Pork ribs are, without a doubt, up there with one of my favourite meats and combining this with an Asian influence . . . well . . . what can I say . . . perfect!
. . . let’s do this!
Note: Over on my Instagram you’ll find a reel of when I last made this recipe
The Baby Back Ribs
I always buy my ribs from Village Butchers where a rack of Baby Back Ribs (Meaty Pork Loin Ribs) sets me back £8.99.
Sure, I could pick some up slightly cheaper from a local supermarket . . . but in terms of consistency and meatiness . . . I’d rather pay that little bit more!
As with most baby back ribs very little prep is required. Slide a butter knife under the membrane, lift up slightly with your finger and then rip off (usually in a single motion) by grabbing with a square of kitchen paper and pulling.
In line with keeping my cooking fairly simple I often opt for a basic 5-4-3-2-1 rub mix with a slight variation for the Asian flavour profile.
Depending on how much you’d like to make you can vary the actual measurements as you see fit, just ensure the ratio is followed.
Today I went for:
- 5 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoons sea salt
- 3 Tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Chinese five spice powder
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
Once all combined I apply this rub all over the ribs leaving them with a nice even coating.
Note: When time allows I try to apply the rub 1-2 hours before I plan to cook.
OK . . everyone cooks their ribs differently with many opting for the 3-2-1 method (3 hours smoke, 2 hours wrapped and 1 hour sauce / glaze) but I’m not a fan of this, especially for baby back ribs as this, in my opinion, results in ‘mush’ and I like my ribs with a little bite.
Instead I opt for:
The Sauce / Glaze
Once the ribs have been smoked for 2.5 hours and then been wrapped with the sugar, butter and honey for an hour it’s time to move to the final stage . . . saucing up.
Sticking with the Asian theme and bearing in mind I’m a huge fan of Gochujang I put together some Korean barbecue sauce using the following ingredients:
- 175ml cold water
- 1/2 can Sprite
- 75g granulated sugar
- 50g dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 225g Gochujang
- 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
Firstly add the water, Sprite, sugars and soy sauce to a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Keep stirring until the sugars are dissolved and then remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients.
I brush this sauce all over the ribs for the final stage, sometimes reapplying after 15 minutes as I enjoy the flavour a little too much 😉
Asian Coleslaw with Sesame Dressing
I served my ribs with a quick Asian coleslaw consisting of:
- 1 cabbage (I used half green and half purple for colour – thinly sliced)
- 1 carrot (Julienne – cut into thin strips / matchsticks)
- 1/2 cup coriander (cut into 1cm pieces)
- 1 spring onion (finely cut)
And the dressing made from:
- 110ml apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon flaked salt
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
Whisk everything together until the sugar is dissolved.