team at a typical French Bistro.

This recipe sort of reflects her career and her cooking style up to that point; a Southern US staple (beef ribs), a traditional French basic cooking method (braising) with an Asian twist.

Although I lost contact with Liana a few years ago, I have very fond memories of her as a culinary colleague and friend. This Asian braised beef short ribs will stay with me for a long, long time.

How to Prepare the Asian Braised Beef Short Ribs

  1. Ask your butcher to cut the ribs approximately 3 inch wide.
  2. In a large soup pot, bring mildly salted water to boil, add the ribs to the boiling water, bring back to boil then drain thoroughly.
  3. Repeat the step above without draining the ribs. Add all vegetables, seasoning and spices and simmer for approximately 1-½ hours or until the meat is starting to become soft.
  4. Remove the ribs from the stock and lay them out flat, with the ribs on the bottom, in an ovenproof braising pan with lid. Strain the stock and save it. This stock will be a great base for a beef broth or a consommé.
  5. Combine the sugar and the water for the sauce in a saucepan and bring to boil. Boil until the mixture caramelized to a light brown, golden color and then add the malt vinegar
  6. Add all other ingredients; bring the mixture back to boil. Lower heat to a light simmer and reduce the sauce to approximately half of the original volume or until the consistency thickens slightly.
  7. Add the brown beef stock and bring to boil. Pour the sauce over the beef ribs, put the lid on the braising pot and place in the preheated oven by approximate 140 C (284 Fahrenheit) for another hour or until the ribs are very soft and tender and the meat is just about to fall off the bones.
  8. Remove the ribs form the pot, strain the sauce and bring the sauce one more time to boil. Skim off excess fat, adjust seasoning and if needed thicken the sauce with a little corn or potato starch.
  9. Submerge the shredded leek or bell peppers in ice water until the crisp up. Toast the sesame seeds lightly on the oven.
  10. Place the ribs on the serving dish, cover with a generous amount of sauce, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and top with the crisp shredded vegetable.

Thomas Wenger

Born in Bern, Switzerland, Thomas followed in the footsteps of his mother and entered a three-year cooking apprenticeship program and graduating it at the age of 20. Working a few short stints in a winter ski resort and a city hotel in Basel/Switzerland during the following years he took the opportunity to work in New York in 1986. What was originally planned as a one-year experience in New York lasted three years and went on to a global career, which led him to Australia and on to Hong Kong in 1990. For the past 15 years, Thomas has explored South East Asia and it’s cuisines and regional specialties. He worked in some of the most exciting cities in the world - Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok and his culinary style reflects the many experiences and the people he worked with. Throughout his career, Thomas liked the challenges and diversity of hotel operations. He recently joined a Hotel & Restaurant Management school in Manila, Philippines as Senior Culinary Faculty.

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