These baby back ribs allow you to enjoy the sweet, savory, tangy magic of Filipino pork BBQ even without an outdoor grill.
Banana ketchup forms the base of the sticky red marinade, with soy sauce and calamansi juice to round out the sweetness. No skewers here—just paint the sauce over the ribs, bake low and slow until the meat becomes tender, then broil to caramelize the glaze. Serve with leftover BBQ sauce or, as you would with the skewered original, a vinegar-based sawsawan.
Pinoy BBQ Sauce
- ½ cup banana ketchup
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- ⅛ cup calamansi juice
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced; or 1 ½ tbsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
Baby Back Ribs
- 1 kg baby back pork ribs
- salt and pepper
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 275°F (135°C), with the oven rack at the center.
Make BBQ sauce: Combine all ingredients for the Pinoy BBQ sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine. Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer sauce until thickened and sugar has fully dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Remove rib membrane: Lay a piece of foil over a baking sheet. Place ribs on top, bones side up. Locate the thin membrane covering the bones of the ribs—this can be tough when cooked, and needs to be removed.
Gently slide the blade of a paring knife under the membrane, then, using your fingers, pull the membrane away from the bones. If the membrane is too slippery or difficult to remove, use a kitchen towel to take hold of it, pull, and discard.
Brush with sauce: With the membrane removed, season the ribs with salt and pepper. Using a silicone brush, paint about ¼ cup of the sauce all over the ribs until fully coated. Flip meat side up, season with salt and pepper, and paint with sauce again. You should have some sauce left over; set it aside.
Bake: Tightly wrap the ribs with the foil to cover—you can add another piece of foil on top if needed. Transfer covered ribs to the oven and roast until the meat starts to fall off the bone, about 2 ½ hours.
Broil: Remove ribs from the oven. Increase heat to 400°F or 204°C, then change the setting to Broil; we want just the top heating element of the oven on. Move the oven rack to the highest position.
Open up the foil to expose the meat side of the ribs. Generously brush remaining sauce over the ribs. Transfer ribs to the oven and broil, meat exposed, for 3 minutes. Remove from the oven, add another coat of sauce, then broil again until sauce is caramelized and sticky, 4 more minutes. Serve hot.
Selina: "I never need more than 2 ½ hours, but it is possible for the baking time to go up to 3 ½ hours. This could be a function of the oven not holding the heat. Aim for fall-off-the-bone meat!"