Often when someone comes over and eats at our house, they turn to Daughters and say, "You know, you're lucky your mom is such a good cook. Do you know how lucky you are to eat her food?" Generally Daughters nod their heads, but their eyes glaze over and they aren't really paying attention to the question, because I think, quite frankly, they are tired of hearing it. It is even probably more irksome to them because I sometimes hear them say, "Mom - can we just have REGULAR food?" They want familiar food, food that they've had before, and food that doesn't require mom snapping photographs of it wildly. They don't often have a choice in what I decide to cook, and that is the life of children of food bloggers. I have to say, however, it is extremely gratifying when I do make something new, and kids gobble it all up and say, "Mom - you are a GREAT CHEF!" My quest is constantly to find recipes and ideas that elicit that response from the kids.
As daughters love ribs, I thought I'd try this one out on them - based on the Mongolian Pork Chop I had a Mustards Grill. I took the marinade, streamlined the ingredients, and decided to throw it on some baby back ribs instead of a pork chop - the result was delicious, although Daughter #1 thought it too spicy for her tastes. Daughter #2 took it down and visiting friend CY gobbled up a nice hefty amount considering she's not a huge fan of cilantro in her food. I suggest serving these bad boys with a side of ginger slaw and mashed potatoes.
Asian Marinade Ribs
Marinade (adapted from Mustards Grill Cookbook)
1 cup hoisin sauce (Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian has no artificial colors and no MSG)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 scallion minced
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (ground chili sauce - at your local Asian Market - use less if you don't want it as spicy)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 racks of baby back ribs, about 6 lbs
For ease of cooking, I've found that cutting the rack of ribs into 3 smaller pieces a nice step, but it isn't necessary. It will make marinating the ribs easier, but if you have a large enough pan to hold both the ribs and the marinade, you do not need to do this.
In a large bowl, mix all of the marinade ingredients together. Mix well. Pour over the baby back ribs and using your hands (covered in a disposable plastic glove) rub well. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least 8 hours and up to 24.
To cook the ribs after allowing marinating, preheat oven to 300. Remove ribs from marinade and set on a foil lined pan. Save remainig marinade. Place ribs in oven and cook for 2 hours. Take leftover marinade and pour it into small pot. Cook marinade until boiling, and then cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
After 2 hours of cooking, raise oven temperature to 425. Brush on the cooked marinade (like a sauce) all over the rib pieces. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until marinade is lightly caramelized. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
My preference in Hoisin sauce, but this one gets you a pack of TWELVE (but at a great price per individual bottle.)