Home Cook and Avid Runner

Cherry-Smoked Vietnamese-Flavored Ribs

on October 6, 2015

smoked ribs

The weather is finally starting to break out here in Arizona, which means it is time to grill and smoke!  The funny part is back in Indiana, we would wait for the temps to warm up to be able to grill and smoke, but out here it is the opposite.  It is finally breaking under 100 degrees and I am starting to dive into grilling and smoking again since being outside for long periods of time has become more bearable.  I was so sad when we moved because I had to give up my smoker, but the grill we have now has proven even better for smoking.  The grill is able to hold at a constant temperature for several hours, which makes it ideal for smoking.  I have several Weber cookbooks and have always eyeballed this recipe.  It is totally worth the time.  We have never made a bad recipe out of the Weber books and this is no exception.  These were amazing!!! The marinade smells beyond incredible and the ribs come out perfectly tender and caramelized.  I kept the temperature at around 200 degrees throughout the smoking process.  These are great paired with a simple side salad. I am sure you could also bake them in the oven low and slow and then turn on the broiler to caramelize them if that was more convenient since the marinade stands up on its own.  But, I definitely think the cherry wood adds a sweet undertone to the recipe.  Enjoy!

Cherry-Smoked Vietnamese-Flavored Ribs


  • 1/4 cup Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 2 teaspoons grate lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 racks spareribs, preferable St. Louis cut
  • 3-4 fist size chunks of cherry wood
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish


In a small bowl mix together fish sauce, orange juice, 1/4 cup cilantro, brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, tamarind paste, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, and ginger to make the marinade.  Place ribs in an extra-large resealable plastic bag and pour in marinade. Seal bag and toss to coat ribs completely with marinade. Marinate in refrigerator overnight to 24 hours.

Remove ribs from refrigerator while preparing the smoker or grill. Fire up smoker or grill to 225°F, adding chunks of smoking wood chunks when at temperature. When the wood is ignited and producing smoke, place the ribs in smoker or grill meat side up, reserving marinade.  Pour reserved marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat and boil gently for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.

Smoke ribs until they have a slight bend when lifted from one end, about 5-6 hours for spare ribs, basting with marinade every hour after 2 hours of smoking.  Remove ribs from smoker, brush meat side with remaining marinade then grill meat side down over a hot grill or place in a heated broiler meat side-up until sauce caramelizes lightly. Let ribs cool for 5 to 10 minutes, garnish with fresh cilantro, and serve.



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