Asian-Flavored Baby Back Ribs

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 

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.


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.)


  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.
Source: Steven Raichlen for the National Pork Board; photo courtesy of Snake River Farms

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
woman surprise

When I joined the staff at FoodService Director in the spring of 2015, I couldn’t believe how much there was to learn about the intricacies of the industry. My past experience, from kindergarten to my college days to on-the-job meals, would lead me to believe that noncommercial dining was a kind of automated process—an amenity that’s expected, and one you only become aware of if something goes wrong.

But as with my own household chores, there are no magical elves making sure the business of feeding students, seniors and hospital patients is done, and done well. Foodservice...

Managing Your Business
hands team

In November, students at University of Missouri in Columbia began leading protests against discrimination faced by people of color on campus—including some marches through the dining halls. Julaine Kiehn, director of the school’s campus dining services, said the 2015-16 school year was a tough one, but she was proud of MU’s students for being at the forefront of a national movement.

And not only did the protests launch important conversations with students, but also with staff. Kiehn heard the protests and thought that her student workers, at least, might not feel safe and welcome...

Ideas and Innovation

When it comes to sustainability, sometimes the smallest kitchen changes can make the biggest difference. When Chris Henning, senior assistant director of dining services for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, switched from standard latex gloves to nitrile gloves, he also set up a recycling program. Once recycled, the gloves are turned into playground equipment, bike racks and park benches.

Henning says the nitrile gloves have been a good fit for his department, both in terms of durability and cost. “Participating in the campus buying program reduces the cost, as [our]...

Ideas and Innovation
elderly old hands

A family’s request for at-home meal support for a patient at Lee Memorial in Fort Myers, Fla., led System Director of Food & Nutrition Services Larry Altier to uncover a gap in care. He saw that only 1% of patients had been coded (diagnosed and labeled for billing purposes) as malnourished, while more than 60% of all Lee Memorial patients are over 65 years or older, a population that experiences the issue at a higher rate.

His discovery helped more rigorously identify malnutrition, but it also strengthened Lee Memorial’s community connection. The hospital launched a delivery...

FSD Resources