Santa Fe chef David Sellers took advantage of the pandemic’s downtime to perfect recipes for his new Italian gastropub, Horno, opening this spring. He also hosted pop-up dinners, one of which featured this dish. He often serves it with a sunny-side-up egg.
2 racks baby back pork ribs
Salt and pepper
KOREAN BBQ SAUCE
1 cup gochujang fermented chile paste (available in Asian markets and some grocery stores)
1½ cups sugar
1 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
KIMCHI FRIED RICE
2 cups jasmine rice
¼ cup sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 Thai chiles, stemmed and chopped
1 bunch scallions, finely sliced, green and white parts
1 cup kimchi, chopped and drained (reserve liquid)
4 eggs, lightly beaten in a bowl
½ bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
½ cup Thai basil, stemmed and chopped
¼ cup soy sauce
Season the ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Set up a roasting pan with a rack and about ½ inch of water. Place ribs on rack and roast in a 325° oven for 2½ hours or until almost tender, basting at the 90-minute mark (see next step).
While they roast, stir together the gochujang, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Whisk vigorously until smooth. (This will make more sauce than you need, but it will keep indefinitely in the fridge and makes a great condiment.) When the ribs have been in the oven for 1½ hours, remove them, brush both sides with some of the sauce, then return to the oven.
Place 3 cups water in a medium saucepan, stir in rice, cover, bring to a simmer, and cook on low heat until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. The rice should be just slightly undercooked. (I don’t recommend using a rice cooker for this.) Spread out onto a cookie sheet and allow to cool.
When the ribs are about ready, heat a grill to medium-high. Brush the ribs liberally with more sauce and cook on the grill for 10–12 minutes per side. Allow the sauce to caramelize, but take care not to burn it. Glaze with more sauce if necessary.
In a large sauté pan, heat the sesame oil and vegetable oil on high until they start to shimmer. Add ginger, garlic, Thai chiles, and scallions. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly and being careful not to burn. Add the chopped kimchi and cook for 2 minutes more.
Turn heat down to medium and add the cooked rice and eggs, stirring to incorporate. Cook for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Add cilantro, basil, reserved kimchi juice, and soy sauce. Cook for 2 minutes more.
Portion the ribs and serve with the fried rice and extra sauce on the side.