Introduction: Five Spice Honey BBQ Rib Tips

Regardless of how any culture prepares it, I love barbecue. Who doesn't love grilled meat with a wonderful blend of spices or a sweet, tangy sauce?

Recently, I felt like making some Asian-style barbecue. However, I wanted something different than the usual Filipino barbecue that I make, so I came up with something that used the many Asian ingredients in my cupboard. 

These rib tips are marinated, slowly grilled, and are finally finished with a honey-hoisin glaze.  Sichuan peppercorns both in the marinade and in the glaze add a unique tingly, citrusy "kick". 

These rib tips are perfect if you're looking for something new to try on the grill. You'll enjoy making them as you'll be working with ingredients that you probably don't usually use, but are easy to find. This recipe is meant to be tweaked, so have fun with creating your own versions!

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

You can find most of these ingredients in an Asian grocery store ( ideally one that focuses on Chinese or any type of Southeast Asian cuisine) or in the ethnic section of your local supermarket. Large, multi-ethnic supermarkets are a very good place to look.

Use the above pictures to help you.

  • This recipe is for 2 pounds of pork. While I'm using rib tips, any other slightly fatty cut will work, such as pork shoulder, spare and baby back ribs, etc.

For the marinade:
  • 1/4  cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1/3  cup rice wine (ideally Shaoxing wine, if you have it. You can use any other rice wine like I did, or use a dry sherry)
  • 1  teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder ( you can buy this or make your own)
  • 1  tablespoon chili bean sauce/paste
  • 1/4  cup honey
  • 1  teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2  teaspoons ginger powder
The glaze:
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns, lightly ground
  • 1  teaspoon lightly ground star anise or lightly ground aniseed
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • 1- 2 tablespoons honey

Step 2: Cut

Cut the rib tips into pieces about 1 1/2 inches wide. Try to keep them evenly cut. Trim any excess fat if you wish.

Place the pieces into a  plastic bag.

if using a slab of ribs, you can just leave the slab as it is.

Step 3: Marinate

Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Make sure that all parts are mixed together well.

Pour marinade over the meat in the bag and seal tightly, squeezing out all excess air from the bag. You can move the bag around to make sure that the marinade is evenly distributed.

Allow to marinate in the fridge overnight ( or at least 8 hours)

Step 4: Grill!

When it comes time to grill the rib tips(or spare ribs, baby back ribs, etc.),take them out of the with the marinade. Discard the marinade.

Place the ribs in a layer on a sheet of foil. Make it big enough so that you can fold up the sides so that drippings won't fall into the coals and cause flare ups.

Get your grill up to 275º Fahrenheit. Place the whole package on the grill.  Cook them at 275º F for about 1 1/2 hours.

Step 5: Make Glaze

While the rib tips are cooking, make the glaze.

Mix the crushed Sichuan peppercorn, ground star anise/aniseed, and ginger powder together in a small bowl.
Then, add rice wine and mix well. cover and let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the spices to release their flavor into the wine

Mix in honey, Sriracha, and hoisin sauce.

Step 6: Glaze

After the rib tips have cooked for 1 1/2 hours, take them off of the foil, and put them directly on the grate.

Get the grill hotter. Brush the glaze on all over the meat. Cook until the meat caramelizes, but be careful not to burn it!

Step 7: Serve

Your rib tips are done!

Enjoy steamed white rice and vegetables.

You can chop up any leftovers and use them in fried rice or with stir fried noodles.


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