Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Asian Baby Back Ribs in Jalapeno, Fish Sauce & Lemongrass Marinade

Adapted this recipe from Steven Raichlen's How to Grill. The fish sauce in both the marinade and dipping sauce gives this dish a distinctive Thai or Vietnamese flavor. A real departure from traditional barbecued pork ribs, and quite delicious. 

2-4 racks of baby back ribs (about 4 lbs. total), silver skins removed

6-8 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped (use only about half of stalk and tender parts only)
2-3 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp. ginger, finely chopped
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded & thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup water
6 tbsp. fish sauce
6 tbsp. lemon juice (2 large lemons)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped dried roasted peanuts

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce:
4 tbsp. sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup lime juice (3-4 limes)
2 serrano chilies, seeded & thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. julienned carrot

1. Prepare & combine all marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Place ribs in a large turkey roasting bag or ginormous Ziploc bag and pour in marinade. Distribute the marinade evenly over the ribs, seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, turning 2-3 times.

2. Combine all dipping sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl, cover & set aside until ready to serve. 

3. Set up grill for indirect grilling. Grill 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until meat has shrunk back from the bones and is tender. Don't overcook. NOTE: alternatively, you can also cook the ribs covered tightly with foil in the oven at 350F for 1 1/2 hours, then put on the grill about 1o minutes to give them that charcoal-grilled flavor, just before serving. 

4. Let ribs rest for 5-10 minutes. Cut racks into individual ribs and place on platter. Sprinkle with cilantro & chopped peanuts. Serve with dipping sauce.

Great with grilled asparagus or grilled eggplant on the side.

Lemongrass, jalapenos, ginger, garlic, and cilantro.

Shallots, finely chopped.

Lemongrass, trimmed down to the tender parts.

Chopped cilantro & lemongrass; bowl with chopped shallots, garlic, ginger and jalapenos.

Add seasonings: ground coriander, sugar, black pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce, water, lemon juice & vegetable oil.

Stir well.

Put ribs in a large turkey roasting or Ziploc bag and add marinade. Coat well.

Some of the seasonings.

For the dipping sauce: serrano chilies, garlic, carrots, lime juice.

Grill the ribs over indirect heat.

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