Aloha! Don’t you wish it were warmer outside? Every year on February 2nd, I foolishly hope that spring will come early. It never does. The “prognosticator of prognosticators” groundhog always sees his shadow. I have no living memory where the groundhog declares spring will come early.
Well, I just have to pretend it’s warm enough outside for ribs. As many of you know, I don’t have a yard or a grill…and this is downright tragic for someone who likes to cook as much as I do. So, that means all ribs must be cooked indoors. Fortunately, oven-baked ribs can be phenomenal. They can achieve the perfect pull-apart texture, and with a quick broil, they can char and crunch nicely on the outside too.
I originally saw a similar recipe in the December/January issue of Milk Street, but modified it so it wasn’t so sugary and intense. These ribs can be oven-baked, made in a slow cooker, or even a pressure cooker. To cook in a slow cooker, just replace the oven cooking time with slow cooking on low for 7-8 hours. For a pressure cooker, replace oven cooking time with 45-55 minutes on high pressure. Enjoy!
Be warned: the ribs should be marinated for 8-24 hours, so start this recipe early! Buy your marinade ingredients early and start marinating the ribs a day early, and cook them the next night.
- 1 cup Paleo Hoisin Sauce
- 2 cups cilantro leaves and stems
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 8 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tbsp Chinese five spice powder
- 5 tbsp gochujang substitute with Paleo-approved red pepper sauce for strict Paleo
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 racks baby back pork ribs 2.5-3 lbs
- 3 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 3 minced scallions
First, make the sauce and glaze. Combine the hoisin sauce, cilantro, ginger, garlic, coconut aminos, honey, five spice powder, and 2 tablespoons of the gochujang. Process until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. Remove 1 cup and set aside as a marinade for the ribs. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of gochujang and the lime juice the remaining mixture in the food processor and process gain until fully combined. Transfer into a bowl (there should be around 2 cups), cover and refrigerate for later use as a glaze.
Place the ribs in a rectangular glass dish and pour over about 1/2 cup of marinade per rack. Refrigerate ribs for 8-24 hours.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and set a rack in the middle position. In broiler pans with a raised rack, line both pans with aluminum foil to trap the pan drippings (you'll thank me later). Take out the ribs from the glass dish and wrap them individually in aluminum foil (meaty side down). Space the racks evenly on each broiler rack, making sure the foil seam is facing up (to allow steam to escape).
Bake ribs until a knife is easily able to slip between the ribs, about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and turn up the heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unwrap the ribs, reserving the juices pooling at the bottom. Place the ribs, meaty side up, back on wire rack. Pour the juices into a separate bowl or measuring cup and set aside for 5 or more minutes.
Next, use the leftover juices and reserved glaze to combine into a new glaze for the ribs. In the leftover juices bowl, skim off and remove as much fat as you can, until there is about 1 1/2 cups defatted juices. Pour into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer and cook until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 15-20 minutes. Pour in the reserved hoisin mixture from the refrigerator and continue to cook over medium until thickened, about 8 minutes.
Generously brush the meaty side of the ribs with the finished glaze and continue to bake at 450, brushing every 8-9 minutes, until the glaze has darkened, about 30 minutes longer.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the meaty side with the white sesame seeds. Let rest for 10 minutes. Chop up scallions and sprinkle over ribs. Serve with remaining glaze.