Asian-Flavored Baby Back Ribs

Source: Steven Raichlen for the National Pork Board; photo courtesy of Snake River Farms
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Main Ingredient: Pork
Menu Part: Entree
Cuisine Type: Asian
Serves: 4

BBQ and Asian trends blend into one finger-lickin’ plate of ribs. Chef Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible (Workman Publishing, 2008) first marinates tender baby back pork ribs in a spicy sweet mixture highlighted by the Southeast Asian flavors of seeded Thai chilies, lemongrass and fish sauce. Then he grills the ribs until the meat falls off the bone.

Ingredients

4 stalks lemongrass, chopped (white part and some pale green)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 (2-in.) piece gingerroot, grated (about 2 1/2 tbsp.)
2 Thai chiles (or 4 to 5 jalapeños), seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 racks baby back pork ribs (about 4 lb.)

Steps

  1. In med. bowl, stir together all ingredients except ribs for marinade.
  2. Place ribs in heavy, resealable plastic bag; pour in marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate 4 to 6 hr. Turn ribs two or three times while marinating.
  3. Prepare an indirect med. fire in grill with a drip pan in center. For a gas grill, heat grill to med. and turn off any burners directly below where the food will go. (With the lid closed, the indirect heat method serves as an oven, circulating heat evenly throughout.)
  4. Remove ribs from marinade; discard marinade. Place rack of ribs on grill over drip pan, away from heat. Cover grill and grill ribs for 1 1/2 hr., until meat is very tender.
  5. For service, transfer ribs to cutting board and cut into serving portions.