These brightly-flavored baby back ribs combine all of my favorite things about Chinese cuisine: sticky-sweet sauces, quick cooking times, and… pork! I would recommend doubling this recipe, cause, you know, you’ll be hungry again in 30 minutes.
Makes: 20 sticky ribs
Total kitchen time: 2 hours, plus marinating time
- 2-3 slabs baby back ribs (about 20 ribs)
- 4-6 yards heavy duty aluminum foil
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 tbsp. ginger, freshly grated (no, you can’t use the powdered stuff)
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1 tbsp. orange juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 4 tbsp. teriyaki marinade (in a bottle, Asian food section of your grocery store)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Hoisin Sauce
- 1/2 cup Chinese Barbeque Sauce
- 1/4 tsp. chili oil (add more if you like ’em hot)
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 2 green onions, finely sliced (for garnishing)
- In a small food processor, combine the smashed garlic, ginger, orange zest, orange juice, olive oil and vinegar. Pulse on high for 30 seconds, or until you see very small, even pieces of garlic mixed throughout.
- Add the teriyaki marinade, salt, pepper, Hoisin Sauce, Chinese Barbeque Sauce and chili oil and pulse for a few more seconds to combine. Reserve about 1/3 of the sauce mixture in an airtight container.
- Lay out two sheets of aluminum foil, large enough to cover one slab of ribs. Place one slab in the center of the sheet and coat well on all sides with the sauce (from the 2/3 pile, not the stuff you reserved earlier). Seal the ribs into a pouch with the inner sheet of aluminum foil. Be sure to crimp all the overlapping edges tightly. Next, seal the ribs with the outer sheet of foil. This is your insurance policy.
- Let the ribs marinate overnight. When you are ready to rock and roll, preheat your oven to 300°F and set your top rack in the middle of the oven. Place your rib packages directly on the rack and bake, sealed, for 1 hour.
- Carefully remove the packages from the oven and open the top. They will be HOT and hot liquid will come pouring out. There, I warned you.
- Remove the ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet and smother them with the reserved sauce. Crank your oven heat to 400°F and let the ribs bake for another 15-30 minutes. You want the sugar in the sauce to caramelize, giving you a slightly crispy crust. Watch the ribs carefully at this point, though – there is a fine line between caramelized and burnt.
- Remove the ribs from the oven and place on a cutting board. With a big, heavy knife, separate the ribs by cutting through the meat between the bones. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
You might also want to close the blinds and turn off the lights while you’re cooking. About 30 minutes into the baking process, they start to smell so good that your neighbors will show up unexpectedly. Just don’t make any noise when the doorbell rings and you should be all right. Or, follow my earlier advice and double the recipe.