Sticky Date BBQ Lamb Ribs (Video)

Sticky date BBQ lamb ribs.jpg

These ribs are not just juicy, melt in the mouth, enticing and delectable bites, they are fail proof, easy, effortless and a fit for a king recipe. The melange of the sweet, the sour, the sweet spices and the flavour of the lamb just elevate this simple dish to celestial level. I love running test kitchens as many of you already know. This recipe was the product of one of those days where I spent hours developing it, adding my own touches and secrets. I incorporated date molasses because I always prefer to combine local ingredients in my recipes where possible but if it is not available where you are just use honey. 

I promise you that this dish will be devoured by the whole family in a jiffy and guarantee that they will ask for more. 

Ask your butcher to cut the ribs for you and make sure they are meaty with a good layer of fat. 

I know it is not super healthy but every now and again is ok to indulge. 


Preparation Time: 10 minutes 

Start to finish: 1 hour 20 minutes 

Marinating: 2 hours 


  • 1300 grams lamb ribs 

  • 1 cup water 

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce 

  • 1 stick cinnamon 

  • 2-star anise 

  • 10 cloves 

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed 

  • 1 pod black cardamom 

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar 

  • 4 tablespoons ketchup 

  • 5 tablespoons date molasses/syrup 

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar 


* Preheat oven to 180 C /375 F on fan setting. 

* Place all ingredients but for the brown sugar in a pot on medium heat. 

* Let it boil for around 10 minutes then add the sugar and stir. 

* Again, bring it to boil for a further 4 minutes then leave aside to cool so the spices infuse. 

* Run through a sieve and marinade the lamb ribs for 2 to 3 hours covered in the refrigerator. 

* Lay the lamb ribs on a foil covered tray, fatty side up then cover with another sheet of foil and bake for 1 hour then uncover the tray and bake for a further 10 minutes until the sugars start to caramelise. 

* Sprinkle with sesame and chopped green onions and serve with steamed rice. 


* Don’t trim the fat from the ribs as it adds a lot of flavour and will melt away during the baking process. 

* If you are using mutton ribs par boil them for 30 to 40 minutes before you start the marinating and baking process. 

* You can use this marinade for any cut of meat if you desire. 

* Serve with steamed rice or noodles 

Per Serving: 1163 Calories; 86g Fat (64.9% calories from fat); 38g Protein; 66g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 180mg Cholesterol; 2432mg Sodium.