Fragrant Sichuan Short Ribs

Fagrant Sichuan Short Ribs

Fragrant Sichuan Short Ribs, Cooking on the Big Green Egg: Everything you need to know from set-up to cooking techniques, with 70 recipes by James Whetlor. Photography by Sam Folan.

Cooking on the Big Green EggBig Green Egg has a cult following amongst BBQ experts due to its high-performance cooking at a range of temperatures and NASA specification ceramics. As more and more enthusiasts realize what a versatile and practical bit of cooking kit the EGG is, experts and amateurs alike are looking for recipes to test out their skills and maximize the EGG’s capabilities.

Cooking on the Big Green Egg showcases this vital piece of outdoor cooking equipment and offers instructions and recipes for everything you’d ever want to cook in it. Award-winning author of Goat, James Whetlor, guides the reader through the basics of using your Big Green Egg, with a full explanation of how it works and how to get the best out of it, whether you’re cooking on the grill or plancha, oven roasting, smoking, baking, cooking “dirty” directly on the coals, or taking it low and slow.

With James’s cooking advice and tips, you’ll then be ready to cook your way through 70 amazing recipes including all the basic meats and joints, whole fish, vegetables and jaw-dropping BBQ feasts. With this outstanding book by your side, you’ll go from beginner to EGG expert in no time, and enjoy delicious food in the process all year round.

Cooking on the Big Green Egg: Everything you need to know from set-up to cooking techniques, with 70 recipes is available at and

Fragrant Sichuan Short Ribs

Serves 4

Short ribs are another BBQ classic you will want to master; pulling bones from a cooked rack and having them slide out clean is a moment of great satisfaction. The aim of this recipe isn’t to test your patience, although it might do that with its 5–7-hour cooking time.

Here, you are managing a long cook with low-temperature control and adding the wrapping element after a few hours. Wrapping helps keep the meat moist, preventing drying out
and charring. As you get more experienced and better at temperature management, you may decide to not wrap at all.

I suggest you do, though, for the first few cooks at least. Now… the peach-paper-versus-foil debate. It’s not something we are going to waste our time on here. Using peach paper is favoured by the BBQ traditionalist. Using foil, known a little disparagingly as the ‘Texas crutch,’ is fine, but it will speed the cooking up a little. If you have peach paper, use it, but if you don’t, use foil.

2kg / 4lb 6oz short ribs

1 tbsp flaky sea salt

2 tsp cracked black pepper

1 tbsp dried chilli flakes

1 tbsp ground Sichuan pepper


For the sauce

80ml / 1⁄3 cup Chinese vinegar (or sherry vinegar)

2 tbsp dark soy sauce 3 tbsp sugar

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 thin slices of fresh ginger

2 star anise

1 piece of cassia or cinnamon bark

2 pieces of pared orange zest

50ml / 31⁄2 tbsp water


Indirect set-up; convEGGtor in legs-up position with the stainless-steel grill on top of the convEGGtor legs.


125–135°C / 260–275°F

Mix the sauce ingredients together well and put to one side.

Season the ribs all over with the salt, black pepper, chilli flakes and Sichuan pepper, rubbing them in. If you have the time, let the ribs marinate overnight in the fridge (bringing them back to room temperature to cook), but at a minimum an hour or so before cooking.

Place the beef on the grill bone-side down, close the lid and cook for 3 hours, then remove and place on a double layer of peach paper or foil. Add the sauce then wrap up. Cook for another
2–4 hours until the internal temperature is 93–95°C/200–203°F, then rest for 1 hour in a warm place. Strain the juices and skim off any excess fat before serving.

Accompany with rice noodles or steamed greens, with the strained sauce poured over the top.

Recipe with permission from Hardie Grant Books.

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