I Want My Baby Back Ribs

ginger baby back ribs

Okay. I know… before you even read, or scroll to the recipe, or whatever you do when you get to the chik n’ pastry blogsite, you are probably wondering what in the hell is wrong with me. Why would I ever ever ever say I don’t want BBQ sauce?! I mean, what else does a Southern girl eat her ribs with? Heck, anything with?

So let’s be clear here, before going any further. I adore barbeque sauce. I adore the way the sticky, gooey, molasses-and-ketchup-flavored-sauce-with-a-hint-of-apple-cider-vinegar-that-I-could-make-with-my-eyes-closed tastes on some baby back ribs, cooked low and slow on a sunny summer day to the point where they fall off the bone before they make it to your mouth or for that matter even in your hands because they. are. that. damn. tender. and. juicy. and. oh. so. perfect. in. every. way. I love the way you finish eating said ribs and the morsels of ooey goodness that is said bbq sauce remain all over your mouth, your face, your hair, your clothes, and all 10 of the Bounty tri-fold paper towels you used along the way. Make me choose what type of rib to take to my grave and hands down, I’d choose those in a heartbeat. Shoot, less than a heartbeat.

rib sauce

But, barring any unforseen accident or health malady, I do not plan to receive a visit from the Grim Reaper any time soon. That being said, I do feel that an occasional visit to the dark side is acceptable. If you are, like me, in the prime of your life and ready to try something different in the way of ribs, I suggest you consider a venture to Cambodia to try their style of bbq, complete with flavors of ginger and honey on a background of soy and fish sauces. If you’re not quite ready for that type of adventure, thank Bon Appetit magazine for having Steven Raichlen, bbq extraordinaire, tour the globe via a ‘barbeque trail’ and then write about it in the July 2009 issue.

Then, thank me for insisting that you try this recipe, as you will undoubtedly be wowed by the abundancy of flavor that’s packed into this marinade. Meanwhile, you’ll find yourself also feeling a bit sheepish by suggesting I’d lost my mind. I haven’t – not this time.

grilled ribs

Wow. Just wow. We made these this past weekend – we were long past due for a ‘Jennifer&Jon get-together’ (and getting the band back together for another gig on the Rock Band II World Tour). Plus, Chris & I both finished up Spring quarter of school the week before and were in need of an event reminiscent of summer break. And after our grilled meal in Hilton Head, Chris had quite the hankerin’ for the ol’ Weber. Ribs were the answer.

Marinated in a blend of ginger, honey, fish sauce, and soy sauce, these are not your typical ribs for sure. Why, they don’t even cook low n’ slow but instead cook ‘high n’ quick’. The marinating is the long part but surely worth the few hours to really layer the flavors. Be sure to baste during the marinating to allow the flavors to continuously work their way into the ribs. Oh baby – these are baby back ribs that you don’t wanna forget.

ribs and sides

Want to carry these tasty Asian flavors through the rest of your meal? I made a peanut-saucy Asian slaw and some gluten-free sesame noodles that were super easy and just as tasty.

Ginger & Honey Baby Back Ribs
Adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2009; serves 6

Ribs & Marinade
2 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pound baby back pork ribs, cut into 6-7 rib sections
1/4 cup peeled ginger, cut into chunks
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T sugar
1 T kosher salt
1 T fresh ground black pepper
3 T honey
2 T soy sauce*
2 T fish sauce

Dipping sauce
6 t kosher salt, divided
6 t ground white pepper, divided
3 large limes, halved

*Gluten-free available if needed

For ribs & marinade:
Place rib racks on work surface. If not done already, use a small knife and carefully pry membrane from underside of each rib. Place ribs on rimmed baking sheet.

Combine ginger, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in processor and puree to blend. Add honey, soy sauce, and fish sauce and process to blend well. Adjust seasonings to taste. (Don’t be alarmed by the overwhelming smell of the fish sauce – it does NOT overpower once grilled!). Spread spiced marinade on both sides of ribs and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, basting occasionally with accumulated marinade on baking sheet.

For dipping sauce:

Place 6 small bowls on each of 6 plates. Place 1 t salt and 1 t pepper side by side, then place lime in plate beside. Have guests squeeze lime juice into mixture to taste.

Spray rack with cooking spray. Prepared grill to medium heat. Spoon accumulated marinade back over ribs. Place rib racks, rounded side down, on grill rack. Grill, uncovered, 8 minutes per side, then cover grill and grill until cooked through, about another 8 minutes per side.

Transfer to cutting board. Cut into single rib pieces.

2 thoughts on “I Want My Baby Back Ribs

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