spicy and sweet…yin and yang
Today I’m driving up to Flagstaff to deliver Connor back to NAU to finish his freshman year. I can not begin to believe it is already half over! So last night, the four of us had what will be our last family dinner all together for quite a few months. Dave had been craving ribs and since we haven’t had anything but traditional “American” or southwest foods recently, regular old barbecue was out of the question, Asian flavors fit the bill.
Asian-Style Baby Back Ribs
3 to 4 pound rack baby back pork ribs
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon chili sauce (preferably, Sriracha)
1/2-inch piece peeled ginger root, mashed
2 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 handful fresh cilantro stems and leaves
1 whole star anise
Place all of the ingredients, except for the ribs, in a gallon-size zip-lock bag, seal the bag and mix well, by “massaging” the ingredients together through the bag.
Cut the rack of ribs into individual ribs and add the ribs to the bag, reseal and lay flat the bag on a baking sheet, (just in case it springs a leak!) place baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator and marinate for 12 to 24 hours, turning the bag over, every 6 to 8 hours, or so,
Remove ribs from refrigerator about an hour before grilling. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap or foil, pull the ribs from the marinate and lay on the baking sheet.
Place the ribs on grill racks with at least a couple inches space between each rib. (Discard the plastic wrap or foil, now you have a clean baking sheet to lay the finished ribs on, without fear of cross-contamination). Grill the ribs for about 10 to 12 minutes on one side and then turn over and grill another 10 minutes or until the ribs are lightly charred, caramelized, and cooked through.