Going, going gone! Such was the fate of the Hawaiian-style oven roasted pork ribs I made last night in honour of my grandmother Eloise’s eighty-fifth birthday.
Eloise was an island girl. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, she was fierce proud of her Chinese-Hawaiian heritage. Not only could she could play the ukulele well, she ended all personal letters with “Aloha”, kept cans-upon-cans of Spam in her larder, and always had a big pot of rice on her kitchen table at mealtimes…breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and ginger in this recipe are a nod to her Hawaiian ways. The marmalade is my special Irish touch. The ribs are Baby Back…but they could easily be Spare.
“What’s the difference?”, I hear you say.
Well…Baby Back ribs are cut from the place where the rib meets the spine, in a full-grown pig, after the loin is removed. They do not come from baby pigs.
Spare ribs, on the other hand, come from the belly of the pig, after the belly is removed. They are typically bigger, tougher and have more fat on them than Baby Back ribs, which can make them very flavourful if properly cooked.
I prefer Baby Back ribs…Spare ribs seem more of an appetizer. Whichever you can get easily at your super market or butcher is fine.
Although most people think of ribs as being a “summer-time-only food”, something to throw on the barbecue, they are actually ideal any time of year when made in an oven. Tis true! What I LOVE about this recipe is how easy it is to make: a blessing in any busy home, but especially on a weekday evening when you are exhausted from work, the kids have homework to do, and there’s a dance practice or some other extracurricular activity on.
Mix up the marinade, rinse and dry the ribs, add some of the marinade to the foil pouch you make up in a few seconds, and put the whole kit and caboodle into the oven for 1.5 hours and your done! Wham bam, thank you ma’am…or as they say in Hawaii…”ain’t no big thing!”! Simple, delicious, healthy…now, that’s my kind of cooking.
Grandma would have loved these…I know you will too.
Hawaiian-Style (Oven Baked) Pork Ribs
200g/1 ¼ cup brown sugar
8oz/1 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoon ginger (more if you like)
3 tablespoons marmalade
2oz/ ¼ cup water
3-4lb pork baby back ribs
1. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC/425ºF. Using aluminum, make a pouch big enough to hold the ribs and marinade.
2. Rinse and dry ribs. Set aside.
3. Whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chile flakes, ginger, marmalade, and water in a medium sized bowl.
4. Put ribs into the aluminum pouch, curved side up, and pour over enough marinade to coat well. Reserve the remaining marinade.
5. Seal up the aluminum pouch and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 1 to 1.5 hours or until the ribs are browned, glazed and tender. Remove from oven and let rest.
6. Heat the marinade over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy. Transfer ribs to a platter, bush with hot marinade and serve.
Additional Notes & Credits
* For excellent photos and more indepth description of Baby Back and Spare ribs, visit thekitchen.
* The Irish BBQ Association was set up in 2002 to promote the sport of BBQing in Ireland. The Association has subsequently be responsible for bringing Ireland it’s first BBQ Championship, the World BBQ Cook-Off, River Feast, in Limerick May 2003. This event continued until 2008 attracting teams from all over the world to take part.