Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Coconut Spareribs

Recipe from Ramin Ganeshram's Cooking with Coconut

Excerpted from Cooking with Coconut by Ramin Ganeshram (Storey Publishing). Copyright © 2016. Photograph © Matt Armendariz.

This is my version of Chinese spareribs that a friend taught me long ago. The recipe traditionally calls for honey, but I use coconut nectar and up the amount of ginger and garlic because I happen to like both of those ingredients a great deal. I suggest you cook the ribs as a whole rack and slice them apart only after they are finished. These are particularly good with Jamaican Bammy Cakes.


  • Yield: Makes 4 servings
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  • 1 cup Chinese rice wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 racks St. Louis–style spareribs
  • Salt

Step 1: Whisk together the rice wine, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a large bowl. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.

Step 2: Add the coconut nectar and hoisin sauce, whisking until they are completely dissolved. Add the five-spice powder and 1 teaspoon white pepper, and whisk to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.

Step 3: Rinse the spareribs in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and white pepper, then place in a container that is large enough to hold the marinade and the ribs in a single layer.

Step 4: Pour the marinade over the ribs and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 5: If cooking the ribs on a grill, heat the grill on medium-high and lightly brush the grill rack with oil. Place the ribs on the grill, away from the direct flame, and cover. Cook, turning once or twice, until the ribs are deeply browned and firm to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes. Brush with marinade several times during the cooking.

If cooking the ribs in the oven, preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Place the ribs on a lightly greased broiling tray or sheet pan with sides. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, basting with marinade 2 or 3 times, or until tender and cooked through.

Step 6: To serve the ribs, allow them to cool for 5 minutes and then, using a sharp knife, cut between each rib bone to separate them.

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