Say “so long” summer with a mess of baby back pork ribs. For the past month, I’ve been tinkering with a marinade recipe found in The Best of Thai Cuisine by Sinsamon Kongpan, a classic cookbook published in Bangkok. I picked up a copy at a bookstore in Thai Town, Los Angeles, and I’ve seen it for sale elsewhere.
At first glance the recipe is teriyaki-like but it definitely has a distinctive taste that’s does not say, “I’m teriyaki!” It’s all the ginger juice and honey that gives life to the marinade. I’ve tried this on all cuts of pork and found that a super meaty rack of baby back ribs works just great. If that’s not available or within your budget, try country-style pork ribs, which is nice and rich tasting.
Before marinating the ribs, use your fingers and a knife to pull off the connective tissue on the back (on the bonier side) of the ribs. This allows the meat to cook up more tender as the tissue doesn’t constrict the meat during cooking.
To render ginger juice, grate it on the smallest holes and then gather it up and press on it through a mesh strainer. A few bits are fine. The dark soy sauce, available at Asian markets, give the ribs a nice reddish-brown color.
Thai Barbecued Baby Back Pork Ribs
Serves 2 to 3
1 tablespoon light (regular) soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
11/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 teaspoons ginger juice
11/2 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons honey
1 (2 1/2 pound) rack baby back ribs, connective tissue removed
2. Put into a zip-top plastic bag and add the ribs. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Turn the ribs from time to time.
Remove from the fridge about 45 minutes to remove some of the chill before grilling. Reserve the marinade to brush on the ribs as they cook.
3. Grill the ribs over moderate heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until cooked and glazed. Turn frequently and brush on the marinade to impart extra flavor. The meat should shrink back and pull away from the bone when it’s done. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and eating.