Hoisinful Nine Dragon Chinese Ribs Recipe

Hoisinful Nine Dragon Chinese Ribs Recipe

By:

Meathead

Scallion and sesame seeds garnish ribs

In August 1972, I was 23 and a senior at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Don’t ask why it took me so long to get to be a senior. My best friend, Kurt Westfall, and I had just opened our first exhibit of photography, a two-man show, in Cedar Key, Florida. After the opening I felt like a rock star. I decided to go to the big city and make my fortune as an artist.

On the way back to Gainesville I picked up two hitchhikers who told me that they were making an unbelievable $3.75 an hour working on the assembly line at Ford’s Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan. I made a quick stop at my apartment, tossed my clothes and camera gear into the car, and drove them all the way to Detroit.

Hungry for more ribs recipes, tips, and techniques? Click here to download our ebook “Amazing Ribs Made Easy” $3.99 on Amazon (free Kindle app runs on all computers and devices). Or, get this book and others FREE as a member of the AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Club. Click here to join.

When we got to Dearborn, wouldn’t you know it, the factories were all shut down to re-tool from one model year to the next, as was customary in August. They knew, but conveniently forgot to tell me.

After a few months I went to Chicago to see an exhibit of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago by my mentor and inspiration, Jerry N. Uelsmann. After one look at Chicago I decided not to go back to Detroit. Chicago was so much more beautiful and the arts and food communities were so much more vital (OK, Detroiters, send me your hate mail). I got a job at Foremost Liquors in Skokie and rented a room upstairs in a woman’s home.

A few days after I started work I stopped at a Chinese restaurant, the Nine Dragon Inn. It was opening night and I was their first customer. Over the next few months I ate there often. I even kept a case of white wine in their walk-in cooler because they had no liquor license, and I hung around the kitchen watching them cook. I took friends, customers, and even my future wife there on our first date. The owners’ two young girls, Jean and Ada, found endless fascination in my beard, and played under the table while I ate. They called me something like toy-ya-ya, which I thought was a term of endearment, but I later found out meant “smelly feet”.

I loved everything they made at Nine Dragon, but I especially loved their grilled ribs. I have tried Chinese ribs many times since, but never found a restaurant that made them the same way. The owners later moved to the west coast, and I have lost track of them. So I was forced to try to replicate their Asian-style ribs recipe, and I’ve come pretty close while also adding a BBQ element by finishing them on the grill. Sadly, I have never come close to the affection I had for Jean and Ada. Hopefully some day they will Google Nine Dragon Inn and find this article, and me.

Hoisin Ribs Recipe


Scallion and sesame seeds garnish ribs
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
4.36 from 48 votes
Experience awesome Asian-style ribs with this recipe for Hoisinful Nine Dragon Chinese Ribs. Based on an amazing dish from a now defunct Chicago Chinese restaurant, they used meaty baby back ribs marinated before being finished on the grill for a sweet and smoky blast of flavor. You can make this from any cut of ribs you want.

Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Difficulty: Easy

Makes:

Servings: 3

Takes:

Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 4 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 slab ribs (any cut of ribs will do)
  • 1 cup of hoisinful marinade
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
About the ribs. If you are using spare ribs or St. Louis Cut ribs, add a bit more rice vinegar or orange juice as needed to coat everything. They will take about 20% longer to cook.
 

Method

  • Separate the white part from the green part of the scallions and slice them thin cross-wise to make tiny rings. Make the marinade.
  • Soak the rack of ribs in the marinade in a large plastic zipper bag (you may have to cut the slabs in half) for a minimum of 3 hours or better still, all day or overnight.
  • Reserving the marinade, roast the ribs in a grill or smoker set up for 2-zone cooking using indirect heat or over a pan of water, at 225°F for 5 hours. Skip the smoke. Let the marinade do the work. Paint both sides with the marinade every 30 minutes or so. You must stop painting about 30 minutes before serving to make sure the marinade does not contaminate the meat. During the last 30 minutes any bacteria that may be in the marinade will croak.
  • Place the slab meat side down over direct heat, grilling until it browns and sizzles. Watch it so it does not burn.
  • Remove from the grill and pour the honey lightly over the meat side and spread it around with a brush or spoon. Put it back on the direct zone, honey side down, for 5 minutes or until it bubbles. Don't let it burn.
  • Garnish with the scallions, orange zest, and sesame seeds. Cut into individual ribs and serve.

Indoor Method

  • Marinate as above.
  • Line a baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place the ribs in the pan and bake on the middle shelf in an indoor oven at 225°F for 5 hours, painting both sides with the marinade every 30 minutes or so. You must stop painting about 30 minutes before serving to make sure the marinade does not contaminate the meat. During the last 30 minutes any bacteria that may be in the marinade will croak.
  • Remove from the oven and pour the honey lightly over the meat side and spread it around with a brush or spoon. Switch the oven from bake to broil and put the meat back under the broiler for five minutes or until it bubbles.
  • Garnish with the scallions, orange zest, and sesame seeds. Cut into individual ribs and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 536mg | Potassium: 516mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 83IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2mg

Related articles

Published On: 4/12/2013 Last Modified: 4/8/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


The Undisputed Champion!


 
The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is considered by the pros, and our team, to be the single best instant read thermometer. The MK4 includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight and rotating display. Don’t accept cheap substitutes.
Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review

Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?


The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal

Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here’s A Great Buy!

A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!
Click here to read our complete review

The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker

Griddle And Deep Fryer In One


The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone’s Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all!

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone


GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily rmoved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special