Barbecued gochujang pork ribs with pear, radish and peanut

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Pork ribs are delicious no matter how you cook them, but they're absolutely made for the barbecue, where they can roast gently, absorbing all that smokey flavour until the meat practically falls from the bone. These ribs are marinated and basted in a mix of Korean gochujang (red pepper) paste, soy, garlic and ginger, and served with a crisp salad of pear, radish, daikon and spring onion.

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First published in 2019

We love the sweet, salty flavours that come from combining meat and fruit; this recipe is inspired by one of the world's great examples of that – Korean beef and pear bulgogi. The marinade combines Korean red pepper paste (called gochujang) with grated pear and honey for sweetness and plenty of cider vinegar for acidity, creating what is effectively a Korean barbecue sauce.

Not only does the marinade keep the ribs moist as they cook, it also literally helps the meat to hold and absorb smoke over the course of 3–4 hours. The result? Moist, juicy ribs that are pretty tricky to stop eating. Good thing you can set up a rib rack in your barbecue and cook six racks at a time.

A sprinkle of roasted peanuts finishes things off nicely – we like to roast our peanuts in the barbecue as it's preheating for a bit of extra flavour!





Pear salad

To serve


Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade, and cover the ribs in it thoroughly. Leave the ribs to marinate overnight in the fridge, or for at least an hour
Set up your barbecue – preheat the barbecue to 160ºC and install the heat deflectors at the bottom, with the cooking grates over the top and your rib rack on top
Remove the ribs from the marinade and wipe off any excess. Stack them in the rib rack, baste with the excess marinade and close the lid. Slow cook the pork ribs for the next 3–4 hours, brushing them regularly with the marinade
When the ribs are done the meat should tear easily from the bone. Remove them from the barbecue, and rest them under a sheet of tin foil for 15 minutes
Meanwhile, make your salad. Take the daikon, radish, spring onion greens and pear and dunk them into ice water for a couple of minutes to crisp them up, then drain
Mix the peanut oil and rice wine vinegar to make a light dressing. Season to taste, and toss with your salad
Slice the ribs up into portions and plate with the salad. Finish with a sprinkle of roasted peanuts and some coriander leaves

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