Thai-Style Baby Back Ribs
Note: This recipe has been adapted from "The Complete Meat Cookbook" by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. Copyright 1998 by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Servings: 6
Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2002
- 3 one- to 1 1/2-pound racks baby back ribs
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup Asian peanut oil
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
- 4 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves removed and tender center thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 4 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
- Thai Dipping Sauce
Place ribs in a large, shallow dish; set aside. In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, cilantro, peanut oil, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, lemongrass, sugar, ginger, and sesame oil. Pour over ribs, turning to coat. Refrigerate, covered, overnight, turning occasionally.
To cook ribs in oven: Remove ribs from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Line a shallow roasting pan with a rack; set aside. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, placing a rack in the lower and top thirds of the oven. Place a second roasting pan half full of water in the bottom third of the oven. Remove ribs from marinade, and reserve excess marinade. Place ribs on rack in roasting pan. Place ribs in the top third of the oven. Bake, basting occasionally with reserved marinade, until the meat begins to pull away from the bone, the bone tips are exposed, and the internal temperature of the thickest part is 155 degrees, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove ribs from oven, and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into individual pieces. Serve with dipping sauce.
To cook ribs using a charcoal grill: Remove ribs from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. To preheat a covered grill, light a mound of twenty to thirty briquettes on one side of the grate, and open the bottom vents fully. Place a roasting pan filled with 2 inches of water on the other side of the grate. The pan will catch the drippings, and the water will provide moist heat to tenderize the meat. Place four or five chunks of hardwood charcoal directly on the coals.
When the coals are ready, place a rack over them. Remove ribs from marinade, and reserve excess marinade. Place the ribs on the rack over the water; no meat should be directly over the coals. Cover, making sure lid vents are opposite the ribs and half open (this draws the smoke over the ribs). Place an instant-read thermometer into the top vent hole; it should read between 200 degrees to 250 degrees. The temperature should never exceed 300 degrees. If the temperate is too high, partially close the lower vent. Regulate the temperature during cooking by adjusting the lower vent. Turn and baste the ribs with the reserved marinade every 45 minutes, making sure that you alternate the exposure of the ribs to the hotter edge near the coals. Cook until ribs begin to pull away from the bone, the bone tips are exposed, and the internal temperature of the thickest part is 155 degrees, about 1 1/2 hours.
Baste ribs with dipping sauce, turning frequently to prevent the sugar in the sauce from burning. Cook for an additional 4 minutes per side. Allow ribs to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into individual pieces. Serve with dipping sauce.