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Pork spare ribs provide the perfect star protein to any meal, whether it be an outdoor barbecue during the hot summer months, or a warm oven-baked meal during the cold winters. Pork spare ribs also provide a slate for you to experiment with different flavors by marinating your meat in a wide range of liquids, herbs and spices before cooking.
Add a barbecue flavor to your pork spare ribs by either marinating your ribs in your favorite store-bought barbecue marinade or combining a few key ingredients at home for a homemade flavor. For example, combine spices such as cumin and chili powder with brown sugar, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, tomato paste, honey, soy sauce or garlic in a bowl with your ribs and let them sit overnight in the refrigerator before cooking them in the oven or throwing the ribs on the grill.
Asian Inspired Marinade
Asian-inspired rib marinades take basic essential Asian flavors and infuse them into the meat before cooking. You can create your own Asian-inspired marinades by combining ingredients like Chinese five-spice -- a mixture of Szechuan pepper, star anise, ground cloves, ground cinnamon and ground fennel seeds -- soy sauce, olive oil, ginger, garlic, rice wine or sake or chili flakes. Let the ribs marinate in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours to as long as overnight.
Spicy or Smoky Marinades
Pork spare ribs can also take on a spicy or smoky kick by including elements with heat in your marinade, such as spicy fresh or dried peppers. For example, you can turn up the heat of most any marinade by including ingredients like red pepper flakes, diced jalapeno, habanero, Anaheim or serrano peppers or a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce. Add some smoke through the addition of liquid smoke -- which should be used in great moderation as the flavor can quickly overwhelm your marinade -- along with cumin, dark beer, molasses or smoked spices like smoked paprika.
Citrus can also be used to introduce some acid and tang to your rib marinade, while providing a fresh flavor. The acid in citrus helps break down connective tissue in the meat, resulting in a more tender finished product. Combine ingredients like fresh squeezed lime, fresh finely chopped cilantro, jalapeno peppers for heat, olive oil, wine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Like the other marinade options, place in a sealed bag in your refrigerator overnight for cooking the next day.
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