Vietnamese grilled pork ribs with shallot oil

A drum or bullet smoker is perfect for these, or you could use indirect heat in a kettle barbecue.

The marinade recipe is per rack of so you can just multiply that by however many racks of ribs you need to satisfy your hunger. Don’t forget you have a calculator on your phone if your math aint no good.


1 rack pork spare ribs (750 g – 1 kg)

1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, chopped finely

1 tablespoon caster sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon five spice powder

½ teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon light soy sauce

Sesame seeds and shallot oil (recipe follows) to serve

Sticky rice, green papaya pickle and fresh herbs to serve

Combine all ingredients except pork ribs to make marinade.

Rub marinade all over ribs and stash in the fridge for at least one hour, but 2 or 3 hours if possible.

Fire up your BBQ to 275 – 300 F (135 – 150 C). Add a lump of some kind of fruit wood. I had a bit of pecan.

Place ribs on grill bone side down, reserving any leftover marinade for basting.

Every 30 minutes flip the ribs and give them a little baste with any reserved marinade. If you don’t have any extra marinade you could use a little diluted apple juice or whatever feels right to you.

After 1 ½ – 2 hours the ribs should start to feel pretty good. A skewer should go through them pretty easily – not like the super tender version of BBQ ribs you’re probably used to – it still wants a little bit of bite to it. If you are not sure, you can cut a little piece from the small end of the ribs and give it the “imma gonna eat you” test of doneness.

Once they’re cooked you want to slice them up and get them onto the table. Splash a bit of shallot oil over them, maybe a few sesame seeds and then get them into your face.


½ bunch shallots, sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ teaspoon fish sauce

½ cup vegetable oil

Heat oil in a pot over low heat.

Once oil is war, add sliced shallots and garlic. Simmer for 3 – 4 minutes or until it starts to smell slightly like cooked onion.

Remove from heat and add fish sauce.

Allow to cool.

Remaining shallot oil will last in the fridge for at least a month. It is an absolute cracking dressing for chicken or rice too.

2 responses to “Vietnamese grilled pork ribs with shallot oil”

  1. Are you freaking kidding me? You are one sick cook. Adding to the todo list.

    cya soon Mate.

    p.s. Have you done a Thai Green Curry? I have only had it with seafood but Sue does not eat Seafood. A good bbq meat Thai Green Curry would be effing awesome.

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