Recipe courtesy of Sean Brasel

Asian BBQ Lamb Ribs

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 12 hr (includes marinating and cooling times)
  • Active: 1 hr 40 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Lamb Ribs:

3/4 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup chili powder, such as Mild Bill's El Toro Chili Powder

1/2 cup granulated garlic 

1/2 cup herbs de Provence 

1/4 cup ground ancho or chipotle chili mix 

1/4 cup smoked paprika 

1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes 

6 pounds lamb ribs 

Asian BBQ Sauce:

2 cups hoisin sauce

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar 

1/3 cup sweet chili sauce 

1/4 cup mirin 

2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce 

Pickled Papaya:

2 to 3 medium unripe Papayas, julienned

1 1/2 cups rice wine vinegar 

1 1/4 cups sugar 

1-ounce lemongrass, minced 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 star anise pod, ground 

Pickled Red Onion:

2 red onions, julienned

1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar 

5 ounces sugar 

2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce 

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 


1 cup napa cabbage, sliced

1/2 cup scallions, sliced 

1/4 cup olive oil 

1 to 2 liters vegetable or canola oil, for frying

Chopped peanuts, for garnish


Special equipment:
a deep-fry thermometer
  1. For the ribs: Combine the salt, chili powder, granulated garlic, herbs de Provence, ancho mix, paprika and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Coat the lamb ribs with the seasoning and refrigerate in a roasting pan for 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  3. Add a small layer of water to the bottom of the roasting pan with the lamb, cover with foil, and cook until fork-tender but not falling off the bone, 3 to 4 hours, depending on the thickness of the ribs. Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet to cool. Section the ribs into individual chops and set aside until the other components are assembled.
  4. For the Asian BBQ Sauce: Combine the hoisin, vinegar, chili sauce, mirin and sriracha in a blender and mix well. Set aside.
  5. For the pickled papaya: Place the papayas in a large bowl. Combine the vinegar, sugar, lemongrass, salt and star anise in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool. Pour over the papayas. Cover and refrigerate.
  6. For the pickled red onion: Place the onions in a large heatproof bowl. Combine the vinegar, sugar, sriracha and crushed red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over the onions and let rest.
  7. For the slaw: Toss together the cabbage, scallions, oil, 1/2 cup of the pickled red onions and 1/2 cup of the pickled papaya until mixed. Reserve the remaining pickled red onions and pickled papaya for another use.
  8. When ready to serve, heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F in a medium pot.
  9. Working in batches, place the lamb ribs in the hot oil and cook until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss the ribs in the Asian BBQ sauce.
  10. Place a handful of the slaw on each plate. Top with the lamb ribs and garnish with chopped peanuts if desired.
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