For this week’s recipe, I wanted to cook something as a nod to Father’s Day. I chose ribs, which my dad loves. I had intended to go classic Father’s Day Cookout and do barbecue ribs on the grill, but, uh, I don’t know how to grill and didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good rack of ribs as a learning experience. The internet offered recipes for excellent oven-baked ribs, but it’s 95F here every day and our AC is old. In the end, I sort-of-accidentally created a recipe that is a nod to both my dad and to our heritage: Sticky Asian Ribs.
These ribs are slow cooked for several hours, then brushed with glaze and finished under the broiler. They come out falling-off-the-bone tender, but with a fabulous color as well. Prep is quick, and the only part that really requires attention is the glazing and broiling, since broiling can go very burnt very quickly (speaking of, ask my dad about the time with the garlic bread and the smoke alarm. Love you, Daddy!). Easy to make for Dad, in remembrance of Dad, or for Dad to make for the family. Or any time you don’t feel like heating up the oven or grill for fantastic, falling-off-the-bone ribs.
Delicious, simple slow cooker ribs with fabulous Asian flavors! Garnish with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds, and serve with rice and your favorite veggie for a truly delicious summer dish.
3-4 pounds baby back ribs (also called back ribs)
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
4 teaspoons Chinese five-spice
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
6 packed tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Scallions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish
In a medium bowl, combine sauce ingredients, soy sauce through garlic.
Remove the tough membrane from the bottom of the ribs. Cut racks, if needed, to fit into slow cooker. Prop racks up on the thick ends with meaty sides leaning on the sides of the slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
As the cook time comes to an end, preheat the broiler to high. Layer a sheet pan with foil and place a baking rack on top (better airflow = more browning), spraying generously with cooking spray.
The ribs will be falling apart, so lift carefully out of the slow cooker and place them on the rack.
Skim the fat from the cooking liquid. In a measuring cup or small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in a few tablespoons of the liquid.
Pour the rest of the liquid into a saucepan, add brown sugar and cornstarch mix, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until thickened, 2 minutes or less. Remove from heat.
Glaze the ribs on both sides. Broil for about 3 minutes per side, flipping once. Be careful; the high sugar content means a deliciously sticky rib but also makes them prone to burning.
Remove from the oven and celebrate. Serve in 2-4 rib chunks, topped with extra glaze, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds. For a fully Asian meal, serve with sticky white rice.