Gochujang is one of my favorite ingredients. It’s a thick, spicy, dark red paste that’s made from fermented red chilies. Found in the Korean section of your Asian market, it’s a staple in Korean cooking. In this recipe, it finds its way into a sweet, salty and spicy barbecue sauce that’s slathered on tender baby back ribs. I also use it on lettuce wraps or mixed in with noodles to add a nice level of heat. I keep a tub of it in my fridge at all times and once you’ve tried it, you will too!
One thing I love about this recipe is that the ribs are cooked in the oven ahead of time with salt, pepper and a little beer. They’re then finished on the grill with the sauce. So you can make them ahead for a quick weeknight dinner or a low-effort dinner for guests. I also cut a few ribs off before adding the sauce and put plain barbecue sauce on them for my kids who I knew wouldn’t like the heat.
- 3 lbs. baby back ribs
- 1 12-oz. bottle lager or pilsner beer
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup gochujang
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Place ribs in a roasting pan and sprinkle them all over with salt and pepper. Pour the beer around them and cover the pan with foil.
- Roast for 2 and a half hours or until tender. Cool. Recipe can be prepared to this point ahead and then refrigerated for a few days before finishing.
- Preheat a grill on high heat.
- Transfer ribs to a platter and pour cooking liquid into a small saucepan over high heat. Whisk in the garlic, gochujang, honey, fish sauce and soy sauce. Boil until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Brush ribs with some of the sauce and grill them for 3 minutes per side, basting them with more sauce as they cook. Serve with extra sauce on the side.