I say Hoisin barbecue sauce calls for Hoisin ribs! I couldn't think of another way I'd rather use this sauce than paring it with some meaty, smoky St. Louis-cut pork ribs. Like any barbecue ribs though, first I had to consider the rub.
To complement to flavor profile of the sauce, the rub is comprised of brown sugar, salt, 5-spice powder, szechuan peppercorns, white pepper, and granulated garlic—continuing the Chinese-influence on the American barbecue standard.
I gave the ribs a liberal coating of the spice mixture, then smoked them as normal—that's at 225°F for about 6 hours—over cherry wood, slathering the racks in sauce during the last half hour of cooking.
They came out as beautiful as ever, but with a twist that's bound to surprise and delight. The sweet and salty hoisin went a long way in defining the overall rib, lending the primary Asian flavor. The rub was definitely present though, both enhancing the sweetness, while tempering it a little with the heat of two different peppers. The five-spice powder is as also worth noting, whose clove and cinnamon components stood out, even in a relatively small amount.
Altogether, these ribs were an excellent melding of two distinct cuisines, so much so that I want to keep up the exploration. Any suggestions on the next direction?
About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.