While no one knows its exact origins, some believe that the Chinese created five-spice powder to encompass all of the five flavors: sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty. These five elements combined create a powerful flavor. The five-spice brings a unique flavor to this dish. Remember when using it, a little goes a long way!
2 tbsp/40 g raw honey
⅓ cup/80 ml fresh orange juice
1 tsp/2 g Chinese five-spice powder
1 tsp/5 g fresh ginger, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp/5 g sea salt
2 lbs/900 g pork spare ribs, cut into 4 slabs
1 lb/455 g plums, pitted and halved or, if very large, quartered
Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients except ribs and plums until well combined. Place ribs meat-side down in an oven-safe pan with a lid, such as a Dutch oven. Pour sauce over the ribs and make sure they are well coated. Arrange the cut plums around the ribs. Cover and bake for 2 hours. Halfway through remove the lid and baste the pork.
Increase the oven to 375°F/190°C. Remove the cover and flip the pork so the meat is facing up. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until ribs are browned. Place ribs on a plate with some plums and drizzle with sauce.