Korean-style BBQ, baby back, or side spareribs, oven baked 'til delectably tender, spicy sweet, and crispy edged.  Easy peasy-ness that tastes like the Islands.  Da kine!

Kona Ribs
!  Never heard of them, right?  Well, I just thought after so many years of Maui Rib deliciousness, that Kona should share in the glory of a namesake.

After all, Kalbi beef shortribs, all tender and touting those unmistakable Korean BBQ flavours, are readily available on all Hawaiian Islands, not just Maui.  Up here too, our grocery stores, and butcher shops, usually have 'Maui Ribs'.  Yum, lucky are we, but what the heck?!

Soooo, I've got such a good idea.  Skip the beef!  It belongs to Maui. 

What if we use Pork Baby Back Ribs or Side Spareribs, and slather those racks with pretty much the same Island flavahs, but more fiery, kicked up a notch, just for Madame Pele, Goddess of Volcanoes.  

And instead of having to grill these ribs, wham-bam, in the oven they go. Damn good idea, right?

Easy prep, easy cook, easy clean-up.  Sweet and spicy, just like Kona!

Now, because our 'ohana likes these Kona Ribs, quite a bit, I've had time in making and re-making to play around with the sauce ingredients and proportions, 'til the flavours pop, just right. For us.

You could always do the same, if you are so inclined.    

For baking, make sure you seal the ribs completely in foil, and then lay on a foil lined, raised edge cookie sheet.  Also I found lately, that instead of baking meaty side up, I put the meaty side down and then there is no need to finish under the broiler, as the ribs have already become perfectly crispy edged.  Cool!

But you might want to try it both ways, meaty side up, one time, then the next time, meaty side down, to see which way you like best.  Damn good reasons to make Kona Ribs, at least twice.

In true Mixed Plate, or Plate Lunch style, Kona Ribs go perfectly with steamed rice and macaroni salad.  Onolicious!

Ribs (3)
Because this recipe calls for fresh ginger, or ginger root, I cannot resist showing you some of the fresh ginger I got at a Kona Farmers Market last winter. 
Happiness is......


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Adapted from The Steamy Kitchen food blog, for The Last Wonton.
Thanks Jaden, as always for all your delicious inspiration.

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KONA RIBS in the Korean BBQ, Hawaiian-style way ~ 4 servings

1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
3 plump garlic cloves, minced
1 generous tablespoon grated, or minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons runny honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1-2 tablespoons sambal oelek
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
4-5 pounds baby back ribs, or side spareribs
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Green onion, sliced thin, on the diagonal, for garnish

In bowl, mix together all sauce ingredients.  Set aside. 
Heat oven to 375F. 

Cover large baking sheet with foil.  Lay out a large piece of foil, for the ribs.  Optional, using butter knife, to pry it up, separate the membrane from the back of the ribs, and discard. Generously season both sides of ribs, with salt and pepper.  Lay ribs on foil and slather both sides of ribs, with all of the sauce. 

Wrap the ribs, meaty side down, in the foil, completely sealing.   Place on baking sheet.  Bake for about 90 minutes.  If you are using really, big, meaty, side spareribs, they may take a few minutes longer than baby back ribs, but still check done-ness, after 90 minutes. They might be a-okay.  Be careful of hot steam, and sauce, when opening up the foil.

If your ribs are not already touting crispy caramelization, here and there, heat the broiler to high, keep foil open, and broil 3-5 minutes, watching carefully, until you've hit the jackpot of Kona Rib 'char'.  Da Kine!

Throw on some John Cruz tunes, garnish the ribs with green onion slices and sesame seeds, and serve up Kona Ribs with a big, saucy smile. And maybe some icy, cold beer.  Aloha!