Ginger, Garlic and Honey
Grilled Baby Back Ribs
Siem Reap, Cambodia
2 racks baby back ribs (each 908 g to
1. 13 kg, or 2 to 21/2 pounds)
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 piece ( 2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled
and coarsely chopped
15 mL ( 1 tablespoon) sugar
20 mL ( 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon)
coarse salt (kosher or sea)
10 mL ( 2 teaspoons) freshly ground
30 mL ( 2 tablespoons) honey
15 mL ( 1 tablespoon) soy sauce
15 mL ( 1 tablespoon) Asian fish sauce
or more soy sauce
Cut each rack in half and place ribs in a
non-reactive baking dish just large enough
to hold them in a single layer.
Place the garlic, ginger, sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt and black pepper in a mortar
and pound to a paste with a pestle, or
purée these ingredients in a food processor. Work in the honey, soy sauce and fish
sauce. Spread the spice paste over the ribs
on both sides. Let the ribs marinate in the
refrigerator, covered, for 1 to 4 hours; the
longer the ribs marinate, the richer the
flavour will be.
For the dipping sauce, place 5 mL ( 1 teaspoon) of salt and 5 mL ( 1 teaspoon) of
white pepper in neat mounds side by side
in each of 4 tiny bowls. Place 2 lime halves
next to each bowl.
Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to medium. When ready to cook,
brush and oil the grill grate. Place the ribs,
bone side down, on the hot grate and grill
until golden brown and cooked through,
8 to 12 minutes per side, a little longer for
full-size ribs. When ribs are done, the meat
will have shrunk back from the ends of the
bones by about ¼ inch. Watch for flare-ups. Should they occur, move the ribs to
another section of the grill.
Transfer the racks of ribs to a cutting
board and cut them into individual ribs,
then arrange them on a platter or plates
for serving. Just before eating, instruct
your guests to squeeze 1 to 2 tablespoons
of lime juice into their bowls of salt and
white pepper and stir them with chopsticks until mixed. Dip the ribs in the
sauce before eating.
Makes 4 servings.
3 to 4 small or 2 medium-size
eggplants (about 454 g, or
1 pound, total)
3 luscious, red ripe tomatoes
2 medium-size or 1 large green bell
pepper, 3 Cubanelle or Anaheim
peppers, or 6 horn peppers
1/2 small sweet onion, finely chopped
4 to 6 purple or green basil leaves,
thinly slivered crosswise, plus
1 basil sprig for garnish
15 mL ( 1 tablespoon) chopped
15 mL ( 1 tablespoon) chopped fresh
cilantro, or 15 mL ( 1 tablespoon)
30 mL ( 2 tablespoons) vegetable oil,
or more to taste
15 mL ( 1 tablespoon) red wine
vinegar, or more to taste
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and
freshly ground black pepper
Grilled bread for serving
Grilled Vegetable Salad
Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to high.
When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the eggplants, tomatoes
and peppers on the hot grate. Grill the eggplants until the skins are charred and
blistered on all sides and the flesh is soft (the eggplants will be easy to pierce
with a skewer), 3 to 4 minutes per side, 9 to 12 minutes in all.
Grill the tomatoes until the skins are dark and blistered, about 2 minutes per side,
6 to 8 minutes in all. Grill the peppers until the skins are darkly browned and blistered, about 2 minutes per side, 6 to 8 minutes in all, for medium-size bell peppers
or Cubanelles; 3 to 4 minutes per side, 12 to 16 minutes in all, for a large bell pepper; and 2 to 4 minute per side, 4 to 8 minutes in all, for Anaheim or horn peppers.
To ensure even cooking, turn the vegetables with tongs.
Transfer the grilled vegetables to a platter to cool to room temperature. Scrape off
any burnt skin, discarding any stems. Cut the peppers in half, remove the cores
and scrape out the seeds. Cut the vegetables into ¼- to ½-inch dice (or as large as
you like). Transfer the diced vegetables to a non-reactive mixing bowl.
Add the onion, basil slivers, dill, cilantro (if using), vegetable oil and wine vinegar
to the diced vegetables, and stir to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and black
pepper to taste and more oil and/or vinegar as necessary. Garnish with a sprig of
basil. Serve the salad with grilled bread.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.