This dish is one of those fusion dishes that Danny comes up with while he’s thinking of what to eat late at night. I usually have some hesitation before making some of his concoctions, but for the most part they turn out really good! I guess that’s what makes us a good team.
When we go visit my parents, the hubby always has a special requests for these ribs too. Something about the salty, garlicky crispness just makes them irresistible. One of the reasons I started this blog was to have my family’s recipes documented. As with most of us, when my family cooks, they just eyeball the ingredients. Now I have long-time family recipes documented for future generations to enjoy.
When my mom makes these ribs she uses riblets or has the butcher cut the ribs up. I used baby back ribs and didn’t want to mess with cutting the ribs up. I simply sliced them to separate the ribs. It’s best if you can marinate the ribs overnight. The flavor will be bolder and you’ll have a nice crust on them. The marinade can be made in a food processor or the traditional way is to pound it in a mortar. To bake the ribs, I placed them on their side on a wire rack, then tuned each rib over half way through. Bake at 350 degrees for about hour and a half. Placing them on a wire rack and baking sheet which allows the fat to drip down and create a nice crispy crust on the ribs.
Danny grew up eating enselada de nopales or cactus salad. He lived his childhood in Guadalajara, so his family’s recipes are legit. There are some recipes that add queso fresco, but since his family made it without, we decided to do the same. Living in Arizona we have access to ingredients like cactus and the local Mexican markets usually have them. I went the easy route and got nopales that were already cut and needles removed. All that was needed was to rinse them and boil with salt, onion powder, and some cilantro stems for 30 min. Once the cactus is cooked, drain and chill in the refrigerator until cool. Then mix with chopped cilantro, onion, tomato, jalapeno, and some salt. Serve with hot tortillas to make tacos or with jasmine rice for a more Thai dish.
Thai Ribs With Cactus Salad
- 3 lbs Baby Back Ribs
For The Marinade:
- 5 Cloves Garlic
- 1/4 Cup Packed Chopped Cilantro with Stems
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 1 tbsp Golden Mountain Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Regular Soy Sauce
For the Cactus Salad:
- 1 Cup Prepared Chopped Cactus 1/4 tsp onion powder, a few cilantro stems, and salt to boil
- 1 Cup Chopped Tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro
- 1/4 Chopped Red Onion
- 1-2 Jalapenos Chopped
- Salt to taste
- Slice ribs to separate and place in a large bowl.
- To make the marinade, place garlic, cilantro with stems (this is where all the flavor is), and black pepper into a food processor and pulse until a paste is formed.
- In a bowl, mix paste with oyster sauce, and both soy sauces. Golden Mountain soy sauce is found in most Asian grocery stores. Maggie soy sauce can also be substituted.
- Pour marinade over ribs and stir to coat evenly.
- Place in refrigerator, preferable overnight.
- Bake ribs in a 350 degree oven on a wire rack with baking sheet. Place ribs on their side and turn over after 30 minutes.
- For the Cactus Salad, use prepared nopalitos. These have been cut up and needles removed.
- Rinse with water and place in pot with onion powder, salt, and Cilantro stems for flavor. Boil for 30 min or until cactus is tender.
- Drain cactus and remove cilantro stems. Place in refrigerator to cool.
- While cactus is cooling, chop remaining ingredients for the salad. Then mix everything together.