Hye Thyme Cafe: Cheriyaki Sticky Ribs

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cheriyaki Sticky Ribs

One night last week, everyone settled on BBQ for dinner. There was going to be a brisket going on in one oven, so I decided to try ribs in the other. Someone else usually handles the BBQ, so when I make short ribs, I always braise them, but the guys like "sticky" ribs every once in a while. That's where they get slathered in BBQ sauce and slow roasted until they are tender and the sauce has reduced to the point where it's sticky. I decided that since the BBQ "sauce" was already covered, and it was going on a brisket this time rather than on ribs or chicken, I would take the opportunity to try out that bottle of Cheriyaki that taunts me every time I walk into a particular market.

I think it's the bottle. Every time I round the corner from the produce department, there is a wall of spices and marinades. In a mass of brown, white, and orange labels, the pink label on the Cheriyaki jumps out at me every time.  

I didn't realize I never took a shot of them plated. We had a late arrival for dinner that night, so we were keeping everything warm and then whipped everything out when he got there, so I forgot. I was more concerned with whether they would still be edible after sitting for so long.  :(

Beef short ribs
Smoked salt
Chili powder
Black pepper
Cheriyaki sauce/marinade
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive oil
Minced garlic with red peppers
Red wine

I started by patting the ribs dry, then rubbing them (all around) with smoked salt, chili powder, and black pepper. Those flavors didn't really come through for me, so no sweat if you don't have any smoked salt and chili powder. I had received the salt as a sample a while back and was told to use it very sparingly because it is so strong. I heeded that warning the first time I used it and was surprised that it didn't shine through, so I thought I was pretty generous with it this time around. I guess not.  Maybe I should try finishing an item with it rather than adding it up front? Anyone got any experience with smoked salt??

I poured a half cup of Cheriyaki sauce into a measuring cup and stirred in a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar. Then I heated a pan with olive oil and garlic and seared off the ribs on both sides.

I deglazed the pan with a splash of red wine. That was a bonehead move since we actually had a bottle of cherry juice in the fridge for some reason. That was a pretty random item to have in the fridge when I happened to be using a cherry-based marinade!

Then I slathered the ribs with the Cheriyaki and popped them in the oven, covered, at 325.

I opened the cover to take a peek in about 45" and realized that between the wine, the sauce heating and running into the wine, and the juices the ribs were giving off, there was more liquid in the pan than I had anticipated, so I poured it off into a small pot to reduce later as a sauce.   

After an hour and a half, I flipped the ribs, slathered them with more sauce and popped them back in the oven - still covered.

From looking online at other recipes, I had anticipated having them in for about 2 1/2 hrs, 2 covered and the last half hour uncovered.

Because we ended up pushing dinner until later in the evening, they actually spent about 4 hours in the oven but were still tender and delicious. I was shocked -- and very happy! I had taken the cover off for the last half hour as planned, but when I found out we wouldn't be eating until later, I poured the drippings I had removed from the pan earlier over everything, swished them around until they were all well coated, put the top back on and lowered the temp to 275.

 They were tender and tasty, but to be honest, the next time I want to play with Cheriyaki, I'll probably do something homemade. It's not that the one I used wasn't good, but after reading the label, I'm thinking I could pretty easily accomplish the same thing in a healthier version. At least now I know we like beef/cherry together. I've been curious about that for a while now. 

Because we had meat and more meat going on, we opted to skip the usual sides and go with something a little lighter. That's the night I made the Barley Salad with Cranberry Beans.  Happily, the brisket, ribs, and barley salad were all a hit.


  1. They look great...never heard of Cheriyaki.

  2. I had heard of it a few years ago and kept thinking about trying it with pork or chicken but never got around to it until now. Had I tried it earlier in the season, I definitely would have done a homemade version while cherries were at their peak.


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