Gochujanga sauce is sometimes sold as a paste. Note that if you do use the paste, you’ll need to dilute the consistency to be thinner, and you can do this by adding water until it is the consistency of ketchup or tomato sauce.
These ribs are bathed in smoke before being mopped with gochujanga spicy, fermented, funky and sweet Korean sauce.
- 1 rack baby back pork ribs
- 2 tbsp butter
- 60 g (2¼ oz /¼ cup, firmly packed) light brown sugar
- 125 ml (4 fl oz /½ cup) gochujang sauce
Pork season-all dry rub
- 110 g (3¾ oz / ½ cup, firmly packed) light brown sugar
- 30 g (1 oz / ¼ cup) sweet paprika (not smoked or hot)
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp mustard powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 10 minutes
Prepare a smoker to cook at 105°C (225°F).
Prepare the ribs. Start by trimming any extra fat away, and removing the membrane from the back of the bones (just loosen the corner of the membrane with a butter knife, then use a paper towel to grip and pull the membrane away).
Use a paper towel to pat the ribs dry. Make the dry rub by combining all the ingredients, then season the ribs generously with 3 tablespoons of the dry rub on both sides. Set aside for 10–15 minutes so the ribs ‘sweat’ and the rub becomes a paste.
Place the ribs in the smoker for 3 hours, making sure to monitor and maintain your 105°C (225°F) temperature without any major spikes or drops.
Prepare two large squares of foil, one on top of the other, and put the butter and brown sugar along the bottom. Remove the ribs from the smoker and place the ribs, meat side down, onto the butter and sugar. Wrap the parcel tightly and return to the smoker for a further 1 hour.
After the hour has passed, carefully open the foil package (there may be quite a bit of liquid that has accumulated), remove the rack and gently return it to the smoker, bone side down. If this is too difficult, you can simply unwrap the ribs and tuck the foil in at the sides, forming a ‘boat’ around the meat, leaving the tops of the ribs exposed.
Using a pastry brush, paint a generous amount of the gochujang sauce onto the meat side of the rack. Close the lid and smoke for a further 15–20 minutes, which will allow time for the sauce to gel and set. You should be able to lightly tug on the bones and feel little resistance. If you feel they could be more tender, leave them in the smoker for up to an hour extra, basting them again with the sauce if desired.
• This recipe makes about 230 g (8 oz) of the pork dry rub. Any extra can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Recipe from Hardcore Carnivore by Jess Pryles (Murdoch Books, hb, $39.99).