Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
- 2-3 lbs. pork ribs (I used side ribs) - SERVES 2-4
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3 Tbsp. sherry (or cooking sherry)
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- THAI SAUCE:
- 3/4 cup rice vinegar, OR other type (I used apple cider vinegar)
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce (OR substitute 3+1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2-3 green (spring) onions, sliced finely
- optional: 1/2 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- Chop up the ribs, being sure to leave on the fat (to help flavor of the dish). Pack ribs into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
- Combine marinade ingredients, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour over the ribs and turn them in the marinade to baste all sides. Marinate at least 10 minutes while you warm up the oven (OR up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, covered with foil).
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. The marinade should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep around the ribs. (If your baking pan is larger, you may need to add up to 1/4 cup water to achieve this.) Cover with lid or foil and bake 1 hour.
- Remove ribs from oven. There should be at least 1/2 inch of sauce in the pan. While you have the dish out, turn over any ribs that look dry, ensuring most of the meaty parts are covered with sauce. Cover and return to oven for 1 more hour.
- While ribs are baking, combine Thai Sauce ingredients together in a pot or sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium (it will smell rather pungent, and may even sting your eyes until the vinegar burns off). Boil the sauce 10-12 minutes, or until it has been reduced by 1/3 and has thickened.
- Remove from heat and add 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice. Once it has cooled, do a taste-test: it should be tangy, with strong sweet, sour, and spicy tones, plus a little salty. Adjust the flavors by adding more sugar if you find it too sour, more cayenne if you'd like it spicier, or more fish sauce if you'd like it saltier. Add more lime juice if too sweet or salty. Note that it will taste strong now, but will be delicious when combined with the ribs.
- After 2 hours, the ribs should be well done, but if you'd like them even more tender, return to oven for another 1/2 hour.
- When tender, scoop the ribs into a serving bowl or platter (bring some of the marinade with them). Now drizzle over the tangy Thai sauce and top with the green onion. Serve with plain rice and enjoy!
- Rib Tips: the secret to tender ribs is to bake them long and slow. The longer you bake them, the more tender they become (there's no need to parboil them first).
- If you like your ribs lightly browned (e.g. BBQ-ed), after ribs have finished baking, transfer them to a foil-lined pan and pour over half the Thai sauce. Set under the broiler for 5-6 minutes minutes. When lightly browned, serve up the ribs with the rest of the sauce poured over. Top with the green onion and enjoy!