Citrus Pork Spare Ribs

Citrus Pork Spare Ribs

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  1. Pork is a passion of mine, and other than the glorious belly (from which we get such delectables as bacon and Filipino liempo, which is decadent in the best meaning of the word), the spare ribs are by far my favorite part of the glorious swine.  I truly pity pious Jews and Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and other dedicated vegetarians, for this is a treat they can never enjoy… at least openly.

    For years, I relied on my own special rib rub, which I must say is truly excellent (maybe one day I’ll share it with you, but I’d have to be drunker than I am now to give up that secret!).  But recently, I decided to experiment with various citrus fruits and other spices.  I learned long ago that it’s best to keep things as simple as possible not to overwhelm the natural flavor of the meat (which, in the case of spare ribs, is a wonderful thing). For my ultimate ribs, I add about 1/4 of my rib rub to the leftover marinade, heat it in the microwave to boiling and use that to baste the ribs while grilling them. You, however, will have to settle for whatever inferior rub you use–or just go with this marinade alone. The ribs won’t be quite as good as mine are, but they’ll still be the best you’ve ever had.

    This recipe is more evidence of reincarnation.  For a long time, I have held the suspicion that I am the reincarnation of an Asian chef, specifically a Chinese gourmet (and in the life before that, I must have been a big fat Mexican who loved to cook, but that’s another story).  While this recipe produces ribs with a distinctive Asian flare, it’s an all-American creation that any white trash gringo can appreciate, and maybe even love.  It quickly became my favorite recipe, and I better enjoy it now, before my doctor forces me to go on that diet he’s been threatening me with for the past two years.

    This is what you will need:

    • 1 rack pork spare ribs  
    • 1 cup olive oil (optional)
    • ½ cup soy sauce (to taste)  
    •  ½ cup lemon juice
    •  ½ cuplime juice
    •  ½ cup orange juice
    • 1 head of garlic, crushed with knife blade  
    • 2 tsp. ground pepper   
    • 1-2 chopped jalapeno peppers (*optional, if you want it spicy*)



    1. Combine all ingredients except the ribs in a bowl; mix thoroughly with a whisk if using olive oil; otherwise a spoon works nicely.  Taste the marinade to see if it needs more soy sauce and/or pepper. 
    2.  Place the pork spare ribs into a long pan big enough to hold the whole rack, meat side down, and pour the marinade over them.  Cover and keep refrigerated overnight. 
    3. Remove from the fridge 1/2 hour before grilling to allow the ribs to warm to room temperature.
    4. Pour the reserve marinade into a bowl, using a strainer to remove the solids.
    5. Add 1/4 cup of your favorite rib rub to the marinade and heat in the microwave until boiling. (*optional*) If using the marinade alone, do not heat.
    6. Grill as usual over charcoal, turning often to prevent burning and basting the meat with every turn.  The preferred grilling method is with indirect heat and wood smoke (hickory or mesquite, though oak works best for a very light smoky flavor).
    7.  Serve with garlic fried rice (or regular old fried rice) and, of course, beer.  You can serve veggies too, if you must, but I’ll leave that up to you.

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