Thai Sweet Chili Spareribs

I’ve had a big rib craving lately, and fortunately for me, somebody decided to play football on Sunday so I had all the excuse I needed to make up a batch. I planned to go with a Kansas City-style sauce, but Asian flavors kept calling me and I just couldn’t say no to the brand-new bottle of sweet chili sauce sitting in the pantry.

1 rack pork spare ribs, trimmed and membrane removed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried cilantro (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

The night before the big game, combine all of the herbs and spices in a shaker-top container (I used an empty Penzeys spice jar) and shake well to combine. Lay the ribs out on a baking sheet and coat heavily with the rub, working it in on both sides. This recipe should make just enough for one rack of ribs, so use it all up.

Cover the ribs with some cling wrap and stash in the fridge until just before you fire up the grill.

Thai Barbeque Sauce
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy)
1/2 cup hoisin sauce (Premier is gluten free)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
1 bunch – cilantro
3 green onions, sliced to fit in food processor
1 to 3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

I like to make my sauces up the night before to give all the flavors time to develop. For this one – put the garlic, green onions, and cilantro in a food processor and pulse until minced. Add the chili sauce, hoisin, vinegar, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil and blend until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into a covered container and store in the fridge overnight.

Plan on a 5 to 6 hour cook on game day. You want the ribs over indirect heat at 300°F.  I filled up the firebox on my Big Green Egg, lit it, and once it was up to temp added some hickory wood for smoke. I used an inverted plate setter to diffuse the heat and a pan with some water in it to catch the drippings.

Cook the ribs for 3 hours at 300°F, flipping every 30 minutes.

Sauce the ribs on both sides and then wrap in two layers of heavy-duty foil or arrange them in a flame-proof 9×13 jelly roll pan and cover tightly with foil. Return the ribs to the grill and cook for another hour.

Carefully pull back the foil and check to see how done the ribs are. If the meat has started pulling back from the bone, they are ready to come out of the foil. If not, seal them back up and check again in 30 minutes. Repeat as needed.

When the ribs are ready, move them out of the foil and back onto the grill. Sauce both sides and cook for 20 minutes. Now check for doneness – the meat should have pulled well back on the bones and tugging on a bone should show that it’s ready to come apart. If the ribs are done, sauce them again and put them back on for another 10 minutes. Sauce them one more time and take them off the heat.

Let them rest for 10 minutes, then cut them along the bone into individual ribs and serve with more of the barbecue sauce, or plain sweet chili sauce, on the side.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
Wow! Just the smell of the rub alone was enough to win me over. By the time they were smoked and sauced these ribs were outstanding – lots of sweetness, but also a nice amount of heat and umami by the ton. This recipe will be making a repeat appearance very, very soon.

The Nutrition
A four bone serving is 600 calories and 10 Weight Watchers points, so skip the half-time show and run some laps, because these ribs are worth it.

ONE YEAR AGO – The Agony of Defeat

TWO YEARS AGO – Early Valentine’s Day – Steak & Crab

 

4 thoughts on “Thai Sweet Chili Spareribs”

    1. Thanks! Loved your tamarind wing recipe too. Next time I might go a little heavier on the sweet chili sauce and add some ginger.

  1. Dave, these sound incredible. Love the combination of flavors and can’t wait to try these ribs. Do you reckon it would work on wings too?

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