Honey Hoisin Baby Back Ribs

My husband and I have this longstanding joke about Howard Wang's, an amazing upscale chinese restaurant that recently moved to the uptown area of Dallas. I use the term 'upscale' because it is not located in a strip mall and it is not called 'Lover's Egg Roll.' Howard Wang's was previously only located in the North Dallas area, and John used to go there with friends before I existed. When we met, he used to tell me about how good it was and how he loved the Honey and 5 Spice Ribs. Being the avid foodie that I am, I started checking out the menu on a regular basis and decided that I would probably love it too. And then I decided that I did love it. I'm not sure exactly when fantasy merged with reality, but somewhere along the way I started acting like it was one of my favorite restaurants and that I loved going there...even though I had never been. It started to spiral out of control, until I hit rock bottom when John caught me saying to friends 'Oh you HAVE to take them to Howard Wang's! You would love it - get the corn flower soup.' 

I think my husband's response was something like 'WTF..' ..or something similar...but we decided then and there that we needed a date night ASAP to Howard Wang's so that my actions could back up my words. Luckily, a second restaurant recently opened up in uptown so we didn't have to trek all the way up to Addison or wherever.

But, the ribs. The RIBS. They are so so good, the sweetness from the honey and a bit of a kick from the dry rub - they are a wonderful diversion from the standard BBQ baby backs. So, I was craving them last Sunday and I made a version of them. But I added Hoisin Sauce, because I like the sound of 'Honey Hoisin Ribs.' And I love the flavor, too.

Start by marinating the ribs in the 5 spice seasoning. Sprinkle the season generously over both sides of the ribs, along with a couple tablespoons of the brown sugar.  Put them back in the refrigerator for about an hour, then remove them and let rest to room temperature.  Prepare the sauce by mixing the honey, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and remaining brown sugar in a bowl.

Preheat the grill to high, and preheat the oven to 300. Brown both sides of the ribs on the hot grill - a few minutes on each side.  Place each slab of rib in its own foil, and brush with a little of the sauce. Wrap the ribs up (may want to double foil), and place in the oven.
After one hour, take the ribs out and generously slather the ribs with more of the sauce. Slather, slather, slather. Don't use it all though - you want to reserve some for serving and dipping. Return the ribs to the oven, and cook for one hour more. After two hours of total cooking time, turn on the broiler and prop the door open. Open the foil to expose the ribs, and let the sauce brown and caramelize - about 4-5 minutes. Remove the ribs from the oven, wrap up the foil, and let them rest for a good 30 minutes. Do not skip this step, I warn you. This is when the meat gets really tender and delicious.

This sauce is good, good, good.  Howard Wang actually came over to our house and ate these with us.

Labels: , ,