This recipe is adapted from Leela Punyaratabandhu's at shesimmers.com—I adjusted it to be made in your oven, the ribs baked instead of grilled. Mehkong, a Thai spirit, isn't readily available in the United States, so Leela, and we, use rum or whisky instead. Leela is the author of Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2014). —Justin Kennedy
4 to 6
slabs of meaty baby back ribs, weighing between 2½ to 3 pounds each
Cut each baby back rib slab in half for easy handling. Place them in a large mixing bowl.
Blend the rum, garlic, peppercorns, cilantro roots in a blender until smooth. Pour the mixture over the ribs.
Add the fish sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar to the ribs. Mix well, and then cover and chill 5 to 6 hours to overnight.
Bake the ribs, covered in foil, at 300°F degrees until the outside of the ribs look nicely caramelized and they're fork tender, approximately 2 hours. Then, uncover the ribs and adjust heat to 400°F, basting every couple of minutes, approximately 1 additional hour. (You can also grill over low coals until juices run clear when pricked with the tip of a knife.)
Cut into individual ribs. Serve with Thai sweet chili sauce.