Hoisin Chili Baby Back Ribs

These sweet-heat baby back ribs are marinated with an overnight rub of brown sugar and Chinese Five-Spice, then brushed with a hoisin-garlic glaze. A dollop of sambal oelek adds just the right amount of heat. Cook them in the oven or on the grill.

By / Photography By Coco Morante | May 30, 2018

Ingredients

For the rub
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese Five-Spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
FOR THE GLAZE
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (This Asian garlic chili paste can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores.)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Thinly sliced green onion, for serving
  • Thinly sliced Fresno chili, for serving
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • 2 racks / 5 pounds baby back ribs

Preparation

In a small bowl, mix together all of the rub ingredients. Pat the ribs dry, then place them meaty side down on the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle half of the dry rub all over both the bony side of the ribs in an even layer, pat it in so that it sticks, then turn the ribs over and repeat with the rest of the dry rub. Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours

While the ribs are marinating, make the glaze. Heat the garlic and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes, until the garlic is bubbling and beginning to turn golden. Add the hoisin, sambal oelek and vinegar and stir to combine. Bring up to a simmer (about 3 minutes), turn the heat down to medium-low, simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. Use right away, or let cool to room temperature, then store, refrigerated, in a tightly lidded container for up to 1 week.

To cook the ribs in the oven:

Heat your oven broiler to 525°F. Remove the plastic wrap from the baking sheet of ribs. Broil the ribs for 6–8 minutes, meaty side up, until the sugar in the rub is bubbling and the ribs are browning all over. (Oven temperatures vary: Keep an eye on the ribs so they don’t burn.)

Remove the ribs from the broiler and cover with aluminum foil. Adjust oven temperature to 300°F. Place the ribs in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove the ribs from the oven, and adjust oven temperature to 375°F. Remove the foil and brush the ribs all over with half of the glaze. Return the ribs to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until bubbling and browned.

Remove the ribs from the oven one last time. Let cool for 10–15 minutes on the baking sheet, then cut into individual ribs and arrange on a serving platter.

Top the ribs with the sliced green onions and chilies, and serve with the rest of the glaze on the side.

Grilling instructions:

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill and wrap the marinated ribs in aluminum foil. Place the ribs, in their foil, on a cooler section of the grill (about 250°F) and let cook, covered, for 2 hours.

Open the grill. Remove the foil from the ribs and move them to a hotter part of the grill. Brush the ribs all over with the hoisin glaze. Cover the grill and let the ribs cook for about 20 more minutes, until the glaze is bubbling and caramelized and the ribs are tender.

 

Ingredients

For the rub
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese Five-Spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
FOR THE GLAZE
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (This Asian garlic chili paste can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores.)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Thinly sliced green onion, for serving
  • Thinly sliced Fresno chili, for serving
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • 2 racks / 5 pounds baby back ribs
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