Sunday, March 9, 2008

savory baking: vietnamese-style ribs

And now for a departure from the sweet stuff (though there's actually brown sugar in the recipe)...

Ages ago, my parents mentioned a Vietnamese-style sparerib recipe where the ribs were baked, then grilled. I've had it in the back of my mind to try that for a long time, and we decided to give it a go this weekend. They were easy and delicious, not to mention a fun departure from our usual BBQ sauce recipe. I usually have all of the glaze ingredients on hand, as well as most of the marinade ingredients (minus lemongrass), so we just had to pick up a few things in addition to the pork ribs (which were from Costco).

You can whip up the marinade in minutes. Ideally, I would've marinated them longer, but daylight savings stole an hour from us, and we had to eat early with the kids, so they only soaked for about two hours. They bake for an hour, and you flip them after 30 minutes.

The glaze also can be stirred together quickly, and I doubled the recipe to have extra for dipping. (The leftover sauce will be great on chicken.) I cut the chili paste by about 1-2 tsp so it wouldn't be too spicy for the kids. Josh grilled them, and I didn't pay too much attention to that process, but it went fairly quickly since they were already par-cooked.

So delicious! Sweet and flavorful and caramelized... yum. Marinating longer would probably make them more tender, but they were really quite good. Denise, Kevin and the kids were kind enough to experiment with us. (They also left our house neater than they found it - thanks for the help, guys!)

The recipe is from the New York Times, 7/7/04. Here's a link to the article, though I've posted the recipe below:

Adapted from Mai Pham, Bruce Aidells and Simon Nget
Time: 1 1/2 hours, plus 6 hours marinating

4 meaty racks baby back pork ribs (at least 2 pounds each)

For the marinade:
4 stalks lemon grass
2 medium yellow onions
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce (nam pla)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil

For the glaze:
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup applesauce
6 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili paste, or more to taste
Cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, for serving.

1. Place ribs in a deep wide pan. Combine all ingredients for marinade in a food processor or blender, and process to a paste. Pour over ribs, cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 6 hours or overnight.

2. When ribs are marinated, heat oven to 325 degrees. Place ribs on a rack and bake for 1 hour, turning ribs over halfway through cooking. (This can be done several hours in advance. Set ribs aside until ready to serve.)

3. When ready to serve, combine all ingredients for glaze in a bowl. Heat a grill to medium hot. Grill ribs, turning often and brushing frequently with glaze, until well glazed and charred on outside, about 15 minutes total. Slice ribs, and serve on a platter with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.

Yield: 6 to 10 servings.

1 comment:

The Nix Family said...

I thought they were amazing! Thank you for sharing!