STICKY TAMARIND BABY BACK RIBS
TIME: 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES
YIELD: 4 SERVINGS
These gingery sweet-and-sour glazed ribs are tender and intensely flavored—and pretty much impossible to stop eating once you start. The sauce also works well on spareribs if you’d like to substitute those here. Just reduce the cooking time by a few minutes on the pressure setting, or as much as an hour if using the slow cooker setting.
4 to 5 pounds baby back ribs
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ cup tamarind paste or concentrate
¼ cup fresh orange juice (from about ½ orange)
¼ cup honey, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 star anise pod
2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as safflower or canola
4 small shallots, diced (about ⅓ cup)
1½ teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced
- Cut the ribs into chunks of 2 or 3 ribs, depending on their size, and place them in a large bowl. Toss with the 1 teaspoon salt, and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
- In a small bowl, combine the tamarind, orange juice, honey, soy sauce, lime zest and juice, and star anise. Set aside.
- Using the sauté function, heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Stir in the shallots and cook until they are starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute; then stir in the tamarind mixture. Bring to a simmer, and then scrape the sauce into the large bowl of ribs. Toss gently to combine.
- Arrange the ribs standing up along the outer edge of the pressure cooker, making a ring with the meat side of the ribs facing out. Continue with the remaining ribs, arranging them to make concentric circles. Pour any remaining sauce over the ribs, cover, and cook on high pressure for 32 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Heat the broiler.
- Transfer the ribs, meat-side down, to a rimmed baking sheet. Turn the pressure cooker to the sauté function and cook to reduce the sauce until it’s thick, about 15 minutes; spoon the fat off the top when finished. Taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning or add more honey if necessary; then brush the ribs with the sauce. Broil the ribs until they are charred in spots, 1 to 3 minutes. Then flip them over, brush with more sauce, and broil on that side until charred. Serve immediately, with more sauce on the side.
COOK IT SLOW
Add ¾ cup water to the slow cooker when adding the sauce in step 4. Cook the ribs on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the ribs, reduce the sauce, and broil as described in step 6.