Thai-Spiced Baby Back Ribs


This hearty game-day hors d'oeuvre from Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex chef Chris Santos gets its simple, spicy flavor from Sambal Oelek paste, a multipurpose condiment popular throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, and southern India that is made from fiery red chiles, vinegar, and salt.


For the Barbecue Sauce

  • 4 cups good-quality prepared barbecue sauce

  • 2 cups hoisin sauce

For Serving

For the Rub

  • 2 (4-ounce) cans red Thai curry paste

  • 1 ¼ cups hoisin sauce

  • ½ cup Sambal Oelek paste

  • ¼ cup soy sauce

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 3 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

  • 2 (3-pound) racks baby back ribs

For Braising

  • 4 stalks lemongrass, light green part only, smashed

  • 6 cups homemade or store-bough low-sodium chicken stock

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 3 (1-inch) pieces fresh ginger, sliced

  • 1 cup soy sauce


  1. Make the rub: In a large bowl, mix together curry paste, hoisin sauce, Sambal Oelek, soy sauce, honey, ginger, and five-spice powder until well combined. Rub mixture on ribs and let stand for 1 hour.

  2. Preheat a grill pan over high heat. Transfer ribs to grill and cook, turning, until grill marks appear on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer ribs to a large roasting pan and set aside.

  3. Braise the ribs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together lemongrass, chicken stock, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce; add to roasting pan with ribs. Cover roasting pan with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil. Transfer to oven and cook until meat begins to fall off the bone, 2 to 3 hours.

  4. Make the barbecue sauce: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, mix together barbecue and hoisin sauce. Place over medium-high heat and cook until heated through. Remove ribs from braising liquid; strain braising liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard solids and reserve 1/2 cup liquid.

  5. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Brush ribs with barbecue sauce and transfer to a baking sheet. Place 1/2 cup braising liquid on baking sheet and carefully transfer to oven; roast until sticky and caramelized, about 8 minutes. Cut ribs into individual pieces and serve with slaw; drizzle plate with lemongrass oil.

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