Pork spareribs are a popular dish around the world, with grilled or smoked varieties being particularly beloved. Barbecuing pork ribs is a favorite cooking method that allows the meat to absorb the smoky flavor of the grill and any seasonings or marinade used. Pork ribs are a staple in many cultures, known for their delicious flavor and tender meat that falls off the bone.
Traditional Slow-Cooking Method
However, the traditional method of slow-cooking pork ribs over low heat on a grill or smoker can take several hours. This process allows the meat to tenderize and the flavors to blend together, resulting in juicy and flavorful pork ribs. But not everyone has the time or equipment for this type of cooking method.
Boiling and Grilling: A Quick and Easy Alternative
An alternative method for cooking pork spareribs is boiling and grilling. This combination allows the meat to be tenderized while being infused with the flavors of the marinade. The ribs are then grilled for a few minutes until the sugar in the marinade caramelizes on the surface of the meat. This recipe is quick and easy, making it a great option for weeknight dinners or impromptu gatherings.
Versatile and Flavorful
The popularity of pork spareribs can be attributed to their versatility. Depending on the marinade or seasonings used, they can be sweet, tangy, or spicy. Additionally, they can be served as a main dish or as a side dish to complement other grilled or smoked meats.
Choosing the Right Meat
When preparing pork spareribs, it is important to choose the right type of meat. Look for ribs that have a good meat-to-bone ratio, with the meat being evenly distributed along the rib bone. St. Louis-style spareribs are a popular choice, as they have been trimmed of excess fat and cartilage, making them easier to eat.
Marinade: Crucial to the Flavor
In addition to selecting the right type of meat, the marinade or seasonings used are crucial to the flavor of the pork spareribs. Soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes are common ingredients in marinades for pork spareribs. The marinade should be allowed to sit on the meat for several hours, or even overnight, to allow the flavors to fully develop. But in the recipe, you don’t need to marinate the meat for long time. The marinade ingredients are cooked impromptu directly in the pan until tender. Then the marinade or sauce will be used to baste the pork ribs while grilling.
Boiling: The First Step
Boiling the pork spareribs prior to grilling is an important step in the boiling and grilling method. This process helps to tenderize the meat, which can otherwise be tough and chewy. The ribs should be boiled in the marinade until they are cooked through and tender. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the thickness of the ribs.
Grilling: The Final Touch
After boiling the ribs, they should be removed from the marinade and allowed to cool slightly before grilling. The grill should be preheated to a medium-high temperature, and the ribs should be placed on the grill with the bone side down. This allows the meat to cook evenly and prevents it from sticking to the grill.
The pork spareribs should be grilled for a few minutes on each side until they are heated through and the sugar in the marinade has caramelized on the surface of the meat. The ribs should be basted with the remaining marinade during grilling to enhance the flavor.
NOTES ON THE INGREDIENTS:
Pork spareribs is the best meat cut for cooking barbecue dishes. But most of the time you can buy them in the wet market already chopped or the cuts are too lean with very small amount of meat and fat left. They are only good for soup stocks or for making soup dishes. I think the best way it to make it yourself by buying the whole slab of pork together with the meat and skin. You will just have to make the spareribs cut yourself by separating the whole slab of spareribs from the meat and skin.
Apple juice is used for making the marinade but there are other juices you can use such as orange or pineapple. Adding fruit juice in cooking barbecue will give it a more appetizing taste.
This is a tangy and savory sauce that is often used as a condiment or flavoring agent in many recipes. It is made from a blend of vinegar, molasses, garlic, onions, anchovies, tamarind, and various spices. The sauce is usually aged for several months to allow the flavors to develop fully. Worcestershire sauce is often used in marinades and barbecue sauces as it adds a rich umami flavor and a touch of acidity.
Honey is a natural sweetener that is often used in cooking and baking. It is made by bees from the nectar of flowers and has a unique flavor that can range from mild to strong, depending on the type of flowers the bees visited. Honey is a versatile ingredient that can be used in marinades, barbecue sauces, dressings, and desserts. It adds a touch of sweetness and helps to balance out the flavors of savory dishes. In this recipe, honey is used to add sweetness to the marinade and to help caramelize the surface of the meat during grilling.
How to Cook Barbecued Pork Spareribs
- 2 kilos pork ribs
- 6 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 pcs onion
- 2 pcs bayleaf
- 1/2 Tbsp black pepper
- 500 ml apple juice
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- cooking oil
- salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce optional
- 1 cup water
For the basting the barbecue:
- 1/2 cup barbecue marinade sauce (sauce from the boiled pork ribs)
- 1/4 cup honey
How to Cook Barbecued Pork Spareribs
- Cut the whole 2 kilo pork ribs into 3 to 4 segments. Wash and drain in a colander to dry.
- Heat 2 tablespoon of cooking oil in a wok or deep pan and sauté onion and garlic until fragrant.
- Add apple juice, pepper, laurel leaves, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, water and pork ribs.
- Bring to a boil then cover and simmer in low heat for 45 minutes or until meat is tender.
- Remove the pork ribs from the pan and place on a plate. Don't throw away the liquid or sauce. We will use it for basting the ribs.
- Combine the barbecue marinade and honey mix until the honey is dissolved.
- Fire of the charcoal on the charcoal grill and cook the pork ribs while basting with the barbecue marinade-honey mixture.
- Cook until your desired doneness and slice or serve it whole upon serving. Pour with the remaining sauce from the pan upon serving.
- Choose the right meat: Look for ribs with a good meat-to-bone ratio and even distribution of meat along the rib bone. St. Louis-style spareribs are a great option as they have been trimmed of excess fat and cartilage.
- Marinate the meat: You can allow the marinade to sit on the meat for several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to develop fully.
- Boil the ribs: Boil the pork spareribs in the marinade until they are cooked through and tender. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the thickness of the ribs.
- Grill the ribs: If using an electric or gas oven, preheat the grill to medium-high heat and place the ribs on the grill with the bone side down. Grill for a few minutes on each side until heated through and the sugar in the marinade has caramelized on the surface of the meat. Baste with the remaining marinade during grilling to enhance the flavor.
- Let them rest: Once the ribs are done, remove them from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures that the meat is tender and juicy.