Wash pork ribs and trim off the excess fat. Marinate with seasoning ingredients for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat oil in a wok for deep-frying and fry pork ribs for 2 minutes. Remove and drain well. Put water, dates, hoong kok mai, cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves in a deep saucepan. Bring to the boil and add in the pre-fried pork ribs and sauce ingredients.
Reduce heat and simmer for 1-1½ hours or until meat is tender and gravy is thick.