Dad’s Lemongrass Spare Ribs

My dad makes the best doggone ribs in the land. My brother and I always ask for them—unfortunately, he only makes them on special occasions. Lucky for us since the birth of my nephew Evan, my dad has been making them pretty regularly.

What’s interesting about these is that while packed with mega flavor, there aren’t many ingredients that goes in here. But somehow they are perfectly flavored, perfectly salty and perfectly greasy. My ultimate comfort food… taking me back to my childhood! The funny story about these ribs is that I’ve been asking my dad the recipe for years… and for years his response is the same: “Salt and pepper.” He refused to share his secret… until now.

I finally cracked the code about a month ago, so you can thank my daddy for this one! There’s an ingredient in here that I left out bc it’s my dad’s top secret ingredient. All I can say is that it gives off a very umami flavor, but it’s still uber tasty without it nonetheless!

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Serves: 8

What You’ll Need

  • 4 lbs of pork spare ribs (They’ll come in a rack, so individually cut the ribs.)
  • 1 heaping cup of lemongrass (I get the frozen kind in the Asian supermarket.)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bird’s eye chili, minced
  • 3 tbsp safflower oil (canola or vegetable works, too)

How You’ll Do It

  1. Add all of the ingredients in a casserole pan, get in there with your hands and mix everything until evenly combined. You’ll want to massage all the flavor into those ribs. Cover with plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge for at least 2 hours, maximum overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Take a baking tray, and put a cookie rack on top of it. This will help those ribs get nice and caramelized. (You can also cook this over a grill.)
  4. Space the ribs out one by one on the cookie rack. Make sure none of them are touching.
  5. Put these babies in the oven and cook for about 1 hour. Check every 15-20 minutes to make sure they don’t overcook. You’ll know when they’re done when they’re nice, golden and just a little bit burnt. They’ll be sizzling in the oven!
  6. Let them cool for about 10 minutes, and then enjoy! Our family likes to eat them with white rice, sliced cucumbers and soy sauce.

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