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Ribs with Black Lime/Sichuan Peppercorn Salt and Asian Celery Salad 

Ribs with Black Lime/Sichuan Peppercorn Salt and Asian Celery Salad

Renée Robinson

Juicy and Perfectly Seasoned Oven-Baked Ribs are Served with a Crisp Asian-Flavored Celery Salad.

I’ve previously posted my technique for baking ribs in the oven, but I came up with a new dry rub that I’ve gotta share. If you’ve never tried dried black limes *, I highly recommend you do so. The flavor is pungent and a little smoky. I thought it would pair well with Sichuan peppercorns *. After grinding them together I decided some pink peppercorns * with their berry-like flavor would enhance both the lime and the floral notes of the Sichuan peppercorns. After tasting it, I realized the only things needed were some additional sweetness and plenty of salt. 

Ingredients for Black Lime Salt

I rubbed it all over my slab of St. Louis-Style pork ribs and baked it for a couple of hours in a sheet pan on top of foil logs, with a few cups of water added to the pan in order to keep the ribs moist.

This ended up being a meal that was so splendidly delicious in its entirety that I’ve got to share everything I served. Trust me when I say that the combination of dishes worked so well together I will repeat it exactly as is on many occasions.

While celery is far from my favorite vegetable, here is a treatment that I couldn’t love more. After slicing the stalks thinly, I combined them with a dressing of chili bean sauce (toban djan) *, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, and chili crisp *, and put it in the fridge to chill for about an hour before adding sliced red onions and serving it. It is stunningly delicious. And I can’t imagine anything better to serve with the ribs. 

Of course, it goes without saying that white rice was needed in order to balance out the strong flavors. My choice here was Kokuho Rose Rice. I eat more of this particular rice than any other type of rice. It’s my favorite, but feel free to sub in your favorite plain white rice.

As I tasted the ribs, I was surprised to find that the rub had mellowed after baking. I wanted a stronger hit of the black lime and Sichuan peppercorn salt, so I sprinkled more on the ribs right before serving them and we all agreed these are really spectacular. You will have some of the flavored salt leftover.

Black Lime Salt

It would be great sprinkled on a pork tenderloin, green beans, crispy sautéed potatoes, etc.  Or you may find you need to make these ribs again. Soon.


*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, may pay me a small commission and help support the costs of this website. Read full privacy policy here.

Ribs with Black Lime/Sichuan Peppercorn Salt and Asian Celery Salad

Recipe by Renée Robinson



St. Louis-Style spareribs are rubbed in a spice mix flavored with black limes, Sichuan peppercorns, pink peppercorns, sugar and salt. Baked in the oven, they're juicy and fork tender. Then a quick salad of sliced celery and red onion, sesame oil, chili bean sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili crisp is served alongside the ribs. Perfect meal!

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  • Pork Ribs with Black Lime/Sichuan Peppercorn Salt
  • 2 2 dried black limes *

  • 1 tablespoon 1 toasted Sichuan peppercorns *

  • 2 teaspoons 2 pink peppercorns *

  • 1 tablespoon 1 fine sea salt

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons 4 1/2 raw sugar

  • 3 pounds 3 slab St. Louis-style pork ribs

  • 3 cups 3 water

  • Asian Celery Salad
  • 1 tablespoon 1 chili bean sauce, toban djan *

  • 1 tablespoon 1 rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon 1 toasted sesame oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon 1 granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons 2 spicy chili crisp *

  • 5 large 5 celery ribs, sliced thinly on the diagonal

  • 1/2 medium 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons 2 flat leaf parsley or celery leaves for garnish

  • Chili threads * for garnish


  • Pork Ribs with Black Lime/Sichuan Peppercorn Salt
  • Preheat the oven to 325° with a rack in the center. Finely grind the black limes, Sichuan peppercorns, pink peppercorns, fine sea salt , and raw sugar in a spice grinder.
  • Rub 2 1/2 tablespoons of the spice mixture onto the front and back sides of the ribs.
  • Line a half sheet pan with foil. You can either place a rack inside the pan or make logs out of crumpled up foil and place your ribs on those. This is the method I use and there will be no cleanup involved. Just toss the foil in the trash when you’re done.
  • Pour 3 cups water into the bottom of the pan and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours, until a fork meets no resistance when stuck into the meat. Let rest for 20 minutes before slicing into individual ribs. Sprinkle with additional Black Lime and Sichuan Peppercorn Salt, and serve with the Asian Celery Salad and white rice.
  • Asian Celery Salad
  • To make the dressing, whisk together Chili Bean Sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar and chili crisp. Place the sliced celery into a medium bowl and stir in the dressing. Refrigerate for about an hour. About 10 minutes before serving, add the sliced onions to the celery and set aside. Garnish with the chili threads and celery or parsley leaves.
  • Serve with the ribs and Kokuho Rose Rice or a similar type rice. Enjoy!

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