Lilikoi Baby Back Ribs

  • Serves

    serves 4

Lilikoi (pronounced lily-coy), a type of Hawaiian yellow passion fruit, is slightly larger and tarter than the more common purple variety.


For the Sauce

  • 1 12 cups ketchup
  • 34 cup frozen lilikoi juice concentrate, thawed
  • 14 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 14 tsp. worcestershire
  • 14 tsp. Tabasco
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

For the Ribs

  • 12 cup rice vinegar
  • 14 cup chopped garlic
  • 14 cup chopped fresh ginger
  • 14 cup sea salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 12 lb. baby back ribs, cut into 6- or 7-rib portions, slit halfway through between ribs
  • Sprigs from 1 bunch watercress


Step 1

For the sauce: Put ketchup, lilikoi juice concentrate, sugar, honey, corn syrup, oyster sauce, vinegar, worcestershire, Tabasco, and garlic into a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until very thick, about 1 hour.

Step 2

For the ribs: Meanwhile, put 8 quarts of water into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add vinegar, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add ribs and continue to simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 1 hour. Drain ribs, pat dry, and arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan fitted with a rack.

Step 3

Arrange oven rack 3–4 inches from broiler element and preheat broiler. Generously baste one side of ribs with some of the sauce and broil until sauce dries slightly and begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Flip ribs, baste generously again, and broil for 2 minutes more. Repeat flipping, basting, and broiling process 3 more times, until ribs are well lacquered and beginning to char slightly.

Step 4

Cut ribs apart, stack evenly on 4 warm plates, and garnish with sprigs of watercress. Serve immediately.

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