THAI-STYLE BAKED BABY BACK PORK RIBS (for eight as an appetizer, four as a main course)
1 cup sliced shallots
10 scallions, coarsely chopped
one 3-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
8 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro including thin stems (and roots, if possible)
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (nam pla or nouc mam)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
3 racks baby back pork ribs (4 pounds)
vegetable oil as needed to moisten the basting marinade
1. Put the shallots, scallions, ginger, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, pepper and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process to a loose, finely chopped paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
2. Place the pork ribs in a large bowl or a pair of heavy resealable plastic bags. Thoroughly coat the ribs with the marinade, massaging the paste into the flesh for a minute or so. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours or up to 5 hours in the refrigerator, tossing the ribs once or twice during this time. Remove the ribs from the marinade and reserve the marinade, adding a little vegetable oil if needed to moisten it to baste the ribs.
3. Preheat oven to 350*. Spread ribs out, bone side down, on two large, foil-lined baking sheets and bake until ribs are deeply colored and very tender but not yet falling from the bone, about 1-¾ hours, basting with the reserved marinade every half hour or so and occasionally rotating the pans to encourage even cooking. Remove from the oven and serve with small bowls of dipping sauce.
from Stanley, Evan, Mark and David Lobel, Lobel’s Meat Bible