If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs, you know just how amazing their menu is. However, there’s one dish in particular that one of us would have to order each and every time we visit. That’s the Hoisin Sticky Spare Ribs. So, we figured there would be no better way to launch our new site than with that recipe.
One of the best things about this dish is, while it can be a little difficult to find a few of the ingredients, the physical prep time for this recipe is relatively small. It’s also a fairly simple process which is amazing considering these finished ribs have such complex flavors.
Most of the ingredients needed for this dish were easily found in the “Asian Foods” section of your super market. The only thing our store did not carry was the tamarind paste. Thank goodness for Amazon! I found several choices there but finally settled on this brand because it was the right size, it’s organic and it’s bottled by the same company from which Michelle buys a lot of her honey.
Let’s get cooking!
The Marinade/Braising Liquid
Start by preheating your oven to 250ºF. I know this temperature may seem very low. You’re right! However, the best ribs are always cooked lowly and slowly.
On to the marinade/braising liquid!
This was one of the easiest I’ve ever thrown together. It’s a simple combination of diced onion with minced garlic and fresh ginger. In a bowl, mix them with a 1/4 cup of cooking wine (luckily, we happened to have an open bottle of Merlot in the fridge – a rare sight in our house – an unfinished bottle of wine), 2 tablespoons of canola oil, and a cup of the tamarind paste. I then cut the rack of ribs into two parts and place them in a baking pan with the meatier side facing down. Then cover with the cooking liquid.
From here, you can cover and let marinade in your refrigerator anywhere from an hour to overnight. However, that is not a requirement and, since I know how good these are at Morimoto’s, the last thing I wanted to do is wait any longer than necessary to taste my home version. So I got right too it!
When you decide you’re ready to take the next step, cover the baking pan with 2 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil, sealing all sides very well.
- Pro Tip – Whenever I’m braising meats, I will always cover the pan first with plastic wrap. I will then follow with the layers of foil. I know this might seem strange but the plastic wrap will not melt. It will, however, give you a better seal, helping to ensure you keep as much of the liquid and steam in the pan.
Place the covered pan in your oven and braise at 250ºF for about 3 1/2 hours. That should be all of the time you’ll need but you’ll know for sure if the meat and bones separate easily.
When done braising, place the pan on a cooling rack. Carefully remove the foil (remember all that steam we sealed in – be careful of it when you uncover the pan) and allow the ribs to cool fully in the braising liquid.
While the ribs are cooling, it’s time to put together the component that really sets this dish apart; the sticky glaze!. It’s just such a nice balance of flavors that absolutely make the ribs sing (and ensures you need a stack of napkins and/or handi-wipes).
Once again, it’s also fairly easy to put together. In a small to medium sized bowl, whisk together the hoisin, sweet chili, fish and soy sauces with the rice vinegar and sugar. The sauce should thicken to a barbecue sauce consistency.
- Speaking of that, I highly recommend making extra amounts of this sauce. Since making this recipe, I’ve regularly used it on chicken and even to top a burger. It’s just that good!
The Next Steps
Once the ribs have cooled enough to be handled, remove them from the liquid and pat dry with a paper towel. Then, with a knife, carefully separate the racks into individual ribs.
Once you have separated the ribs, toss them lightly with the cornstarch, gently shaking off any extra.
Meanwhile, heat the frying oil in a pot or fryer until it reaches 350ºF. Carefully place the cornstarch coated ribs into the hot oil (very hot – please be careful) and fry until golden brown.
Then remove the ribs and place on a rack to allow any extra oil to drain away and let them cool slightly.
The recipe says, next, to “toss with the Hoisin Chili Sauce” but I found it easier to use a brush. I suggest separating some of the sauce into a different container so you can keep any you may not use for another occasion. (see above) Brush the sauce liberally on the ribs and pop into a 350ºF oven for just a couple of minutes to set the glaze and make sure the ribs are crispy.
- Again I’m going slightly against the recipe here which suggests to put the ribs under a broiler. I’m sure that would work fine but I wanted to be sure I didn’t burn the sugars that are in the glaze
Top with sliced green onions, a few cilantro leaves, a sprinkling of the toasted sesame seeds and serve warm.
- Yes, the sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds are again my idea. I just like to use them to garnish many of my “Asian Inspired” dishes. I think you’ll agree they work when you look at the picture below this note.
The Completed Dish
As you can see from the picture above, the ribs came out looking beautifully. Believe it or not, they tasted even better than they looked. The rib meat is superbly tender yet has a really nice crispy texture at the same time.
But it’s the sauce that really makes this dish so good. It has incredible depth for a relatively simple sauce. It’s sweet and sticky but has just enough of a hint of spicy heat and salt to not make it cloying. You get a little bit of a different flavor (and a lot of sticky fingers) with each bite.
I can’t recommend enough that you give this Hoisin Sticky Spare Ribs recipe a shot. It takes time but is not difficult at all. Especially for such a flavorful outcome. If you’re entertaining, it’s sure to be the hit of the party. It’s also wonderful as an entree for a fun family dinner.
However you decide to enjoy this dish, I think you’ll agree with us:
It’s a wonderful way to bring a little piece of Walt Disney World into your kitchen!
Morimoto Asia Hoisin Sticky Spare Ribs
1 – Full Rack Pork Spare Ribs
1 – White Onion – Rough Dice
1/2 cup – Fresh Ginger – Minced
1/4 cup – Fresh Garlic – Minced
1/4 cup – Cooking Wine (I used Merlot)
2 tbls – Canola Oil
1 cup – Tamarind Paste
Hoisin Chili Sauce (aka Sticky Sauce)
1/2 cup – Hoisin Sauce
1 1/2 cups – Sweet Chili Sauce
1/4 cup – Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup – Granulated Sugar
2 tbls – Fish Sauce
2 tbls – Soy Sauce
Frying and Garnish
Oil for frying –
2 cups – Cornstarch
2 tbls – Cilantro Leaves – Freshly Chopped
For the ribs:
– Preheat oven to 250°F. Place ribs in baking pan and add onion, ginger, garlic, cooking wine and oil. Cover with water, then gently stir in tamarind paste.
- Cover with foil and bake 3 ½ hours or until meat easily pulls away from the bone.
- Remove from oven and cool in braising liquid until cool enough to handle. Slice into individual ribs.
For the sauce:
- Whisk together ingredients in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Heat oil to 350°F.
- Lightly coat each rib in cornstarch and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Place on a wire rack to drain and cool slightly.
- Toss with hoisin chili sauce, topped with cilantro and serve immediately.
If you have any questions, please leave them for me in the comments or hit me up on our Contact Page.