These ribs are absolutely delicious! You do need to plan ahead because you will have to marinate them for 24 hours. I promise you that the final result will be amazing! You can make these as a full rack if you would prefer but I have the butcher go ahead and separate the ribs for me just to make my life a little easier. Don’t forget to remove the membrane at the back of the rib slab if you cook a whole one.
We are going to slow cook these ribs in the oven by using a roaster with some water which we will tent with aluminum foil. They will cook for a long time, very slowly, before we brush them and broil them to serve. You can also make these in a large double deck-steamer (I mean LARGE) if you have one.
For this recipe you will need to shop for Hoisin sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar in the Asian section of your supermarket.
So here we go:
2 racks of pork spare ribs, whole or separated by your butcher
2 cups soy sauce
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes
1 head garlic, peeled and smashed
3 cups sugar
1 cup hoisin sauce (1/2 for the marinade and 1/2 for the final sauce)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Rinse and pat dry the ribs. If you are using a whole slab, go ahead and remove the membrane from the back.
In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, sugar and half the hoisin sauce. Add the chili flakes. Place the ribs in a pan and scatter the smashed garlic all around them. Pour the liquid on the ribs. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a rack in a large roasting pan and fill the roasting pan half way with water. Remove the ribs from the marinade – do not discard the marinade – and place them on the rack.
Tent the pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Steam the ribs for 1 hour. Carefully remove the aluminum foil from the roasting pan and brush the ribs with some marinade on all sides. Be careful not to burn yourself! If you have to remove the pan from the oven. Cover the ribs and continue cooking for an extra hour. Repeat the basting process and cook for an extra 30 minutes.
While the ribs are cooking, whisk together the remaining hoisin sauce with the rice wine vinegar.
Remove your cooked ribs form the oven and turn the oven on broil. Brush the ribs with the extra hoisin sauce.
Broil them until the sauce is caramelized. Be careful not to burn them. Serve them and enjoy with lots of napkins! Delicious!