Have I already mentioned how much we love ribs? I am sure I did, and more than once. My default recipe is the first one I blogged about back in 2011, a favorite with Phil and the kids. But I am always trying new versions, although the basic method, cooking low and slow, then blasting them in high heat stays unchanged. This recipe was recommended a while ago by my friend Kathy, and once I read the magical words Gochujang, I knew I was going to love it. Plus, when you marry Gochujang with apricot jam, well… you see where this is going. Explosion of flavors. Get your napkins. You’ll be digging into these babies with enthusiasm.
STICKY AND SPICY GOCHUJANG PORK RIBS
(adapted from The Splendid Table)
to cook the ribs:
1 large rack of pork spare ribs
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger root (yes, half a cup)
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup soy sauce
for the sauce:
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup gochujang (Korean red chile paste)
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
Put the ribs in a large saucepan or stockpot with the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook gently for 1½ hours, until the ribs are tender and cooked through.
Meanwhile, combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix together well. Line a roasting pan with foil and heat the oven to 400°F.
Arrange the cooked ribs on the prepared pan and brush with the sauce to coat evenly. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning and basting the ribs with more sauce halfway through cooking. I do that step with the ribs loosely covered with aluminum foil.
Remove the pan from the oven and put the broiler on high. Brush the ribs once again with the remaining sauce, then broil until the sauce is sticky and just beginning to char at the edges.
to print the recipe, click here
Don’t be put off by the look of the meat once it’s out of the cooking liquid. Yes, it looks like hospital food, but a smear with the killer gochujang sauce and the perfect environment of a hot oven (or you could use the grill too if you prefer) will turn this ugly duckling into a gorgeous swan…
I like my ribs to be falling off the bone, and that’s the reason why I baked them covered after they were out of the pre-cooking bath. It helps to take them to that stage. They are quite spicy, but the ginger and sweetness of the apricot jam balance the heat quite well. I served them with thick spiralized cucumber, very simply dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and a sprinkle of Tajin, a Mexican spice mix I’m very fond of. Of course, you can go the more authentic route of rice and beans, maybe some cole-slaw, but ribs are heavy by definition, so I opt for a light side dish to compensate.
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