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Playing Ryan Scott's Char Siu Baby Back Ribs (Chinese-Style Barbecue Pork Ribs)

"Top Chef" Ryan Scott shows how to make his easy riff on sweet Chinese-style barbecue pork ribs. Shaohsing and mirin give the signature flavor of "char siu," or Chinese-style barbecue; look for both cooking wines in the international aisle of your local grocery store. Ryan also uses red food coloring in his recipe to give the pork the red hue of classic char siu, but feel free to skip it if you want.


  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • ½ cup shaohsing
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste (sambal oelek or sriracha)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger or minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder or minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring (optional)
  • 2 slabs baby back pork ribs (about 4 pounds), paper-like skin removed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Black pepper


Serves: 3-4


In a medium bowl, whisk hoisin, shao hsing, honey, mirin, soy sauce, chili paste, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, five-spice, onion powder, and, if using, food coloring. Set aside ¼ cup for glazing.

Place ribs in a large resealable plastic bag. (Ribs may need to be halved and you may need more than 1 bag.) Add hoisin mixture, seal tightly, and rub to coat. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Prepare a charcoal grill to medium (350°F to 400°F) by banking coals on 1 side of grill, leaving the other side empty; for a gas grill, light only 1 side.) Remove ribs from bag, and discard marinade. Sprinkle salt and pepper over ribs, and place slabs on unlit side of grill for indirect heat, stacking the slabs on top of each other. Grill, covered, 40 minutes. Rotate slabs, moving bottom slab to top, and grill, covered, 40 minutes more. Rotate again and grill, covered, for another 40 minutes.

Lower grill temperature to medium-low (300°F to 350°F); place slabs side by side on unlit side of grill for indirect heat. Baste with reserved 1/4 cup sauce for glazing. Grill, covered, 30 minutes, basting with sauce occasionally. Remove from grill and let stand 10 minutes.

Remove bones individually from rack, then slice or serve whole.