make it indoor: oven roasted bbq ribs

by Chen


It’s bbq season! Yeah, right, ok, it is bbq season.

There are, well, I have some very minor complaints: “freaking hot”, “smoking grill”, “horrible clean-up” and such and such. When not in the mood for going outside, I wrap up something for back-up–a foolproof smoke-free recipe for super flavorful ribs made in the oven.


What’s special about this recipe is that it does NOT need prepared bbq sauce. The key to the flavor is leaving the ribs in the marinade consist of soy sauce, sugar, and balsamic vinegar for a sufficiently long time (usually one day). For the moist and tender texture and shining appearance, I suggest a two-stage cooking method: steaming stage and caramelization stage (aka roast the ribs with cover then raise the temperature, uncover, baste, and continue cooking until done).

oven roasted bbq ribs
Use 1 to 2 more tbsp soy sauce or sugar if you like it saltier or sweeter, respectively.

For the marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce (NOT the low-sodium one)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp red wine
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt

1 rack of baby back ribs, cut in-between bones to make individual servings
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp honey

Arrange the ribs in a large baking dish. Whisk the ingredients for marinade and pour over the ribs. Make sure they are all coated. Cover the dish and refrigerate for one day, turning occasionally.

About one hour before cooking, take the dish out to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with two layers of aluminum foil and then parchment paper to prevent sticking. Remove the ribs from the marinade and place them on the parchment paper, meaty side up. Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil and bake for one hour.

Reserve the marinade in a bowl and whisk in the tomato paste and honey until smooth. Set aside. After one hour, raise the oven temperature to 375F. Remove the cover, brush the ribs with the marinade mixture, and return to the oven. Continue to cook uncovered for 30 minutes and baste every 10 minutes. Watch closely. If the surface browns too fast, lower the temperature to 350F. Serve warm.