These Asian ribs are marinated in a pungent paste. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2013 issue with Steven Raichlen's article Secrets of the Grill: Ribs.
Chrong Chomnei Jrok Oeng (Cambodian-Style Ginger Lemongrass Baby Backs)
These Asian ribs are marinated in a pungent paste.
2 racks (3 lb.) baby back ribs
1⁄3 cup packed brown sugar
1⁄3 cup fish sauce
1⁄4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. canola oil
14 cloves garlic, peeled (10 whole, 4 minced)
4 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1 (4″-piece) ginger, peeled and sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. lime juice
3 fresh red Thai chiles, sliced
1⁄2 carrot, julienned
Place ribs in a roasting pan. Purée brown sugar and 3 tbsp. fish sauce, plus soy sauce, oil, whole garlic cloves, lemongrass, shallots, ginger, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth; rub paste over ribs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Bring minced garlic and remaining fish sauce, plus granulated sugar, lime juice, and 1 cup water to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan. Remove sauce from heat and stir in chiles and carrots; let cool. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side (see "Grilling 101"). Grill ribs until slightly charred and tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If the outside starts to burn before the ribs are fully cooked, move them to the cooler section of the grill and continue to cook until tender. Rest ribs 20 minutes; slice into individual ribs. Serve with sauce.