Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pork Ribs with Coca Cola and Strawberry Jam

Pork Ribs with Coca Cola and Strawberry Jam 1

Three years ago, when I moved closer to family, my oldest uncle knocked on my door bearing two full racks of pork ribs. They were on sale, he said and advised me to split them up to store in the freezer. I made Kalbi (Korean Ribs) and Char Siu/Xa Xiu (Chinese/Vietnamese Barbecued Pork) with them.

Two years ago, around the same time, he came knocking on my door again with another rack of ribs. Since I had already made and blogged two rib recipes, I wanted to come up with something special to go along with the image of my uncle on my doorstep gifting me with racks of ribs.

I just played around in my kitchen, adding in ingredients that I thought would go well together. Using soft drinks on my ribs is nothing new. In fact, this recipe preceded lil' sis's best friend's Chinese Coca Cola and Soy Sauce Spare Ribs by several years. The carbonation in soda helps tenderize the meat, and the sugars give it a nice glaze. The addition of strawberry jam was my variation from remembering a Saveur Magazine barbecue recipe long ago that included blackberry jam.

If you're not drooling looking at the photo below, then you're made of sterner stuff than I am.

Pork Ribs with Coca Cola and Strawberry Jam 2

But, before I could blog the recipe, my oldest uncle was in the hospital for more than two months. I could have blogged the recipe without mentioning his hospital stay, but somehow that never seemed right. Blogging the recipe without mentioning that he gave me the ribs was unthinkable as well. Some recipes, they just languish in the queue because of reasons only known to me.

I like baking ribs. You can finish on the grill, but baking them first makes them fall-apart tender and gives them a nice glaze.

I've made this recipe several times since these photographs were taken. Even took pictures with the nicer camera. But, for many reasons, I still like the simplicity of these old photos best. These ribs were given and made from the heart, no fancy camera or special styling needed.

Pork Ribs with Coca Cola and Strawberry Jam 3

Pork Ribs with Coca Cola and Strawberry Jam

For 2 lbs of ribs, you'll need:
2 lbs pork ribs
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1 cup Coca Cola
2 tsp salt
2 tblsp honey
2 tblsp ketchup
2 tblsp soy sauce
2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce, or more according to desired spiciness
2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp liquid smoke or smoky mesquite marinade

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and slather it all over the ribs.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, meaty side down.

Pork Ribs with Coca Cola and Strawberry Jam 4

Then flip the ribs and bake for another 20 minutes. Broil for about 5 minutes at the end if you'd like the meat to have a slight char.

Pork Ribs with Coca Cola and Strawberry Jam 5

Remove the ribs from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes to let the juices redistribute.

Try not to appear like Fred Flintstone when you can finally attack the ribs. :)

Pork Ribs with Coca Cola and Strawberry Jam 6


Some of my other rib recipes:
Char Siu/Xa Xiu (Chinese/Vietnamese Barbecued Pork)
Chinese Coca Cola and Soy Sauce Spare Ribs
Chinese Five-Spice and Honey Ribs
Kalbi (Korean Ribs)
Pork Ribs with Korean Gochujang and Indonesian Kecap Manis

1 year ago today, Pomegranates.
2 years ago today, Pineapple Fried Rice.
3 years ago today, Light Town House Korean BBQ - Garden Grove (Korean Business District).


  1. These sound (and look) fantastic!

  2. hi wc - that sounds like a great combination! i remember making something once (out of desperation) using grape jam as the sweetener. i would love to try this recipe this week - my daughter loves ribs. the only thing is i don't have one ingredient - the liquid smoke. would it taste just as good without it?

  3. Pam,

    Ah, I meant to make the liquid smoke optional. It'll taste just fine without. It's faux, but adds a nice smokiness to the ribs. I just happened to have some on hand, that my mom had left behind, when I was making this long ago.

  4. Looks great! I have yet to try the Coca Cola and Soy Sauce ribs but that's on my list. This one looks just as yummy!

  5. hi wc - thanks re: liquid smoke advice....

  6. feel inspired to make ribs after seeing your beautiful plate. always wanted to marinade meat with coke/sprite but still in my to-do list hehe

  7. Kitty,
    The Coke and soy sauce ribs are pretty popular. Probably because they're so quick and easy.

    You can find liquid smoke at most grocery stores? It does add that nice something extra.

    The trick is to not use too much or else all the sugars in the soft drinks will make the food overly sweet as it cooks down.

  8. hi tc - i just made the ribs today (sat 9/4) and they came out great! the hard part was waiting 15 minutes before cutting the rib slab daughter loved them. i think i'll make more this weekend - and add more sriracha sauce. maybe even spicy banana ketchup (jufran) instead of regular ketchup.

  9. Made these ribs today and the fam loved them! Thanks!

  10. CC,
    That was fast. Haha. Trust me. Wait 15 minutes and the ribs will be juicy the whole time. Don't wait and they'll be dry by the time you get to the last one.

    Thanks for trying my recipe so quickly!

  11. Made the cola and Soy sauce ribs and loved them.
    Looking forward to trying this --looks yummy!
    Do you think this could be adapted for chicken?

  12. Made your ribs tonight and absolutely loved the flavour. Australian pork ribs aren't anywhere near as meaty as the ones in your picture though!

  13. Saluki,
    So glad you liked the recipe. I don't see why not? Try it and let me know if it works out. Maybe use it as a marinade and put the chicken on the grill?

    So glad you liked it! Hmm. I guess we just like everything bigger in America. :P


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