Saturday, May 5, 2012
Ribs! and I’m Not Talking About Just Any Rib!
Summer is not summer without enjoying a finger-licking good rib dinner where you go through numerous napkins. Although I'm a sucker for traditional ribs covered with barbecue sauce, I was dying to try the
Cambodian rib variation. Rather than the traditional tomato-based sauce, this recipe uses a combination of fish sauce, soy sauce, honey, and a lot of fresh ginger!
The marinade is quick to make, especially if you employ a food processor. I marinated my ribs for six hours, but overnight would be even better. Fresh off the grill and covered with lime juice, the ribs burst with sweet and sour flavor. The ginger glaze is much lighter and more refreshing than a typical barbecue sauce. If you want to sink your teeth into these ginger-glazed ribs, keep reading.
Cambodian Style Ginger & Honey Ribs
2 racks (2¼ - 2½ lb.) baby back pork ribs, cut into 6-7 rib sections
(Chef’s note: I cut them into individual ribs)
(Chef’s note2: if using beef ribs, I would definitely separate them – they are tougher and require more time on slower heat)
¼ cup fresh ginger, peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. coarse sea or kosher salt
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. fish sauce
6 tsp. coarse salt
6 tsp. ground pepper
3 large limes, halved
(Actually, the recipe is for BBQ – medium heat, uncovered 8 minutes per side – but I have no BBQ, so…)
Using a food processor is the easiest way, just add all the marinade ingredients in the bowl, using the steel blade, and pulse until you have thin paste. Or…finely chop or grate the ginger and garlic and then add the other ingredients and mix well
To prepare the ribs…
Remove the thin silver membrane on the back of the ribs. You’ll need a sharp tipped knife and paper towels or something on your hands as this membrane is slippery and challenging to remove…or you could forget about it altogether.
Cut the ribs into appropriate portion size (using the 6-7 ribs for BBQing, single ribs for oven roasting) and rub on all sides with the marinade. Place in a container large enough to hold all the ribs (zip lock Baggies work well) and pour over any additional marinade.
Remove the ribs from the fridge, 30 minutes before cooking to bring them to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375 (Chef’s note: 350 for beef ribs and cook them for 1- 1½ hours; BBQ to medium heat).
For indoor cooking, prepare a rimmed baking sheet – line with foil and place a rack over the surface so that fat will drip away from the ribs. Place the ribs in a single layer on the rack/grill. Cook until ready – crispy on the outside and no sign of pink close to the bone: BBQ – 8 minutes per side; oven: pork - 45 minutes or so; beef -1 hour or so.
Once the ribs are cooked, transfer them to a serving platter and (if they aren’t already) cut them into single ribs.
For dipping sauce:
In a small bowl, combine salt & pepper with lime juice. I like to separate into individual dipping bowls and place them at each setting or on the plate itself.
Small single ribs are lovely as an appetizer or "munching" party food (have lots of napkins and place to put munched on bones
Another serving idea: served with coleslaw, and lime roasted sweet potato or thyme roasted sweet potato wedges.