The third installment of our Sous Chef Series visits Asia by way of Los Angeles, where Sara Johannes runs the kitchen at WP24, Wolfgang Puck's glamorous modern-Chinese restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles. There, her spice-rich baby back ribs--which are seasoned with a combo of classic Chinese flavors (ginger, garlic and soy sauce) and the sweet, saucy appeal of American barbecue--are a menu staple. Her hoisin-spiked sauce has the makings of an essential; keep this one on hand for grilling season.
Yield: 6 Servings
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large Dutch oven or roasting pan, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, carrot, onion and celery and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and nestle the ribs in the braising liquid.
2. Cover the Dutch oven (or cover the roasting pan tightly with foil) and bake until the meaty part of the ribs are tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 90 minutes.
3. While the ribs cook, prepare the glaze: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic, ginger and scallions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the soy sauce, hoisin, corn syrup, ketchup, five-spice powder and chile paste; increase the heat the high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve.
4. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on the baking sheet. Remove the ribs from the braising liquid and place them, meaty side up, on the rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°. Brush a thick coating of glaze on the top of the ribs. Bake for 45 minutes, brushing the ribs with additional glaze every 15 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board, let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into one- or two-rib portions and serve immediately.Download This Recipe