For many years Azeka's market in Maui sold the most amazing ribs, Korean kalbi style. They would hand you a plastic bag with ribs, soaking in a tangy, sweet sauce. Finally, in an old Maui cookbook, I found an "alleged" recipe from the market, which has sadly closed. I played around with the recipe and tried them out on my family who used lived on Maui with great success. The secret is in the grated pear and long marinating time. It tenderizes the meat and the pear adds a subtle flavor. These ribs are truly special and I'm happy to be able to attempt to recreate them! —Leith Devine
Make the marinade: In a large bowl or plastic bag, mix together dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, and grated pear. The pear tenderizes the ribs and adds some sweetness. Add brown sugar and mix until dissolved. Add garlic, ginger, sesame seeds and half of the chopped green onions, and then add ribs or pour over if using a bowl. I like using freezer style zip top bags because they're sturdy and can be easily turned while marinating.
Marinate as long as possible! I like making the marinade on Friday and cooking the ribs on Sunday. Try for at least 6-8 hours minimum.
Cook ribs over a medium grill for approximately 4 minutes per side. Don't overcook! These ribs are thin and cook fast. They can still be pink inside.
Toast sesame seeds in a small frying pan until brown. Watch carefully, they can go from brown to burnt quickly.
Boil the marinade and serve the ribs, sprinkled with remaining green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Boil any remaining marinade to serve on the side for white rice.
Best served with sound of waves in the background!