Reprinted with permission from Smoked by Ed Randolph, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019.
One of the items that really stood out for me at Hometown Bar-B-Que were the Korean Sticky Ribs. Frying the ribs for ten seconds really changes the texture, while adding the Korean sauce takes the flavor profile to the next level.
Cook time: 4 hours
Yield: 1 rack (10 to 12 bones)
1 tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil
1½ tbsp (14 g) minced fresh garlic
2 tsp (6 g) minced fresh ginger
1 lb (450 g) light brown sugar
2 cups (480 ml) tamari
2/3 cup (160 ml) water
¼ cup (60 ml) rice wine vinegar
¼ cup (60 ml) Korean pepper paste or gochujang
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup (38 g) cornstarch combined with ¼ cup (60 ml) cold water
4 oz (120 g) coarse kosher salt
1 lb (450 g) raw sugar
1 (2½- to 3-lb [1.1- to 1.4-kg]) rack baby back ribs, peeled and trimmed
½ cup (120 ml) canola oil
4 scallions, finely chopped
4 oz (120 g) fried garlic
4 oz (120 g) fried shallots
4 oz (120 g) raw cashews, coarsely chopped
To make the Korean sauce, heat the sesame oil in a medium pot over low heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 1 minute.
Add the brown sugar, tamari, water, vinegar, pepper paste and black pepper. Increase the heat to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer.
Once the sauce begins to simmer, add the cornstarch mixture. Remove the pot from the heat when the sauce starts to boil. Set the sauce aside.
To make the ribs, mix the salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Coat both sides of the ribs with the salt rub and shake to remove any excess rub. Let the rub sit on the ribs for 30 minutes before smoking.
Smoke the ribs at 250°F (121°C) for approximately 4 hours, or until the ribs are tender. The cook time will vary based on the smoker.
Cut the rack into individual ribs.
In a large skillet, heat the canola oil to 350°F (177°C). Add the ribs and fry them for 10 seconds to crisp the outside.
Drain the excess oil and add the Korean sauce to the skillet. Toss to coat the ribs. Top the ribs with the scallions, fried garlic, fried shallots and cashews.