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Honey tamarind ribs are quite possibly the best ribs you’ll ever taste.
Dollar Store Find
Sometimes you find the greatest things in a dollar store. My local store is one of the best I’ve ever been in.
On the last trip they had a whole bunch of cookbooks in their seasonal aisle. I bought one of each–can you go wrong for a buck? Anyway there were some awesome-looking recipes in a couple of the books that I decided to try. This particular honey tamarind rib recipe was very appealing since I just love ribs.
However, it needed an ingredient that I wasn’t familiar with–tamarind. So I Googled it and learned what it was. I’m sure I’ve had dishes that included it as I’m a huge fan of Asian cooking (where Google said the prominent cuisine where it is used), but I never cooked with it.
I was pretty sure I’d never find it around where I live, I purchased a small jar from Amazon.
It’s hard to describe the taste. It’s sweet/tart in flavor and a friend said it tastes like you put a bit of vinegar on a date. That’s pretty accurate when I think about it. I understand there are different forms such as paste and pulp. What I got was the paste and it looks and has the consistency of molasses. This paste requires no soaking or sieving so I consider that the easiest form because there’s less prep work.
There are substitutions for tamarind, but even the recipes for them tell you that they’re woefully inadequate because you’ll be missing the lovely flavor. Therefore, I urge everyone to get the real product.
When making ribs–or anything that requires a longer cook time–the indirect heat method is almost always used. This is especially true if you are cooking the ribs from raw. This means you just place the food over the unlit side with a gas grill. With a charcoal set up, you place the briquettes in a ring around the periphery of the grill and place the meat in the center where there’s no briquettes. Of course either method requires that you have a lid for the grill. Popular though they are now, a Blackstone just won’t cut it with this cooking method.
Anything you grill with indirect heat is also great in a conventional oven. These ribs are no exception. Go with an oven temp of 325F/160C and you’ll be all set.
Honey Tamarind Ribs
- 3 lb pork baby back ribs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbs tamarind paste
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced or pressed
- 1/2 tsp chili paste
- Remove membrane covering the bones of the ribs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Prepare grill for indirect cooking. For a gas grill, this means cooking over the unlit burner. See post for charcoal directions. If your grill has a thermometer, you want to the heat to be medium--abbout 325-350F/160-180C.
- Place ribs meat side down over unlit section. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour, turning ribs midway through cooking.
- Meanwhile, combine the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and heat to boiling, stirring to combine. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until the glaze has a syrupy consistency.
- Brush ribs with the glaze, continuing to cook for an additional 45 minutes, turning and basting both sides of the ribs throughout the final cook time. I basted them every 10 minutes.
- Remove from the grill, tent with foil and let the ribs rest 10 minutes. Baste with remaining glaze just before serving.