Recipe: Tamarind Babyback Ribs

Recipe: Tamarind Babyback Ribs



Serves 4

Duskie Estes is not only one of our favorite chefs, but one of our favorite people. She has been a warrior for ethical sourcing, family farms, and sustainability for decades. After running her famous Zazu Kitchen restaurant in west Sonoma County for 18 years, she left the restaurant industry to focus on food security as the pandemic was setting in. She is currently the Executive Director of Farm to Pantry, an incredible organization that rescues all kinds of produce and food grown in Sonoma County that would otherwise go to waste, gleans it, and delivers it to people in need. In 2021, they rescued over 350,000 pounds of produce! Everybody wins. She and her husband, John Stewart, also own the Black Pig Meat Co. with heritage pigs, raised sustainably on family farms. Their bacon is famously dry cured for up to 21 days. Duskie and John always do it right. Our Gap’s Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir is lively and intense is a perfect match for Tamarind Babyback Ribs from Duskie’s kitchen and we are honored to share this delicious recipe with you!




  • 2 racks babyback ribs (about 5 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon 5 spice
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled & sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 star anise
  • 1/4 cup tamarind paste or concentrate
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste (like sambal olek)

Cucumber Salad:

  • 1 english cucumber, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • kosher salt to taste


Preheat oven to 350. Generously sprinkle ribs with sugar, salt, and 5 spice. Place ribs in a baking dish. In a sauté pan with oil on medium heat, sauté the onions, 2 teaspoons of the ginger, and garlic about 5 minutes until fragrant. Add to ribs. Add star anise. Pour in water just to cover pork and cover with foil. Place in oven. Braise until tender and meat is pulling away from the bones, about 2 hours. Meanwhile make the glaze. Combine tamarind, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, chili paste, orange juice and simmer until thickness of maple syrup. To make the cucumber salad, in a small bowl, combine the cucumbers, sesame seeds, ginger, and vinegar. Season to taste with salt. Preheat a grill or broiler. Cut the ribs to create 2 rib pieces. Dip each into glaze, and broil or grill to char in spots. Plate on top of sesame cucumbers and drizzle with extra glaze.