Are you craving Asian food? How can you not? That sweet and tangy flavor that is so unique to this type of cuisine is called “umami.” Umami is the Japanese word for “savory,” which is one of the five universal human tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, and sour.

If you love the taste of teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce, to name a few, then you are in for a treat. This recipe calls for succulent ribs, thick, tangy sauce, and just the right amount of salty and sweet.

This Asian BBQ recipe can be altered to make it more spicy or tangy. The following basic steps will help you get your first batch of perfectly cooked and seasoned meat in that delicious flavor you love so much.

Ingredients: (6 to 8 servings)

The meat:
8 pounds chopped pork baby back ribs. These pieces are known as “riblets”
¼ cup adobo or soul seasoning

The sauce:

1 ¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup hoisin sauce
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup teriyaki sauce
⅕ cup rice vinegar
Chopped green onions *to taste*
1 tbsp crushed ginger
¼ cup cornstarch

Alternatives to change flavor

To make the meat sweeter: Add ¼ cup peach preserves to the sauce mix.
To make the meat more savory: Double up the amount of hoisin sauce.
To make the meat spicier: Add more ginger and ¼ cup hot pepper flakes, or chili paste.


Meat thermometer
Charcoal or electric grill
Mixing bowl and whisk
Serving tray
Aluminum foil or plastic wrap
Clean area for seasoning and handling raw meat


Preparing the meat and sauce:

Wash the meat, and set them in a clean surface for seasoning. Pat dry them.
Sprinkle adobo all over the meat. Cover the entire area like you would with salt.
Place the meat in a serving tray, wrap the meat with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and put the meat in the refrigerator while you make the sauce.

The sauce

In a bowl, first add the dry ingredients that will make the sauce: brown sugar, cornstarch, green onions. Mix them and blend them together.
Slowly incorporate the liquid ingredients, once by one, including the crushed ginger.
Whisk everything together until the ginger starts to dissolve in the liquids.
Refrigerate the sauce by covering the bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and take the meat for cooking.

II. The grill:

-The optimal temperature for the grill is no more than 300 degrees.
-Cook the ribs facing down, or with the meatiest part facing the heat.
-Remove them when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the meat cooks

-Bring the ingredients of the sauce to a boil, whisking and stirring for the cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
-Bring the sauce to low heat and simmer, removing the sauce from heat if the meat still has a lot of minutes to go.

After the meat cooks

-Get a clean mixing bowl and add the meat.
-You can also use a large gallon zip freezer bag to add part of the riblets and the sauce
-Mix the sauce and riblets together. If they are in the bag, zip the bag and shake it vigorously to coat the riblets very well.

If you want to add a touch of extra Asian BBQ, sprinkle the riblets with a small dash of sesame seeds. Other choices are roasted pineapple slices, or red pepper flakes.

These delicious riblets go well with a fresh side dish that does not overpower the flavor of the umami taste. These side dishes include: house salad, roasted veggies, water chestnuts, and even white rice. You can also include roasted potatoes, oven-baked fries, and other foods that are sufficiently bland to be delicious but not overpowering.

Do you have a favorite savory umami-tasting BBQ recipe? Be sure to sound off in the comments section and share your great ideas with us.

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