We don’t have a barbecue at the apartment and one of the things we miss most over the winter is grilled baby back ribs. So I was delighted to see this recipe for Orange and Soy-Glazed Baby Back Ribs in the January 2012 issue of Bon Appetit. The ribs are parboiled for a couple of hours in water flavoured with soy sauce, garlic, cumin seeds and red pepper flakes. This renders the fat from the ribs. Meanwhile, make a sauce with spices, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, orange juice and honey. To finish the ribs, place them on a cookie sheet, brush with the sauce and broil for a few minutes on each side. Garnish with citrus zest, more sauce and enjoy!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredient to watch out for in this recipe is the soy sauce. Use tamari, which is preserved with alcohol instead of sodium benzoate.

Parboil the ribs to cook them and render the fat

Parboiled ribs

Place parboiled ribs on cookie sheet, brush with sauce and broil

Garnish the ribs with sauce and citrus zest

Orange and soy-glazed baby back ribs


3 ½ pounds baby back pork ribs, cut between bones into individual ribs (18–20 ribs)

1 cup soy sauce, divided

9 garlic cloves, minced, divided

5 teaspoons cumin seeds, divided

3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, divided

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 scallions (white and light-green parts separated from dark-green parts), finely chopped

1 ½ cups fresh orange juice plus zest from 1 orange

3 tablespoons honey

Zest from 1 lemon and 1 lime


Place ribs, ½ cup soy sauce, 3 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp. cumin seeds, and 1 tsp. red pepper flakes in a large pot; add water to cover completely. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Cover with lid ajar; cook until ribs are tender, about 2 hours. Drain ribs; set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat; add remaining 3 tsp. cumin seeds and 2 tsp. red pepper flakes. Toast lightly until fragrant, about 30 seconds; add remaining 6 minced garlic cloves and white and pale-green scallions. Sauté until just soft, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup soy sauce, orange juice, and honey. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce is thick, 12–15 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place ribs on prepared sheet; brush with sauce. Broil until sauce bubbles, 2–3 minutes. Turn, brush with additional sauce, and broil until ribs are heated through and sauce is bubbling, 2–3 minutes longer. Transfer to a platter. Drizzle with remaining sauce. Sprinkle dark-green scallions and citrus zest over. Serves 4-6.

From the January 2012 issue of Bon Appetit