Smoked Pork Side Ribs with Korean Gochujang BBQ Sauce

With Sour Mango Slaw and Kimchi.


smoked pork side ribs with Korean Gochujang BBQ Sauce and sour mango slaw and kimchi

What is your go-to when making smoked bbq pork ribs? Do you go for side ribs or back ribs? Both are great, but I have to say the lower price tag of a side rib is usually what sells me. Technically both kinds of pork ribs can be treated the same way - season with a spice rub, smoke, and then add a bbq sauce, but side ribs need to cook a little longer to get that same tenderness of a back rib. But that’s okay, because making smoked bbq ribs is a labour of love. The secret is the low and slow smoke, 1.5-2 hours uncovered, and then another 1-1.5 hours slathered with bbq sauce and wrapped in parchment paper and tin foil. Another pro tip, is when your ribs are uncovered in the smoker, fill a spray bottle with Coca Cola and give them a spritz to keep them moist.


For these smoked bbq ribs, I decided to go the less traditional route and make a sweet and heat gochujang sauce and then paired it with a refreshing mango slaw. I went real unconventional in the prep and used soy sauce as my binder and then seasoned my side ribs with Alchemy Green Rub (more on that coming up soon, promise). If you’re looking for your more traditional bbq flavours for your ribs, check out my recipe for Alchemy Blue BBQ Ribs, if you’re looking for something a little different keep reading to find out how to make my Smoked Pork Side Ribs with Korean Gochujang BBQ Sauce and Mango Slaw or jump to the full recipe.


soy sauce being poured onto the pork side ribs

Preheat your smoker to 275F. To prepare your pork side ribs, trim the ends and remove the silverskin. Drizzle soy sauce on your ribs and then spread around with your hands to coat, season with Alchemy Green Rub. Flip and repeat on the other side.


pork side ribs being seasoned with Alchemy Green Rub

Place your side ribs in the smoker for about 1.5-2 hours. Check on your ribs after about an hour and spray with some Coca Cola in a spray bottle to keep them moist.


making gochujang bbq sauce by putting gochujang in a pot with melted brown sugar in boiling water

When your ribs are coming up to an hour and half, bring half a litre of water to a boil in a small pot on your plancha. Once boiling, add in your brown sugar and whisk until melted. Allow to simmer for a few minutes to slightly reduce. Add in your gochujang and whisk.


chopped ginger and garlic being added to the goghujang bbq sauce pot

Allow your sauce to come to a simmer and add in the chopped garlic and ginger. Whisk together again and allow to bubble and reduce, about 5-10 minutes. Then remove from the heat.


goghujang bbq sauce being poured onto smoked ribs

On your work surface, put down a piece of tin foil and a piece of parchment paper on top. After that initial1.5-2 hours in the smoker, remove your ribs from the smoker and place on your parchment paper. Cover the ribs in the gochujang sauce.


the smoked ribs with gochujang bbq sauce being wrapped in parchment paper then tin foil

Wrap the sauced up side ribs in the parchment paper and tin foil. Place back in the smoker for another 1-1.5 hours.


think sliced mango being put into a large bowl

While your ribs finish smoking, prepare your mango slaw. Make sure to use an unripe, green, mango so it will be a bit sour. To make your slaw, thinly slice your mango, red pepper, English cucumber and green onion.


seasoned rice wine vinegar being poured into a bowl with sliced mango, red pepper and slice cucumber

Put all your vegetables in a large bowl and season with sesame oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar, salt and mix together to coat.


smoked side ribs with gochuchang sauce being cut up

Once your ribs are done smoking, after about 3-3.5 hours total of cooking, remove from the smoker and unwrap. Cut up your ribs and place on a board or platter.


smoked pork side ribs being garnished with sesame seeds and served with mango slaw and kimchi

Serve your ribs with the mango slaw, kimchi and garnish with sesame seeds.


And now for the full recipe...


Smoked Pork Side Ribs with Korean Gochujang BBQ Sauce and Sour Mango Slaw

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3.5 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes


Ingredients:

1 rack pork side ribs

2 tbsp soy sauce

Alchemy Green Rub


Gochujang sauce:

½ litre water

½ packed brown sugar

2 tbsp gochujang

12 cloves garlic

2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar


For the slaw:

1 unripe mango

1 red pepper

½ English cucumber

1 stalk green onion

2 tbsp Sesame oil

4 tbsp Seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 tsp salt

Kimchi

Sesame seeds


How to Make It:


Preheat your smoker to 275F.


Trim the ends of your rack of ribs and remove the silverskin. Rub both sides with soy sauce and season with Alchemy Green Rub. Place in the smoker for about 1.5-2 hours. Check on your ribs after about an hour and spray with some Coca Cola in a spray bottle to keep them moist.


When your ribs are coming up to an hour and half, bring half a litre of water to boil in a small pot on your plancha. Once boiling, add in your brown sugar and whisk until melted. Allow to simmer for a few minutes to slightly reduce. Add in your gochujang and whisk. Allow to come to a simmer and add in the chopped garlic and ginger. Whisk together again and allow to bubble and reduce, about 5-10 minutes. Then remove from the heat.


On your work surface, put down a piece of tin foil and a piece of parchment paper on top. After 1.5-2 hours in the smoker, remove your ribs from the smoker and place on your parchment paper. Cover the ribs in the gochujang sauce and wrap in the parchment paper and tin foil. Place back in the smoker for another 1-1.5 hours.


To make your slaw, thinly slice your mango, red pepper, English cucumber and green onion and add everything to a bowl. Season with sesame oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar, salt and mix together to coat.


Once your ribs are done, after about 3-3.5 total in the smoker, remove from the smoker and unwrap. Cut up your ribs and place on a board or platter. Serve with the mango slaw and garnish with kimchi and sesame seeds.


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Matt Basile

MEET THE CHEF

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Chef Matt Basile is the founder of the Toronto-based street food brand, Fidel Gastro's, which, within four years, went from an underground sandwich pop-up to an internationally recognized food brand. Now almost a decade later, Matt has a still growing business of food experiences, restaurant consulting and new and exciting foodie-filled projects on the way. Matt always strives to be different in an industry steeped in tradition. Matt is also the author of the best-selling cookbooks Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life, and was the host of the travel food show Rebel Without a Kitchen for two seasons. More here!