Tag Archives: Asian Ribs

Asian-inspired Peanut Butter & Hoisin Ribs


Hello again from sunny Singapore! This weekend I was inspired to do something a little more akin to what the name of this blog suggests. Big Green ASIAN Egg… So I looked for a recipe to try out that was anything but standard.

Now you have to understand that our family are “rib connoisseurs” and when I suggest something new, eyebrows are raised as if to say, “if it isn’t broken, why fix it?”  That’s the fun in trying something new.

So for the brave, here’s an Asian inspired recipe that will surely please your friends when you suggest going off topic!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 racks of St Louis cut pork ribs – membrane removed
  • 3/4 cups hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup of crunchy peanut butter (we used Skippy)
  • 1/2 plum sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce (the really thick kind!)
  • 2 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Thai chili sauce
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp of finely minced old ginger

Combine by whisking the above ingredients, except for the ribs of course, in a medium sized glass bowl. You don’t want a reactive metal or a white plastic bowl as it will definitely stain.

Once done, reserve about 3 or 4 heaping spoons of the marinade for later. Leave it covered at room temperature. Now take your ribs, slice each rack in half and place them into a double bagged set of zip-top bags. You need to as the ribs are likely to punch a hole through the plastic. Having a second layer is just good insurance.

Spoon the thick, dark, tasty mixture into the bag and make sure you coats all sides of the ribs. Give it a good massage and then place the bags into a bowl and into the fridge. Normally I’d leave it overnight but alas I only had an hour before I had to put them on the grill. Still tasted amazing despite the hour long marination.

Set up your grill for indirect heat and place a water pan under the grid. This helps with catching the drippings but also provides a humid environment, leaving your ribs incredibly moist and juicy.

I used a handful of plum wood chips for this recipe. You can use anything you like but go easy on the smoke.

Remove the ribs from the bag and place them on a raised grill rack. All four will fit nicely. Set your ambient temperature to 225F (107C), place the ribs over the drip pan and close the lid. You’ll let these smoke for 2 hours.

Once done, carefully take the grill rack off the grid and wrap each rib section in a double layer of aluminium foil. I added a bit of apple juice to each packet for extra moisture during this stage. Now place the packets back onto the rack and back on the grid. Again, keeping a temperature of 225F (107C), close the lid and let them steep for 1 hour.

When the timer pings, remove the rack and carefully open each of the packets and place the ribs onto a place. Careful here as there’s a lot of steam and juices that will remain in the packet. Save that for basting! It’s ok to leave the ribs sitting uncovered for a while while you fire up the grill to SUPER HOT!

Using my trusty grill grates, I set the internal temperature up to about 500F (260C) for the final stage. When you’re ready, place the ribs meat side up onto the scorching hot grates. Keep your dome open during this stage as you don’t want the ribs to burn. Give the meaty side a baste with the marinade you set aside earlier. Keep flipping the ribs until you get a really nice char on both sides. Again, careful not to burn the sauce!

We served the ribs up with a radish, beetroot, carrot miso slaw and grilled corn with lime, mint, parmesan cheese.

The result was amazing! I got dinged on overall points because Heather ended up taking a fatty chunk of ribs. She’s not a fan of fatty ribs and neither should you! Not every rack of ribs will be award winning. Personally, I loved these ribs. They were juicy and super messy to eat. Great fun if you just don’t care about making a lip smacking mess!

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Overall Heather Rating: 8.5/10


Char Siew (Ribs) – 叉燒

_MG_0027Once in a while you’ll come across a recipe that will blow your noodle and definitely make your top five list of the most amazing thing you’ve ever eaten. Last Sunday, just such a recipe made our list on the Big Green Asian Egg blog! We were really happy to use our good pal James Watkins as our guinea pig…. thanks Jimmy boy!

Char Siew Ribs, (pronounced Cha-Siew, drop the R sound) is a staple here in the tropical paradise we love to call home, Singapore. I adapted Meathead Goldwyn’s Amazing Ribs recipe to test out the authenticity and flavour profile of one of my favourite foods. I was amazed on both fronts! The great thing is that you can also make these ribs indoors in an oven if you don’t have the ability to grill outside.

In Singapore, you’ll see Char Siew hanging in most hawker stall windows. They tend to use the pork collar instead of ribs. The collars are loaded with fatty tissue that melts when slowly roasted. The flavour is intoxicating and you’ll line up for more! You can get a plate full of this delicious pork with steamed rice and veggies or my favourite, won ton noodles and broth with a healthy dollop of chili sauce. Needless to say, if you’ve ever been through Singapore, this is a dish you’ve got to try. My local hawker centre sells the above mentioned for $3.50 (SGD) or $2.60 (USD), a bargain if you’re on a budget!

So the ingredients list for the marinade goes a bit like this:

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup vodka (or rum or brandy or even red wine)
  • 1/4 cup quality honey
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons powdered ginger
  • 2 tablespoons powdered onion
  • 1 tablespoon powdered garlic
  • 1 tablespoon five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon red food colouring

Mix all of the above in a metal bowl (as you may run the risk of staining a plastic bowl with that red food colouring) and set it aside. Let it sit for about an hour in the fridge and when you’re ready to pour it over the ribs, give it a good whisk!

I used three racks of baby back ribs and cut them into individual ribs. Not something I normally do but for this recipe, you want each rib to be fully coated with that lovely marinade! When ready, place your ribs into a heavy duty zip-top bag, add the marinade and give the bag a good massage, trying to get as much air out of it as possible.  Be mindful not to puncture the bag with the bone ends and so just to be careful, place your bag into a bowl that can catch any of the marinade should it escape. I marinated these ribs for roughly 30 hours, occasionally turning the bag and giving it a bit of a squeeze as and when I was in the fridge.

Like I said, you can do these ribs indoors but since this is a blog about the Big Green Asian Egg, there was no way I was going to use the thing we call an oven. That’s where pavlovas are made!

Set up your grill for 2-zone or indirect cooking, easily achieved with a BGE plate setter. Don’t add any wood chips as you want to minimise the smoke here. Stabilise your temperature at 225F (1017C) and hold it there using an ambient temperature probe. For these ribs, you’ll be cooking to time and not temperature so it’s really important you keep your ambient temperature just right. I also set up a multi-tiered grid that sat over a drip pan full of hot water. The grid was amazing for this set up and highly recommended to produce a high yield of rib goodness!

Place the ribs meat side up and make sure you space them out, not touching each other. Close the dome and set your watch for 2 hours. Once there, have a quick peek, spin the grid to ensure even cooking and have a good look at the ribs. They should look like they’ve got a nice char starting to form and they’ll sweat a bit, showing you how juicy and moist they are. At 2.5 hours, remove the ribs and place them into a big metal bowl. Grab about a 1/3 cup of quality honey, zap it in the nuker for about 30 seconds then coat the ribs. Toss the bowl around, ensuring you’ve coated all the ribs. This provides a wonderful glaze and an eye popping flavour that gives these ribs and almost  bak kwa taste! (Bak Kwa is by far the BEST pork dish ever… dare I say even an improvement on bacon!!!!)

Place the ribs back on the grid and roast them for another 15 minutes or so. These baby back ribs were pretty thin so I adjusted the roasting time from 3 hours in total to 2.45. When finally done, place the sticky ribs back in the big metal bowl, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds (and please do toast them as you’ll release all the wonderful sesame flavour by doing this…just be careful not to burn them as that’s fairly easily done) and finely chopped green onion or chives. Toss the bowl around and get ready to serve.

Our ribs were served with a wonderful soba noodle salad with a sesame and ginger dressing. A bit of Cantonese meets Japanese fusion to be honest. The result was AMAZING!  Thanks Meathead and team at Amazing Ribs for the inspiration!

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10

Father’s Day Chinese Spare Ribs

Hello folks and of  course all of you Big Green Asian Egg-heads – for those of you who celebrated Father’s Day last Sunday…happy, happy to you all!  On this side of the planet the kids (Alex & Kalyna) surprised me with a wonderful little gift that did not include ties or socks (I suppose Christmas will be here soon enough!) No, from the offspring I received a little book called “The Great Ribs Book” by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison. Nice, even the kids know what dad really wants!

So after reading the very basic introductions and sections on rib types and techniques I had to dive in to the first recipe in the “Show Stopping Asian Ribs” section, “Best Chinese Baby Back Ribs.” If anything I would rate this book purely on the different recipes and sauces contained within – the techniques section is far too basic and very very very generic – my suggestion is go with your intuition when grilling these recipes and don’t be afraid to combine styles and past experience.  Anyway, I wanted to try out the first recipe out of principle (being the first in the book) and because the outcome sounded really good.

I got up early on Father’s Day and took my son Alex down to visit the “pig lady” at West Coast Market.  We managed to secure the last two racks she had available, what luck! We came home and started the 6 hour marinade.  I personally like the dry rub technique but I must admit, the marinade was good though I have a few new ideas based on this experience…more to come on that later.

Instructions are as follows:

Marinade & Sauce:

  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup plum sauce
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbs dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbs Chinese rice wine
  • 1 tbs dark sesame oil
  • 1 tbs Chili sauce
  • 1/2 tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced old ginger
  • 1/4 cup minced green onion

Combine all the ingredients and that’s it!  This yields approximately 3 cups when completed. Add the ribs to a glass dish and coat every square inch of the ribs with this yummy sauce! I left the ribs in the fridge for just over 6 hours and then onto the grill.

For the grilling I employed a mixed technique and if anyone can tell me how to improve on it, please do let me know…leave a comment!

I fired up the BGE and stabilized the temperature at 325 F. I used the platesetter with the legs up and then added a drip pan full of water to see if that would provide enough steam for juicier ribs.  I can’t say they were dry but I would like to try steeping them next time in aluminium foil packets like I do for the Fred Flintstone ribs.  Anyway, I placed the ribs onto my trusty rib rack and let the magic begin.  The book suggests a 90 minute cook time for spare ribs and as “pig lady” cuts us some huge ribs, I took the 90 minute route in hopes of cooking all the way through. I always get nervous with timings like 90 minutes for ribs given that my other rib recipe takes 6 hours to complete…anyway, this recipe certainly does not take the low and slow approach!

After all was said and done I removed the ribs and covered them in aluminium foil for another 10 minutes and the result?  Juicy ribs with an incredible sauce.  Heather was right to point out that these ribs were not “fall off the bone” at all and the really thick parts could have been more tender which is why I want to steep them next time around.

The real winner of course was the marinade and sauce (always keep some sauce aside before you cover your raw ribs!!!)

Thanks kids for a memorable Father’s Day and a brand new rib recipe! Love you both…Dad

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