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.
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.
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.