Asian Style Short Ribs

I know I own a barbecue and use it all the time. But sometimes, you just want to stay in your kitchen. And I know some of you don’t have barbecues, so I had to use a recipe that you guys can make, too. Oh, and you should make these. Zeke said it’s the best meat he’s ever eaten, and he loves meat, especially ribs.

These ribs barbecue flavor without owning a smoker or a grill. They were actually quite easy to make, and most of the time they take to make was just “waiting around time,” like waiting while the ribs marinated (and with cilantro! My favorite), and waiting while they cooked for an hour in the oven. The result? Soft, juicy, and messy meat that is sweet, tangy, and falls of the bone.

The original recipe called for pork ribs, of course. I have no idea how this “kosherized” recipe compares to the one written in the book, but I do know that these were enjoyed by all, and if you want to impress people, you should definitely give it a shot. Easy enough to whip up with just a little advanced notice, and impressive enough to really “wow” guests. You can even double or triple the recipe, though it makes a ton of barbecue sauce. I have a little over a pint in my freezer, just waiting to be eaten with these ribs again. This is definitely a perfect shabbat dish, too. So get to the supermarket now and prepare these for tomorrow night’s dinner!

So, in order to make this you need Asian or Chinese five spice powder, which is basically just a blend of cinnamon, cloves, anise, fennel, and pepper. You can make it. I could’ve made it. But I didn’t. I went to a few different supermarkets before finding it, actually. And realized that though in the cookbook it’s called chinese five spice, the blend I bought was called “Asian Five Spice.” It worked, but I’m sure if i just used some of those spices it would’ve been just as amazing. Now I just have another spice jar in my cabinet, oh well. And the spices used are, I guess, why these are Asian style ribs…

Asian Style Beef Ribs, adapted from Williams Sonoma’s Bride and Groom Cookbook


  • 4 pounds beef ribs, in slabs (I used one, but there is easily enough marinade for two, and definitely enough barbecue sauce for 4-5).

For the Marinade:

  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (I use low sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon Asian five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

For the barbecue sauce:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Asian five-spice powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup molasses


1. Make the marinade: combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

2. Tub the marinate liberally on the ribs at least 5 hours before cooking (preferably the day before).

3. Make the barbecue sauce: heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.

4. Add the water and puree the onion mixture until smooth (I used my immersion blender).

5. Add all the remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

7. Place the marinated ribs in a shallow baking dish (like a Pyrex) and cover with foil. Bake for about 45-60 minutes (I baked for 60, can’t really over cook these things), until the meat is soft.

8. Remove the ribs from the oven and uncover. Coat liberally with the barbecue sauce and return to the oven for 15 more minutes.

9. Remove from the oven and slice into individual ribs (I used chicken scissors – makes it SO much easier!).

10. Toss the ribs with some more barbecue sauce in the pan and cook for another 10 minutes.

11. Remove from oven and cool just a little before serving.

12. Freeze leftover barbecue sauce and make this again.