Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Ribs Feast

I've skewed from the traditional for this year's Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day itself my family actually ate dim sum at Ocean Seafood restaurant in LA's Chinatown, which was fabulous! The next day, we had a dinner get-together with a small group of friends, something that was planned in less than a week. At first we were just going to buy food but in the end, somehow I always manage to get myself into becoming the cook.

Since the group were not so much into Turkey, I decided make baby back ribs instead. I've seen many recipes on how to cook ribs using a crock pot so this was my chance to experiment. So I got excited and bought 4 racks of baby back ribs. When I got home I just realized...I only have one crock pot!! Yikes...there was no way I can fit 4 racks of ribs into one crock pot! And, it would take hours if I have to cook the ribs in two batches. I needed to come up with a solution - FAST!!

Suddenly, I remembered an Iron Chef episode I watched just the week before where the secret ingredient was ribs and the chefs cooked the ribs in the pressure cooker first before baking/grilling to speed up the process since they only have 1 hour to complete their dishes. Dilemma solved...I love you, Food Network!

Since I was going to cook the ribs using two different methods, I decided to use two marinades. The first one, using the crock pot, was cooked using a sesame orange glaze marinade. I wanted the second marinade to be different so I used the same marinade as if I was making Indonesian pork satay. If it's good as satay...it must be finger-licking good as baby back ribs, right? :) I was very pleased with the result. Both ribs were so tasty and falling-off-the-bone tender. And I'm sure my friends were happy we didn't end up buying store-bought food. Here are the recipe links: Indonesian Style Baby Back Ribs and Sesame Orange Glazed Pork Ribs

Indonesian Style Baby Back Ribs


1 C. sweet soy sauce
2 T. ground coriander
1 T. minced garlic
4 shallots (finely sliced)
1 T. lime juice
4 lbs. baby back ribs (cut into 2 or 3-bone pieces)
1/4 C. sliced Thai chili
Fried shallots

Cooking instruction:

1. Cook ribs in a pressure cooker for about 20 minutes until slightly tender then remove from water and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 300 F. In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Add ribs into marinade then line them up on a baking pan. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.

3. Bake for 1.5 hours. Dip each rib in the marinade again and bake for another 1.5 hours until they are tender.

4. Place ribs onto a large platter and garnish with Thai chili slices and fried shallots. Serve hot.

Sesame Orange Glazed Pork Ribs


1 C. soy sauce
1 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. orange juice
1/4 C. honey
1/4 C. orange marmalade
3 T. vinegar
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. minced ginger
1/2 t. ground red pepper (optional)
4 lbs. country style or baby back pork ribs (cut into 2-3 bone pieces)
1 med-large onion (sliced)
1/2 can coca-cola
3 T. toasted sesame seeds

Cooking instruction:

1. In a large bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients. Set aside 1 cup of marinade, then generously coat pork ribs with remainder marinade.

2. Spread sliced onions on the bottom of a 5-quart crock pot. Arrange pork ribs on top and pour the rest of the marinade over the ribs, then the half can of coca-cola. This will help make the ribs cook extra tender.

3. Cook on high for 6 hours, turning the ribs mid-way to even out the coating.

4. Bring the 1 cup reserved marinade to a simmer in a small saucepan.

5. Take ribs out of crock pot onto a big platter, drizzle with warm glaze/sauce, then sprinkle toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot.
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