Hoisin sauce is a very popular Chinese sauce that goes really well with chicken, pork, or beef. It is also the dipping sauce for peking duck and deep fried dough sticks wrapped in rice noodle. I use it on baked pork ribs more than anything else. Although marinating the ribs makes the meat more flavourful, the hoisin sauce has enough flavour that you really don’t have to. So this is the perfect quick and ridiculously easy meal that doesn’t require any pre-planning and only requires 2 ingredients. I make this often for guests too, because I’ve yet to meet someone who didn’t like them. If you don’t like/eat pork, hoisin baked chicken is really good too. When asked what he wanted me to make for Valentine’s Day dinner, 2011, Ed requested these hoisin ribs. 🙂
Hoisin Baked Pork Ribs Recipe
1 rack of pork side ribs, approximately 1 1/2 lbs
1/3 cup hoisin sauce (and more for basting)
Cut the rack of ribs in half so that both pieces will fit easily onto the baking sheet. Rinse the pork ribs in cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Brush hoisin sauce generously all over the pork ribs and place in a large ziploc bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for several hours. (Note: this marinating step is optional and I rarely do this. The meat will be more flavourful if you pre-marinate, but the sauce is flavourful enough that it really isn’t necessary.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the ribs on a rack in the baking sheet with the meatiest side of the ribs facing up. If not pre-marinated, brush the sauce generously all over the pork ribs. If the meat was pre-marinated, brush additional sauce generously over the top of the ribs. Bake for 35 to 55 minutes (depending on the thickness of the meat), brushing more hoisin sauce generously over the top of the ribs 20 minutes into the cooking process. Bake until the thickest section of the meat is cooked through to the bone. The meat will shrivel away from the ends of the bones, juices will run clear and the meat will no longer be pink. If the thinner sections of the ribs are cooked through but the thicker portions are not, cut off the thinner portion and set it aside loosely covered with aluminum foil while you finish cooking the thicker parts in the oven. Do not overcook the meat. When the meat is cooked, transfer to a plate, loosely cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 5 minutes. Then use a knife to separate the individual ribs by cutting the flesh between the bones. Serve immediately with rice. Note that I prefer meat that is Just cooked through, so these ribs don’t have the typical Western slow cooked, fall off the bone texture.