BBQ Ribs with coconut-ginger rice

(Serves 4 as main course, 8 as appetizer)


Can’t Eat Just One/Can’t Eat Them Just Once
This recipe was inspired by a trip to Hawaii and dinner at Roy’s restaurant. True confessions - we ate them more than two days in a row.

4-1/2 lbs baby back ribs
2 cups hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp minced ginger
2 Tbsp Chinese chili paste (Sambal Oelek or Sriracha)
1/2 cup honey

Coconut-Ginger Rice
2 cups jasmine rice
2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted (optional)
chive blossoms or scallions (optional)


A bowl of coconut jasmine rice with edible flowers sprinkled on top.  A great companion to BBQ Ribs.  Both recipes can be found at

Cut rib slabs in half and place in large pot of boiling water. Simmer for about 1 hour, until tender. Meat will shrink down from the top of bone at least a half inch when it’s ready. Remove from water and let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine remaining ingredients for ribs to make the marinade. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Brush ribs on both sides with marinade. Place on a rack on top of a cookie sheet and put in the oven. Bake 10-15 minutes, until the marinade begins to glisten and becomes shiny. Remove and let cool.

Preheat barbecue. Cut ribs into individual pieces with a sharp paring knife and brush with more marinade. Grill on high for several minutes until hot.

Rinse the rice several times until the water is clear. Combine rice, water, coconut milk, ginger and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Immediately lower heat to a very low simmer and cover the pot.

Continue cooking for about 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Keep the pan covered and let it sit for an additional 10 minutes while it continues to steam.

Serve in a large bowl and garnish with toasted coconut flakes and chive blossoms or scallions.

Pretty much every encounter in Hawaii ends with someone saying “mahalo.”  Thanks, gratitude, respect... whatever sentiment fits the moment is what it means. When you make this dinner, you better believe someone will be saying mahalo!


view related blog post:  a special place in our hearts