Asian Baby Back Ribs

Sticky and fabulous

asian baby back ribs, father's day, kids, pork, ribs, summer
Serves 4
Serving Size: 6

Asian Baby Back Ribs/Katie Workman/themom100.com/photo by Todd Coleman

Featured in the New York Times article “Mastering Chinese-Style Ribs” at Home by Julia Moskin.  See here for her tweak to the recipe, and a great video.

I created this recipe as my Father’s Day gift to my husband Gary, who loves ribs more than any one else I know, with the exception of my own father.  My kids are no slouch in the rib-loving department either.

Below is a photo of Jack when he was about 1 1/2, eating his first rib.  In it he looks simultaneously surprised and perplexed and ecstatic, and maybe a little drunk.  In my mind the caption for this photo was always, “For the love of God, where have you people been hiding the pork?”

how to cook ribs in the oven/Jack with ribs

“Just give me a moment here.”

'Her recipe for Chinese-style ribs is so easy that I’ve made it countless times.' —Julia MoskinClick To Tweet

If you have a food processor, small or large, this marinade comes together in a flash.  If you are a cutting board-and-knife kind of a cook, then it will take a tiny bit longer, but it’s still an extraordinarily simple and flavorful sauce.

how to make Chinese ribs/ Katie Workman / The Mom 100

I almost feel like paper napkins should be listed in the actual ingredient list, since they are so critical to the enjoyment of this dish.  These are great eaten outside, with no white clothes or tablecloths or cushions in sight.  These are great with potato salad, or mashed potatoes, and a salad with Japanese Restaurant Dressing or sautéed spring greens.  And for the grown ups, a cold beer.

You can also do this with 4 or 5 pounds of larger spareribs, just cook them for about 2 hours in the oven before grilling them, or cranking up the heat.

This recipe has the ribs start off the the oven for a low and slow bake, then they get finished on the grill.  But you can  make these ribs completely in the oven, or you can make these ribs completely on the grill, just see below:

How to Cook these Ribs in the Oven:

To cook the ribs completely in the oven, simply raise the heat to 400°F at the end of the hour, and let them go for another 30 minutes, giving them a good baste or two towards the end, and watching carefully to see that they don’t burn.

How to Cook these Ribs on the Grill:

Or, you can cook the ribs completely on the grill, but given the significant sugar content in this sauce, this requires some vigilance on your part. Either preheat a gas grill to medium-low, or set up a charcoal grill for indirect grilling. Arrange the ribs on the grill but NOT over the direct flame, with the meaty side up to start, and grill them for an hour, turning them frequently, and watching closely for flare-ups.

And you can re-heat leftover ribs in a 300°F oven for 15 minutes.  This recipes multiplies easily.

how to make ribs in the oven / Katie Workman / The Mom 100

Asian Baby Back Ribs Recipe: As featured in the New York Times! Sticky, tender ribs with a flavorful glaze that you can make in the oven .

Asian Baby Back Ribs

Print

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 scallions, trimmed
  • ¾ cup hoisin sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup rice wine or cider vinegar
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce (or 1/3 cup regular soy sauce plus 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1/3 cup mirin or dry sherry
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 racks (4 to 5 pounds) baby back ribs

1. In a food processor or blender, first finely mince the garlic and scallions.  Add the hoisin, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, mirin or dry sherry, and honey and process until well blended.

Asian Baby Back Ribs Recipe: As featured in the New York Times! Sticky, tender ribs with a flavorful glaze that you can make in the oven .

2. Pour the sauce into a plastic container with a lid, large enough to hold the ribs, or it’s quite handy to marinate the ribs in a large heavy duty-zipper top bag.  Add the ribs to the marinade and turn so they are well-coated.  Marinate the ribs for at least 4 hours, and up to a day in the fridge (or not; see Note again).

Asian Baby Back Ribs Recipe: As featured in the New York Times! Sticky, tender ribs with a flavorful glaze that you can make in the oven .

3. To bake the ribs and finish them on the grill, preheat the oven to 300°F.  (See above for directions on how to bake these ribs completely in the oven, or how to make these ribs completely on the grill.) Place the ribs meaty side up, in two rimmed baking sheets that have been lined with aluminum foil, such as Reynold’s Wrap (you do not want to skip this step). Bake the ribs for 1 hour.  Shortly before the hour is up, preheat the grill to medium.

Asian Baby Back Ribs Recipe: As featured in the New York Times! Sticky, tender ribs with a flavorful glaze that you can make in the oven .

4. Arrange the ribs on the grill, meatier side down to start, and grill for about 20 minutes, turning the ribs frequently so they won’t burn, and basting them with any marinade that remains in the pan as you go.  Don’t wander away.  Remove the ribs from the grill and let them sit for about 5 or 10 minutes before slicing them.  Serve hot or warm.

Asian Baby Back Ribs Recipe: As featured in the New York Times! Sticky, tender ribs with a flavorful glaze that you can make in the oven .

Short Cuts

Say you didn’t have the time to heat and cool the sauce. And say you didn’t have the time to marinate the ribs for 4 to 12 hours. You are still going to make some fine ribs. Skip the heating and cooling part and just use the blended marinade as is. You could also reduce the marinating time in the fridge – the flavors won’t penetrate the meat so deeply, but that’s ok.
Tip 1:

You can also do this with 4 or 5 pounds of larger spareribs, just cook them for about 2 hours in the oven before grilling them, or cranking up the heat.

Asian Baby Back Ribs Recipe: As featured in the New York Times! Sticky, tender ribs with a flavorful glaze that you can make in the oven .
Tip 2:

To cook the ribs completely in the oven, simply raise the heat to 400°F at the end of the hour, and let them go for another 30 minutes, giving them a good baste or two towards the end, and watching carefully to see that they don’t burn.

Or, you can cook the ribs completely on the grill, but given the significant sugar content in this sauce, this requires some vigilance on your part. Either preheat a gas grill to medium-low, or set up a charcoal grill for indirect grilling. Arrange the ribs on the grill but NOT over the direct flame, with the meaty side up to start, and grill them for an hour, turning them frequently, and watching closely for flare-ups.

Asian Baby Back Ribs Recipe: As featured in the New York Times! Sticky, tender ribs with a flavorful glaze that you can make in the oven .

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Dinner Solved!

Katie Workman is a gifted cook, a best friend in the kitchen, and a brilliant problem solver. Her Mom 100 Cookbook was named one of the Five Best Weeknight Cookbooks of the past 25 years by Cooking Light and earned praise from chefs like Ina Garten (“I love the recipes!”) and Bobby Flay (“Perfect . . . to help moms everywhere get delicious meals on the table.”). Now Katie turns her attention to the biggest problem that every family cook faces: how to make everyone at the table happy without turning into a short-order cook. Expanding on one of the …

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