Kahuna Cooking: Asian Chili Ribs

It’s the time of year to stuff your face amongst other people. Luckily for me this year I did it with people I like. However one thing I don’t like is traditional holiday food. Be it Thanksgiving or Christmas I find the usual Stateside fare bland and insufferable. When I went to Culinary School I was a pain to my studied instructors. I was always more taken with books on eastern cuisine than the french food I was learning. So nowadays the fusion style just comes naturally in a mish-mash that would make Trader Vic proud.

So when I was invited to the Santa Ana De Camacho’s house for a holiday potluck I was thrilled. Not Just because Lenell, Demian, and their family are some of my favorite people, but they also set out nice food and wine to. Yours truly never turns aside a good drink with or without company. I decided to bring my best dish, as well as fixings for my Dark Isles and Lintong punches. I decided to share it with my readers as kind of a Christmas gift. I started making these Asian Chili ribs in culinary school, miraculously they remain fall off the bone tender from just under 3 hours in the oven. The sauce itself is the key to success, and you can vary it’s heat based on the amount of peppers and how you treat them. For the party I seeded and veined the peppers with a spoon before slicing. For my heatseeking buddies I leave the whole mess in and throw in a few extra. Enough rambling lets get out our novelty aprons and cook. If you can’t find bird’s eye chili’s in your market get playful. Select a chili you’ve never used before and toss it in. I like bird’s eyes for the flavor and heat. Oh and in a pinch it also makes a great wing sauce.

Dollar store bamboo placemat optional.

Dollar store bamboo place-mat optional.

Asian Chili Ribs
1 to 3 racks pork spareribs or St Louis cut


Asian Chili Rib Sauce
1 ½ cup soy sauce
¾ cup sriracha
2 tbsp Tabasco
2 tsp demerera sugar
4 stalks green onion (the white parts cut in half)
¾ cup yellow onion, diced
3 jalapeno, diced
3 serrano, diced
1-2 habernero, diced
1-3 bird’s eye chili, diced
3 tbsp fresh grated ginger
3 tbsp brown or hot chinese mustard
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp dried cilantro
Pinch salt

For the Sauce: In a tsp of grapeseed oil combine the peppers, yellow onion, and ginger to sweat until translucent. Add Soy and chili sauce then other ingredients stirring well every few minutes. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer until reduced by a fourth. Reserve for basting and topping.


fresh cilantro
thin sliced green onion, the green part

Preheat and oven to 300 degrees and place ribs meat side up in baking pans seasoning both sides with salt and paprika, cook for one hour. Remove ribs and generously brush your sauce on both sides. Place the ribs inside bone side up and cook for another 45 minutes. Brush both sides liberally again with your sauce and cook meat side up for one more hour or less depending on your oven. Slice into racks, top with more sauce, and garnish before serving.

Man they go fast so bring extra. These ribs are a flavorful change from the usual hum drum Christmas bird. I hope you’ll try it and send me some photos of how they turned out. Also a big thanks to Lenell, Demian, and family for a great evening of wine, food, and laughs. Until next time…


“You get Hammered America!” – JFL


About JFL

Joey or JFL as he is known by friends is a culinary trained mixologist from the Heart of Dixie Birmingham, Alabama. From a weekly column in the St. Clair News Aegis to his own experiments online JFL never stops doing work on Tiki and Cocktails. When he's not studying all things spirit, wine, and beer he's pursuing his own odd interests such as cartoons, cheesy old horror movies, horror punk, hair metal, and hockey
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