These ribs have the flavor of classic Korean bulgogi—soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and sesame oil—but with that fall-off-the-bone pork rib texture instead of the usual thinly sliced beef seared over a tabletop grill.

Ann Taylor Pittman

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Credit: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen

Recipe Summary test

active:
35 mins
marinate:
2 hrs
bake:
2 hrs
total:
4 hrs 35 mins
Servings:
6
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"Korean barbecue, whether enjoyed at a restaurant or at home, consists of meat and sometimes vegetables cooked quickly on a tabletop grill," writes recipe developer Ann Taylor Pittman, who fondly recalls childhood trips to Korean barbecue joints. "Popular offerings include bulgogi (thinly sliced beef marinated in soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic), galbi (flanken-cut beef short ribs in a similar marinade), and samgyeopsal (sliced pork belly)—all served with kimchi, rice, red leaf lettuce, sauces, and lots of little relishes and side dishes called banchan."

For our September 2021 issue, Pittman fused the bold flavors of Korean barbecue with the South's prized barbecue culture to create a mash-up of the ages. Her Sticky-Sweet Korean BarbecueRibs have the flavor of classic Korean bulgogi—soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and sesame oil—but with that fall-off-the-bone pork rib texture instead of the usual thinly sliced beef seared over a tabletop grill. "I use that dish's flavors to give these baby back ribs salty-sweet Korean swagger," writes Pittman. You'll want to plan ahead for this one: These ribs marinate for 2 hours and bake low and slow for a full 2 hours.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Remove membrane from back side of ribs. Arrange each slab, meaty side up, on a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Stir together garlic, ½ cup of the sugar, and 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce in a small bowl. Rub mixture evenly over meaty side of ribs. Wrap foil around ribs, and let marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.

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  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Place ribs, still wrapped in foil, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 2 hours.

  • Meanwhile, stir together honey, oil, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and ¼ cup soy sauce in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium. Reduce heat to medium-low. Boil, stirring occasionally, until syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Reserve about half (⅓ cup) of sauce for serving. Set aside remaining sauce for basting.

  • Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Unwrap ribs, and discard any liquid in foil. Place ribs on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, basting with sauce reserved for basting, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer ribs to a platter, and drizzle with sauce reserved for serving. If desired, garnish with scallions. Serve.

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