Sticky soy sauce ribs recipe

Published June 17, 2010 7:18PM (EDT)


  • 4 fat cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 racks of baby back ribs (about 2 1/2 pounds each)
  • 2 scallions


  1. Put everything save for the ribs and the scallions into a blender and blitz them into submission; you want the garlic to pretty much disappear into the murk. (An immersion blender also works. In a pinch, mince the garlic very fine with the salt until it's a paste, and whisk it into the honey and soy sauce.) Give the marinade a taste. Try not to smear it all over your face. How is it? What you want here is balance: It should be sweet and it should be savory, but you shouldn't be able to say if it's more one than the other. The flavor should change a bit and be a little confusing, especially with that garlic wafting through. If it tastes more one way than the other, adjust with more soy sauce or honey, accordingly.
  2. 2. With a sharp knife, slash the ribs all the way through between the bones but don't actually take them apart. Preferably in a flat container like a roasting pan, or in a plastic bag, pour enough of the marinade over the ribs as you need to cover all surfaces; you should have 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the marinade left. Rub it in, and marinate at least two hours in the fridge, up to one day.
  3. An hour before cooking, take the ribs out of the fridge to let them come to room temperature. Heat the oven to 325. With the marinade, wrap each rack separately in a double layer of aluminum foil and set them flat on a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. It's important that the marinade not escape, or it'll scorch and smell black as sin.
  4. If your ribs are at room temperature before going in the oven, take them out after 1 ¾ hours. Be careful opening the foil; steam is hot! Poke and prod the meat -- it should be tender, but with a bit of pleasing chew left. If you like it more tender, wrap it back up (don't break the foil!) and put it back in the oven, checking on it every 15 or 20 minutes until you're satisfied.
  5. When the meat is cooked and tender to your liking, pour the sauce (now commingled with sweet, sweet rib juice) into a pan with the leftover marinade and set over high heat to boil and thicken it. Raise your oven to 450 and lightly rewrap the ribs while this happens so they don't steam off and dry out.
  6. Look in the pot. When the marinade is thick and sticky and forming big, weird bubbles, take it off the heat and brush or smear it all over the ribs. Ditch the foil, and set the ribs directly on the roasting pan and roast them just to slightly char the glaze around the edges, about 10 minutes, but check after 5.
  7. Cut the ribs apart, finding the space between the bones with a sharp knife. Thinly slice the scallions and sprinkle over the ribs. Serve alone, or with white rice and cucumbers dressed with salt and vinegar to taste.

By Francis Lam

Francis Lam is Features Editor at Gilt Taste, provides color commentary for the Cooking Channel show Food(ography), and tweets at @francis_lam.

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