Tamarind has a natural deep tangy tropical fruit flavor that is perfect for pork. Most tropical fruits pair nicely with hot chile peppers and this is important when making a barbecue sauce. Some tropical fruits, like pineapple, dramatically increase the level of chile pepper heat. Tamarind has the opposite effect. Tamarind actually mellows the hot spicy bite of chile peppers.
Slow roasting and basting spare ribs before chargrilling or broiling is a good way to cook ribs, so they remain juicy and tender. Tamarind BBQ ribs do not really benefit from being cooked in a smoker before chargrilling. Slow roasting in an oven before chargrilling produces a better Spicy Tamarind Spare Ribs flavor.
*This entire recipe yields 1 hearty entrée portion!
Spicy Tamarind BBQ Sauce:
This recipe yields about 1 3/4 cups of sauce! This is enough for 1/3 of a full rack of spare ribs.
Step 1: Place 2 cups water in a stainless steel sauce pot over low heat.
Add 2/3 cup of dried pressed seeded tamarind.
Add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
Add 1 teaspoon of ginger paste.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of allspice.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of crushed dried hot red chile pepper. (dried red chile caribe)
Add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of rice vinegar.
Add 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar.
Add 2 tablespoons of palm sugar.
Add 1 tablespoon of white sugar.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of pure sesame oil.
Step 2: Simmer the sauce, till the tamarind becomes very tender.
Step 3: Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a second stainless steel sauce pot.
Press as much of the tamarind pulp as possible through the strainer.
Step 4: Place the sauce pot over medium low heat.
Gently simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a thin BBQ sauce consistency that can lightly glaze a spoon.
Set the Spicy Tamarind BBQ Sauce aside.
*Fill a 1 1/2 ounce ramekin with the sauce and set it aside for the plate presentation later in the recipe!
Spicy Tamarind BBQ Spare Ribs:
Step 1: Cut a 6 to 8 rib section from a full rack of spare ribs.
Step 2: Mix this spice mixture together in a mixing bowl:
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground galangal (That Blue Ginger)
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Step 3: Sprinkle a little bit of the spice mixture over the ribs.
Rub the spices on the rib meat.
Step 4: Place the rib rack section on a roasting rack on a roasting pan.
Slow roast the ribs in a 275ºF oven, till the rib meat just starts to turn a light brown color.
Step 5: Lightly baste the ribs with the Spicy Tamarind BBQ Sauce.
Return the ribs to the oven.
Step 6: Continue to slow roast and lightly baste the ribs once or twice more. (Try to reserve about 1/3 cup of the sauce for finishing the ribs on the grill.)
Step 7: When the ribs are fully cooked and tender, set the rib rack on a cutting board.
Allow the ribs to rest for 5 minutes.
Slice the ribs between the bones, so the ribs are completely separated.
Step 8: Heat a chargrill to a medium/medium high temperature.
Place the ribs on the grill.
Brush the ribs with the Spicy Tamarind BBQ Sauce.
Chargrill and baste till the ribs are glazed with sauce and caramelized highlights appear.
Step 9: Remove the ribs from the chargrill or broiler and brush them with the BBQ Sauce one last time.
Stack the ribs on a plate.
Sprinkle some thin sliced green onion on the plate around the ribs.
Place the reserved ramekin of the Spicy Tamarind BBQ Sauce on the plate.
Serve with Asian style potato salad, cole slaw or french fries.
Tangy fruity tamarind and hot chile pepper is a naturally good tasting BBQ sauce for ribs!