Combine ingredients for marinade and coat ribs in marinade. Cover and refrigerate for one hour, or preferably overnight.
Place a piece of foil inside a wok and place wood shavings, thyme and sugar on foil. Place over high heat until mixture starts to smoke. Place ribs on a circular rack that fits inside wok and cover wok with its lid. Reserve remaining marinade. Smoke for 15 minutes over medium heat.
Place ribs in a roasting dish lined with baking paper. Add one cup of water to the dish and cover tightly with foil. Cook in oven at 150C fan forced for 2 hours. Baste with reserved marinade then cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes at 180C fan forced to crisp up. Place any leftover marinade in a small saucepan with any cooking juices from the baking dish and bring to the boil.
Place corn on a barbecue or chargrill pan and cook for 10 minutes, turning regularly until cooked. Serve with ribs, a green salad and reserved reheated marinade.
Marinating your ribs overnight makes them more tender.
Make a double batch of marinade and freeze half for next time.
You can interchange short ribs with spare ribs.
The ribs shrink during cooking, so if you are cooking for hungry guests, cook a few extra.