Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chinese (Char Siu) Barbecue Pork Ribs

I was reading the Huffington Post the other day and came across an article for Char Siu pork ribs. I haven't had good char siu pork ribs in a very long time so I thought I would try them.  SCORE!  Delicious, just like you would get from a good chinese vendor in chinatown.

I first learned about char siu (chinese barbecue) from my friend Doug  in graduate school.  He was from Hawaii  and his mom would send care packages loaded with things we couldn't find in east Tennessee (remember this was in the mid 1980s): Macadamia Nuts, Asian Rice Crackers, all kinds of seaweed, and char siu bbq sauce.

Char siu is very fragrant and will fill your house with exotic scents. Unlike what most chinese restaurants serve, this char siu is not sickeningly sweet and I love it.  Don't be afraid of the red food coloring... it does nothing to the flavor, but is absolutely traditional and gives the ribs a beautiful red color.

This recipe is perfect.  I have to give credit to Meathead Goldwyn for the recipe.  This is great to eat with a nice cold asian noodle salad, sliced up in fried rice or lo mein, or, as I intend to do today, use as a filling for Bao (steamed chinese dumplings full of spicy pork bbq).

Chinese (Char Siu) Barbecue Pork Ribs
(makes 2 lbs )

2 lbs. boneless pork ribs (or other ribs)


1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons hot sauce such as Tabasco or Sriracha
2 tablespoons powdered ginger
1 tablespoon powdered garlic (NOT garlic salt)
1 tablespoon five spice powder
2 tablespoons powdered onion (NOT onion salt)
2 teaspoons red food coloring

Mix all ingredients for marinade well.  Reserve 1/4 cup of marinade.  Place ribs and marinade in a large Ziplock freezer bag and marinate at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350.  Place ribs on a lightly-oiled baking sheet and roast for one hour.  After one hour, turn ribs over and brush with reserved marinade. Return to oven for 1 more hour, flipping and brushing with marinade every 15 minutes.  Serve, ribs sliced or roughly chopped.

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