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Baby back ribs

Gretchen_'s picture

Baby back ribs (post #58039)

Made some baby back ribs for our Panther tailgate yesterday and they turned out beautifully. This is for those of you without an outdoor grill.
Baked the whole racks on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes at 300* (heavily peppered).
Cut the ribs into individual riblets and put in plastic bag with BBQ sauce.
Put ribs on foil lined sheet, fat side up, and baked at 400* for 30 minutes.
I did not have "my" BBQ sauce so I took some "store bought", diluted it half with vinegar, added brown sugar and mustard.

joiep's picture

(post #58039, reply #1 of 12)

Speaking of "baby back ribs". I made the "Thai-Style Baby Back Ribs" from Complete Meat yesterday. The recipe says to cook at 300 degrees for 45 min. - 1 hour. What's with that? I've cooked a lot of bb ribs over the years. Oven at 325 degrees. I think I may have cooked them 1 1/2 hours at first, adding any sauce during the last 1/2 hour, then I went to 2 hours. Now I'm up to 2 1/2 hours. PERFECT! But what's with 45 minutes? I never cover/wrap the ribs in anything but I did put the roasting pan with water in the lower part of the oven. I marinated 6 or 7 hours in the Thai marinade. Not a lot of flavor but I highly recommend the "optional" dipping sauce. Don't bother "dipping". Get a basting brush and either baste on the dipping sauce after they are out of the oven or pass the sauce to be brushed on as you eat or both. Served with a fried rice and pickled cabbage.

Stanley_Niemiec's picture

(post #58039, reply #2 of 12)

Gretchen, Joiep:

When I was young and ingenuous, I used to believe that BBQ'ed back ribs were the best and only use for this cut. Ah but with age comes wisdom and also the finding of a Chinese Cookbook (entitled Chinese Cuisine by Huang Su-Huei). Contained therein is a most wonderful recipe for spare-rib soup. It is as follows:

1 lb spareribs (cut across the bone into 1" pieces and separated into individual riblets)

Make a marinade of the following:
1 tablespoon each: sherry and soy sauce
1/2 Tablespoon each: sugar, vinegar, minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
a dash of five star spice
2 tablespoons Cornstarch

Oil for frying

8 cups of stock

1 & 1/3 lbs white radish or taro root (pared and cut into bite size pieces)

dash of black pepper, sesame oil
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (coriander)

The recipe recommends after a period of mariating the ribs to deep fry them for three minutes or until golden brown, removing, draining and steaming for 30 minutes.

Then adding the vegetable to a pot with the stock and cooking until tender and adding the pepper, sesame oil and cilantro and then readding the cooked ribs just before serving. Serves 6.

Now I do this slightly differently (seemingly as always). Sure I marinate the meat as indicated but then instead of deep frying and steaming, I simply stir fry them in about 2 tablespoons of peanut oil until they are nicely browned (especially the exposed bone ends).

I drain off most of the oil and into the same pot or wok add the eight cups of stock (or water) and bring to almost a boil.

I love bok choy and use it every chance I get; so instead of using the white radish/taro, I cut the bok choy into bite size pieces (slicing the white stem length-wise and then cross cutting to 1.5-2" lengths). I add the bok choy to the "just about" boiling water and cook for just a minute or two and then add the sesame oil, pepper and cilantro and serve immediately. Yummy the meat is tasty, very tender and the ends of the bones make for good gnawing. The broth (even starting with water) is refreshing and flavorful.

If you are organized enough to pre-marinate the meat overnight, this recipe can be cooked in about 10 minutes (doing it my way). Otherwise add 30 -60 minutes for marination.


joiep's picture

(post #58039, reply #3 of 12)

Hey, Stanley! Good to see you (read you). I'm not around much, these days, but I haven't heard from you in a while.

Your recipe sounds devine. I've really been craving brothy types of asian soups. And that cookbook title is haunting me. I'm needing a "second opinion" to Barbara Tropp. Do you think it's a good one?

Stanley_Niemiec's picture

(post #58039, reply #4 of 12)


I bought my first wok in 1968 and still have it (from Chinatown in Chicago). I've been cooking Chinese that long. My first camping trip with my now ex-wife, all I brought to eat with is chop sticks. It's a bad joke -- eat at Stan Lee's.

The cookbooks are part of the Wei-Chuan's series and I consider them excellent. For each recipe the writing is split -- one side of the page is English and the other is Chinese. Each recipe (one per page) has an accompanying color glossy picture that is about 40% of the page. God I wish I had the patience to do all those radish and cucumber flourishes!

In Chinese Cuisine, besides the recipe I cited they have a stir fried squid with dried red pepper that I love. They tell you how to prepare the squid so that it looks like little open pine cones. Thirty different soup recipes including one that is served with the yin-yang pattern. The recipes are definitely not the usual fare -- Crispy Pepper Skin Duckling, Chicken with Black bean, Stir fried Sweet and Sour Duck Gizzards, Chicken Feet soup. But their Braised Chinese Mushrooms and bean curd is wonderful. Any cookbook that I get more than two or three good usable recipes from is good to me -- I got about 10 from this one and only because I am faint hearted.

There is a whole series of these-- Chinese Cooking for Beginners, Chinese Snacks, Chinese One Dish Meals, and Chinese Seafood (the last also part of my collection).

That one (seafood) is more challenging, simply because I have never cooked a whole fish in my wok, can't eat any of the umteen crap recipes (my poor gall bladder), don't see much eel in the stores, and am admittedly shy to try their clam and oyster recipes. There are 20 different recipes for shrimp/prawns, more than 10 for crap (whole, balls, stir fried). There is a recipe for Sweet Sour Fish Fillets that I just die for. There is also a fish steaks recipe with bean paste (miso); the picture shows salmon steaks that I only tried once but when I'm again rich and famous will eat every Friday so that I will be sure to get to heaven.

Here's the recipe and tell me what you think:


1 lb fish fillet (the picture shows 3 salmon steaks)

1/2 cup miso (I think they are using red miso)
4 Tablespoons of sugar
2 Tablespoons of cooking wine

1/2 lemon
sesame oil

Rinse fish and pat dry. Marinate fish for one day.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Remove marinade from fish, place fillets on a baking pan. Bake fish on the middle rack for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Spread some sesame oil over the fish and sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.

Because of its simplicity and wonderful flavor, it is almost party/dinner fare but I don't remember what I used as accompanying dishes.

Probably you have not seen me is that I am trying to keep my big mouth shut -- I also have been doing some custom furniture (a book-matched veneered flip-top walnut sofa table sun-burst pattern with curved legs for example) and I am desparately trying to close the deal on my property to put 16.5 of the 20.7 into permanent conservation easement.

samchang_'s picture

(post #58039, reply #5 of 12)

Hey, joiep, where've you been? What's up lately?

Full-fledged's picture

(post #58039, reply #6 of 12)

Thanks for this post joeip, I have got to get this book.


nutcakes_'s picture

(post #58039, reply #7 of 12)

You're making me hungry, Stanley, except (and I hate to ask) what is
i crap (whole, balls, stir fried)?

The fish recipe sound good, really sounds Japanese, doesn't it?

Stanley_Niemiec's picture

(post #58039, reply #8 of 12)


I think my learning disability has reared its ugly head or my gall bladder affecting my sub-conscious -- should be "crab". You get crap at franchise fast food establishments (whole, balls and stir-fried).

The books are from a Taiwanese publisher.

If it helps the ISBN numbers are as follows:

Chinese Seafood 0-941676-09-9
Chinese Cuisine 0-941676-08-0

I'd be interested if Samchang has seen them and can comment!!

samchang_'s picture

(post #58039, reply #9 of 12)

Hey, I know that series! Wei Chuan updates it every once in a while, and a few other Taiwanese food companies come out with their own cookbooks, too. And yeah, they're pretty good. Taiwan publishes a lot of cookbooks, some of which can be found in Chinese bookstores. Fu Pei Mei and Lisa Yam are some of the authors whose books I see selling here in the States. Both Pei Mei's and Yam's books are good, as is the Wei Chuan series, but I have found Yam's to have better translations. This is important: one of Pei Mei's books have a lot of errors where the Chinese recipe calls for 1 tsp of salt and the English translation calls for 1 Tbs. Oops!

I like these books because they have recipes that are not often seen here in the States. Chinese cuisine in America is still heavily based on banquet style or derived dishes . . . . which isn't to say that they're not good, but only that it is nice once in a while to have homestyle food and more proletariat fare. These books allow one to experience that kind of cooking. In French terms, there's only so much
i haute cuisine
one can eat before dreaming of a nice
i entre cote.

joiep's picture

(post #58039, reply #10 of 12)

Thanks for the reviews Stanley and Samchang. I will have to look into those books. On a closer look, the cookbook that I was really thinking of was "Chinese Gastronomy" by Hsiang Ju'lin and Tsuifeng Lin. Any thoughts or experience on this one, Samchang? Stan Lee?

BTW, Samchang, thanks for missing me, "Bud". Let's just say that homeschooling and rabbit raising is keeping me busy.

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #58039, reply #11 of 12)

Joie-I took a class @ Sur La Table w/ Bruce last summer. I've made baby back ribs per the instructions in his book, and they came out wonderful. In addition, I grill them for a few minutes at the end to get a little caramelized sauce (but I think Mean Chef gave me that idea, not Bruce). You know, one of Bruce's theories is that today's leaner meat needs to cook for less time than older recipes recommend. Perhaps it's time for a side -by-side comparison (with a full report, of course)?

PS For those of you w/ convection ovens, he says bake the ribs at 300 convection but skip the water.

ICDOCEAN1's picture

Thank goodness that I found (post #58039, reply #12 of 12)

Thank goodness that I found this, finally! Thanks Gretchen...I have a bbq sauce ready and this sounds so good for this frigid weather tonight!