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Episode 211: Chino-Latino

Baby Back Ribs with Guava Barbecue Sauce

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Long before there was modern fusion cuisine, people cooked Chino-Latino. It originated with Chinese laborers who immigrated to Cuba and Trinidad and elsewhere in the Caribbean to work the plantations. They developed a unique mashup of Asian and West Indian cooking.

Chino-Latino baby back ribs with a Chinese five-spice rub, a Japanese sake spray, and a sweet, Caribbean Guava Barbecue Sauce.

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Baby Back Ribs with Guava Barbecue Sauce

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Indirect grilling
  • Equipment: 1 1/2 cups hardwood chips, such as hickory, soaked in water to cover for 30 minutes, then drained (optional—only if using a charcoal grill); food-safe spray bottle

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese dry mustard (or substitute Colman’s)
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder

  • 1 cup Chinese rice wine, sake, or rice vinegar

Recipe Steps

1: Make the rub: Place the sugar, salt, pepper, mustard, and five spice powder in a bowl and mix with your fingers, breaking up any lumps in the sugar or mustard powder. Set aside.

2: Place the rice wine in a mister or spray bottle and set aside.

3: Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Remove the membranes. Sprinkle the ribs on both sides with rub, rubbing it into the meat. Cover the ribs and store in the refrigerator while you set up your grill.

4: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-low. Brush and oil the grill grate.

5: Arrange the ribs, bone side down, in the center of the grate over the drip pan away from the heat. If working on a charcoal grill and using wood chips, toss half on each mound of coals. Cover the grill and cook for 1 hour.

6: Spray the ribs with rice wine. Recover the grill and continue cooking until the ribs until well browned and cooked through, yet tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, to 3 hours more, 3 to 4 hours in all. Spray the ribs once or twice more and if using a charcoal grill, replenish the coals as needed. When ribs are cooked, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about 1/2-inch.

7: The last few minutes, brush the ribs on both sides with some of the guava barbecue sauce and move them directly over the fire. Grill until the ribs are browned and bubbling, 2 minutes per side.

8: Transfer the ribs to a large platter or cutting board, and cut the racks in half, widthwise (or into individual ribs). Serve at once with the remaining guava sauce on the side.

Recipe Tips

Set up your smoking according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Preheat to low (225 to 250 degrees). Place the ribs in the smoker bone side down. Smoke until cooked, 4 to 5 hours, lightly basting the ribs with sauce the last 30 minutes.

Our thanks to the sponsors of Project Fire Season 2:

Big Green Egg Kalamazoo Green Mountain Grills FireMagic Creekstone Farms Weber Maverick Shun Basques Bonfire Workman Publishing Smoke n Fire

Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2019 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein.

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