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Memorial Day tradition calls for lighting up the grill. But there's no rule that says you have to stick to hot dogs and hamburgers.

In a bid to up our game before hosting the annual backyard barbecue, we asked some of the Bay Area's best open flame experts to share their favorite recipes for grilling. Here Ayesha Curry (International Smoke), Ryan Farr (4505 Burgers and BBQ), Robbie Wilson (Bird Dog), and Arun Gupta (Dosa) share four dishes (meat, veg, and even fruit!) that promise a mouthwatering and eclectic feast.


International Smoke's Korean-Style Barbecue Ribs

(Brandon Tran)

Love Korean-style barbecue and Ayesha Curry? These ribs are gonna be your jam.

"We dry-marinate the ribs for 12 hours, and this marinade produces a great sticky bark when the ribs are cooked," Curry says. To prepare this recipe successfully, she reminds readers to "...budget time to cook on two separate days in order to maximize flavor with the overnight marinating process."

// International Smoke, 301 Mission St. (SoMa), internationalsmoke.com

You will need:

  • Korean-style dry rub (recipe below)
  • Korean-style wet rib glaze
  • Fresh baby-back pork ribs

Korean-style dry rib rub:

  • 2 tbsp gochugaru - Korean chili flake
  • ½ tbsp toasted sesame seed, white, ground in blender
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp onion powder

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to completely combine. Set aside.

Korean-style wet rib glaze:

  • 3 tbsp garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh scallions, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/16 cups ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup gochujang chili paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sugar, granulated white
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp peanut or grapeseed oil

Pulse scallions, garlic, and ginger in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add scallions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring often, until softened, and starting to stick to bottom of pan, about 4 minutes. Add gochujang, white sugar, brown sugar, soy sauce, and sesame seeds and stir until smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often to prevent scorching, until thick, 5 - 10 minutes. Remove sauce from heat; season with salt. Transfer mixture to a food processor (preferably a Vitamix blender) and blend until fully incorporated and smooth. Transfer to heat-safe storage container. Set aside.

Ribs preparation:

  • 2 racks fresh baby back pork ribs (about 2 pounds each), trimmed, thoroughly patted dry
  • 1 tbsp Hawaiian red salt to finish
  • ¼ cup scallion slices

Method:

  1. Rub ribs with the wet glaze and dust with Korean dry rib rub spice mix.
  2. Let stand on a cooling rack on sheet pans, uncovered, on the top shelf of the refrigerator until the next day.
  3. The following day, to cook your ribs to tenderness, you'll need to use indirect heat on your grill. If you're using a charcoal grill, heat your chimney of coals and then empty them all onto one side; if you're using a gas grill, turn up the burner on only one side. Place the ribs on the opposite side, over indirect heat, so they can cook low and slow. The goal is for the closed grill to maintain a temperature of 250 degrees. Forget about them for 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Remove from the smoker and baste with part of the Korean-style wet rib glaze. Rest for 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. To serve, cut into portions and re-brush with more wet glaze.
  6. To garnish, sprinkle red salt, sesame seeds, and scallions on the ribs prior to plating.

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