MY HAWAIIAN KITCHEN
Delectable memoirs of living on the slopes of Mt. Hualalai high above the famed Kona Coast on the beguiling Big Island of Hawaii.
Fall-off-the-bone-tender, grilled baby back ribs boasting succulent, juicy layers of Asian-y flavors.
Dear Journal – Our dear friend and Kona historian, Aunty Jo who exemplifies all things charming about this amazing island, continues to teach us Hawaiiana. We’re hungry to learn and know more about the traditions and culture of the Islands and of Kona, so Aunty Jo happily bestows some of her enviable knowledge of the people and the islands upon us. Family stories of kahuna (ministers or priests, spiritual teachers) and aumakuas (family or personal gods who might assume the shape of animals or plants) and how Kona grew up with her. Heck she can even remember as a little girl, when Kona was truly a sleepy fishing village, that Shirley Temple came for a visit and together, this very famous little girl and this truly Hawaiian little girl found common ground on the steps of Hulihee Palace, playing jacks. Yesterday after we learned how to make maile leaf leis under Aunty Jo’s patient and diligent direction I made some falling-off-the-bone tender baby back ribs, rice and macaroni salad to top off the delicious Hawaiianness of the day. The ribs were a hit and inspired some great talk story and ol’ time Big Island wild boar hunting tales.
4-5 pounds pork baby back ribs
1 head garlic, skin left on, cut in half horizontally to expose cloves
1 Maui, Walla Walla, Vidalia or other sweet onion, quartered
1 - 2 teaspoons dried red chile flakes
2 teaspoons sea or Kosher salt
Just about 3 cups cooking water
3/4 cup dark shoyu (soy sauce)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 heaping tablespoons granulated garlic powder
2 tablespoons Asian chile paste (sambal oelek)
1 - 1 1/2 cups Thai sweet chile sauce
Cut ribs into serving size lengths and toss into a large pot. Cover with cold water and toss in garlic, onion, chile flakes and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently until ribs are tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
When ribs are done, pour just 3 cups of the hot cooking water in a large bowl. Add rest of marinade ingredients and whisk to combine. Lay the ribs into the marinade, turning to ensure ribs are well coated with all those glorious flavours. Let ribs laze in the marinade 4 to 12 hours, refrigerated, turning occasionally.
Preheat BBQ to medium-high. Remove ribs from marinade, discard marinade. Grill ribs brushing often with lots of Thai sweet chile sauce, until edges are delectably crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Mmmmm.