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Vietnamese-Inspired Roasted Pork Ribs

Every time we have ribs for dinner, we chuckle about this story. D was about three-years-old at the time, riding in the cart with me at the grocery store. He asked me about the rack of ribs in the cart, pointing, "Mommy, what are those?" 

Ribs, I answered. 

His chubby fingers went to his side and he declared, "These are my ribs!" 

Yes, that's true. 

Horror contorted his little face and he whispered, pointing into my shopping cart, "Whose ribs are those?!?" 

Not a person's, I assured him. 

"Then who?" he demanded. He knew meat came from a living animal. But, I suppose, ribs were a little too recognizable. Now he loves ribs, but we still tell that story every time they're on our table.


The marinade on these ribs were inspired by the flavors in some of our favorite Vietnamese dishes. Well, it has a lot of Asian-inspired flavors. It was tasty!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, smashed and very finely chopped (approximately 2 T)
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 to 2 T fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 t fresh turmeric, grated
  • 2 T gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 1 T hot sauce (I used our Homemade Hot Sauce)
  • 2 t  salt
  • 2 T organic dark brown sugar
  • 2 t Chinese five-spice powder (You can Blend Your Own)
  • 1 rack baby back ribs
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 t rice vinegar

Procedure
Slice your rack of ribs in half, if needed. They need to fit comfortably on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a small mixing bowl, place the shallots, lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, soy sauce, fish sauce, hot sauce, salt, sugar, and five-spice powder. Mix well. 

Lay meat on a piece of foil (two, if you sliced the rack in half) and pour the marinade of the top. Let stand for 10 minutes. Flip it over and, using your hands, make sure the rib surfaces are completely covered with marinade. Let stand another 10 minutes. You can let the meat marinate overnight - and that's probably better - but I was pressed for time and the 20 minute-marinade was fine.

While ribs marinate, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Drizzle the ribs with olive oil and vinegar, then place another piece of foil over the top and make an packet. Roast at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Raise the temperature of the oven to 450 degrees and remove the top of the foil packet.

Return the ribs to the oven to brown and char, approximately 15 minutes. Divide ribs with a sharp knife and pile them onto a platter. Serve immediately.

I served them with an Asian-flavored slaw and baked beans.

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