Rib of the Week: Ruby Lacquered Pork Ribs

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Ah, pork. It goes so well with so many things—including fruit.

So, as I was eyeing the package of pork spare ribs in my fridge last night, I noticed I had leftover raspberry sauce from the Rustic Raspberry Vodka-tini I made the other night. It’s basically fresh raspberries, sugar, and a little liquor.

You can see where this is going.

I grabbed the raspberry sauce and whisked it together with some soy sauce, garlic, and ginger—then painted it onto my ribs. I topped them off with lots of fresh thyme.

I was guessing that the sweetness from the fruit would be a good balance for the earthy saltiness of mushroom soy sauce.

Man, was it ever.

Basted three or four times during cooking, the ribs developed a beautiful dark reddish-brown crust. The meat was sweet and spicy and basically fell off the bone.

A note on ingredients
For the mushroom soy sauce, I like Pearl River Mushroom Flavored Soy. If you have an Asian grocer near you, it will likely be cheapest there.

This soy sauce is plenty salty, so I don’t add any additional salt to the marinade (and I like things fairly salty).

Ruby Lacquered Pork Ribs

2 1/4 lbs. pork spare ribs
1/2 cup raspberry sauce
1/3 cup mushroom soy sauce
2 tsp. garlic, mashed
2 tsp. powdered ginger
hot sauce to taste
leaves from about 8-9 fresh thyme sprigs

Serves about 2 as a main dish and about 4 as an appetizer.

Make ahead
Before you want to make these ribs, whip up a batch of this raspberry sauce. Make it a few hours ahead of time, or the night before.

(The raspberry sauce recipe makes more than you’ll need for your ribs. Shake yourself up a juicy cocktail or two with what’s left.)

The day of
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

Make the marinade
In a medium bowl, add the raspberry sauce, mushroom soy, garlic, ginger, and hot sauce. Whisk well to combine.

Prepare the ribs
Lay the ribs out on your baking sheet.

With a brush, paint each rib on all sides with the marinade. Sprinkle with thyme leaves. When they’re ready to go in the oven, they should look about like this:

Get the ribs in the oven
Put the pan of ribs in your preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours.

Baste regularly
Every 20 minutes or so, pull the ribs out of the oven and baste them again with the marinade. You’ll put on about 4 coats during the cooking time, which will build up into a beautiful, thick crust.

Serve and enjoy
After about 1 1/2 hours, pull the pan out of the oven and test the ribs for doneness by pulling at the end of one rib with a fork. The meat should come away fairly easily.

(If it doesn’t, stick them back in the oven for another 10 minutes and try again. Your cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your ribs.)


Copyright 2008 The Hungry Mouse�/Jessica B. Konopa. All rights reserved.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. Pornographer! *wink thing here* That is total food porn. Very very sexy. Inspirational. Will do some country style ribs on the grill (if the rain ever stops) with some Penzey's Raspberry drug induced haze (or whatever they call the stuff) and soy, ginger, garlic, and either tabasco or sriracha. Inspirational.
  2. Ha! Yay! Thanks :D Yeah, I have been on a total rib kick this year. I'm really not quite sure why. Let me know how that raspberry stuff from Penzey's is? I know just what you're talking about and I've always wondered about it. I'll bet you could also use raspberry preserves. Like a kind that basically just has fruit and sugar without a lot of extra junk. I like Trappist Preserves a lot. That might be good.
  3. Made them last night with the changes outlined above. Will definitely make them again. with some changes. I think I will go with spareribs rather than country style ribs. The moisture content caused the sauce to run off and not really set up quite as glazed and food pornesque as yours. The Raspberry Drug Haze has seeds and pulp, and no liquor, so it might be that that kept it from setting up quite right. Result was flavorful and delicious. A different flavor for the palate in the house. Thanks.
  4. Oh yay, I'm glad you liked it. I'm going to pick up some of that Penzey's sauce. I've been wanting to try it. I think you're dead on about the moisture in the country-style ribs. Although it might work if you partially cooked the ribs, then glazed them. Not sure. :D
  5. I love ribs. I love the fact that you use raspberry sauce in your marinade, sounds absolutely delicious. Next time I make ribs, I am definitely going to give this recipe a spin.
  6. Thanks, ladies! Definitely try them in the oven. (We've been plagued with too much rain here in Boston, too.) That's how I do mine and they came out just fine. :D +Jessie
  7. OK - modified as follows: I had country-style ribs, not spare ribs. And a convection oven. Also regular soy sauce, not mushroom. After mixing the glaze, I cooked it on low heat for most of the cooking time, so it thickened. (Which helped keep it from running off.) Shortened cooking time by about 20%. Did the first round of cooking without any marinade, then basted every 20 minutes or so. I didn't quite get the 'glaze' effect, but they tasted delicious! Next time, I will try on actual spare ribs! Thanks!