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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.70 / 5 (604 votes)

Prep time:
15 min
Cook time:
30 min
Serves 6

A salty-sweet glaze, with a chilli kick, makes these spare ribs from James Martin taste finger-lickin' good!


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Place the spare ribs on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.

2. While the ribs are cooking heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until fragrant. Add the chilli, fennel seeds and sugar and cook, stirring often, until sugar melted. Add the soy sauce and tomato ketchup. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3. Once the ribs have cooked through, remove them from the oven and brush liberally with half the barbecue sauce, leaving half for later. Return the ribs to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes to glaze the ribs. Serve with the remaining barbecue sauce on the side.

To enjoy these ribs at a barbecue, follow the recipe as above the end of step two. Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce and cook over a preheated barbecue until glazed, then serve.


  • 1.8 kg pork spare ribs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 115 g dark brown sugar
  • 100 ml dark soy sauce
  • 600 ml tomato ketchup
  • black pepper

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Latest Comment


great taste, i added a bit of lemon juice though to make them less overpowering

rosyY72114 rosyY72114  Posted 08 Jun 2013 1:00 PM

best ever barbecue sauce I have ever made 10 out of 10 for taste and easy to make worth making alot as it all goes

karenW13409 karenW13409  Posted 20 May 2013 2:04 PM

best ribs ever

KENC73635 KENC73635  Posted 25 Jan 2013 1:23 PM

Yeah i was thinking the same thing gonna give it a try tho coz after all he is the pro 600ml does seem alot tho

lanceR35425 lanceR35425 Posted 19 Jan 2013 12:05 PM

600 ml of tomato ketchup????

Are you sure?

CyndyH19874 CyndyH19874 Posted 08 Dec 2012 5:16 PM

Bobsoutar Bobsoutar Posted 08 Jun 2012 1:38 PM

James used to promote simmering ribs first then coating in the sauce, why the return to oven cooking first ???

peterK9671 peterK9671 Posted 26 May 2012 8:05 PM

made this for my 3 sons ! all eaten nothing left "better than a takeaway"
easy to make costs pennys
try it !

StephenN80440 StephenN80440 Posted 13 Apr 2012 10:29 PM

first time i've tried anything like best spare ribs ever family loved them !!!!!

StephenN80440 StephenN80440 Posted 11 Feb 2012 10:19 PM

Tried this with spare ribs and my family rated it the best bbq sauce they have tasted. Froze the remainder and used it later in the week with chicken drumsticks. Delicious. Will definitely be passing on to my friends.

KayC67483 KayC67483 Posted 02 Feb 2012 12:51 PM

Just used this sauce in a chicken thigh recipe delicious,8 chicken thighs skinned and boned, cut into strips, marinate in the sauce for half hour ,then ,dip chicken strips in breadcrumbs ,cook in preheated oven gas 5 180 for about 1 hour ,throw in a few potatoes also to bake, xxxxxx potato with fork rub on oil and sea salt put them straight on oven shelf ,after 1 hour cut a cross on them and stick in cheese or butter back in oven again for 15 minutes ,This really is delicious Please comment if you cook thi

MS96171 MS96171 Posted 26 Jan 2012 7:07 PM

jimmyJ90203 jimmyJ90203 Posted 14 Aug 2011 9:36 AM

I have cooked the ribs yesterday as per recipe and it was very easy and absolutely fantastic.

AlbertT92545 AlbertT92545 Posted 29 May 2011 3:58 AM

You can boil the ribs first, then roast, with barbecue sauce.

peter andersK3336 peter andersK3336 Posted 16 Aug 2010 11:19 AM

i like this recipe but suggest for the ones looking for more spice in the bbq sauce to check out the cbq curry barbecue marinade, it's awesome

BBQP20546 BBQP20546 Posted 07 Jul 2010 9:21 PM


DevN35862 DevN35862 Posted 04 Jul 2010 8:06 AM

I agree with the other comments. The ribs take longer to cook than the recipe stated and yes delicious

LamunuN49672 LamunuN49672 Posted 24 Jun 2010 2:37 PM

some of your recipes do not state how many people they are meant to serve. Why not?

aviC35784 aviC35784 Posted 20 Jun 2010 6:26 PM

I cant wait to go and buy my spare ribs. Yum yum
but I would cook for at least another 15 mins.

RaymondS23096 RaymondS23096 Posted 30 May 2010 2:58 PM

Very tasty, but would definitely agree with previous comments regarding the cooking times. Would recommend at least another 15-20 minutes. I thought the sauce was really good, but it tasted more like a sweet chilli sauce rather than a bbq sauce. I might mix in some smoked paprika next time to give it a smokey quality.

seanS19772 seanS19772 Posted 23 May 2010 10:00 AM

Excellent best receipe for ribs I have found

cascade cascade Posted 21 May 2010 9:27 AM

Delicious on the barbeque - nice and tasty!

bluehydrangea bluehydrangea Posted 16 May 2010 5:53 PM

This bbq sauce is gorgeous. Definatley try this one again

paulaS12345 paulaS12345 Posted 04 Mar 2010 8:52 PM

This bbq sauce is gorgeous! Definatley try this one again.

paulaS12345 paulaS12345 Posted 04 Mar 2010 8:48 PM

So easy to do and tases great - highly recommended! You could use the amazing sauce on other meats, corn on the cob or would even be great with potato wedges!

SuzyS12840 SuzyS12840 Posted 28 Feb 2010 11:47 AM

very tasty cant wait to make some more.

juneH8574 juneH8574 Posted 06 Feb 2010 8:00 PM

Absolutely loved this!!!! and sooo easy to make! Had some leftover sauce and used it on chicken wings....mmmm!!

jtz jtz Posted 22 Oct 2009 3:23 PM

We tried this sauce the other day, absolutely delicious.

rayW3966 rayW3966 Posted 13 Aug 2009 4:27 PM

made this dish today and its now in the oven and smelling divine!!! Husband doesn't finish work for 3 hours. Think I'm going to have to make a fresh lot cos these won't last that long!!

JulieL55 JulieL55 Posted 25 Jul 2009 3:27 PM

the sauce was the best me and my family have had in along time,better then any jar sauce,next time i will have to find some ribs with some meat on ha ha thanks keep up the good work

steveo6 steveo6 Posted 20 Jul 2009 9:44 PM

These ribs are wonderful - sweet, spicy, sticky and tasty. Recipe should make clear sheet of ribs should be separated into individual ribs. Then timings work - with an extra 5 minutes for luck! Sauce is delicious but quantities are extreme - I cut by half and still had enough sauce left over to do it again!

Valquays Valquays Posted 18 Jul 2009 10:46 PM

I have just done the arbecued ribs and they are absolutely delicious,they could have done with being in the oven a while longer,and so they were chewy but an extra 15 to 20 mins would have been better. The sauce is out of this world.

Jammas Jammas Posted 01 Jul 2009 1:43 PM


almowstine almowstine Posted 29 Jun 2009 2:37 PM

absolutley brill- so easy and best bbq sauce ever tasted.

Anonymous Anonymous Posted 29 Jun 2009 11:23 AM

Sounds great but surely the "15 min" cooking time is a typo?? Looking at the recipe it all adds up to a minimum of 40 min (which sounds more like what ribs need).

docpetra docpetra Posted 26 May 2009 2:56 PM

very easy and very tasty, i wll definately be making it again, thankyou.

stephL0626 stephL0626 Posted 20 Mar 2009 6:50 AM

Absolutely gorgeous and soo easy to do - will definately do this again!

dangerinthekitchen dangerinthekitchen Posted 06 Mar 2009 2:34 PM

This was such a easy recipe to follow. No brown sugar but used white No soya sauce but used worcestershire sauce, it turned out to be really loverly and sticky and my ribs were really tasty. I am going to try it on boneless chicken thigh's. Thankyou.

hharding2 hharding2 Posted 25 Aug 2008 10:25 AM

wow what a man, not just a pretty face. This man is pure genius i could watch him cook all day. his recipes are so easy to follow and really really tasty. these ribs are to die for, go for it!!!!!

johnnys girl johnnys girl Posted 05 Aug 2008 6:24 PM