Fantastic Mapo-Style Korean BBQ Pork Ribs Recipe With Grilled Asian Pears by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of KSCU 103.3 FM LIVE Food Talk Radio S.F. Bay Area

Pork Dinner Grilling
6 months ago
Fantastic Mapo-Style Korean BBQ Pork Ribs Recipe With Grilled Asian Pears

Mapo-gu in Seoul, Korea, is known for its hip vibe with quirky boutiques and late-night restaurants serving Korean BBQ with beer. Mapo is also a popular spicy Chinese dish made with tofu and braised in a spicy chili bean paste-based sauce. It originated from the Sichuan province known to have cuisine with striking bold flavors – full of spice. 

I love Korean BBQ and think this is a perfect combination of balancing the sweet BBQ of Korea and the bold spiciness from my other favorite cuisine, China’s Sichuan province.

Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 8 to 24 hours
Cook Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Total Time: 10 to 24 hours
Servings: 8 to 10



  • 2 racks pork ribs
  • 8 green onions, cut in 1-inch diagonal pieces
  • sesame seeds
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Mapo-Style Marinade

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Most ribs come vacuum-packed and can be sitting in liquid that you want to wash away. Run under cold water, pat dry, then peel off the shiny, white piece of membrane that sits on top of the bones. Cut each slab into two parts for more manageable handling. Salt and pepper generously on both sides, cover and set aside.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Blend until liquified and fragrant. Remove to a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Reserve 1 cup of the marinade in a sealed container for finishing at the grill.  
  3. Coat the ribs generously with the remaining marinade. Rest, covered, for 8 to 24 hours, turning them over midway. If you have access to a vacuum food sealer, this is a perfect time to use it.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 325’F degrees F. Remove the ribs from the marinade and discard any leftover liquid. Place ribs on a lined high-sided baking sheet and cover with foil. Cook the ribs for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turning over midway. Remove the foil tenting for the last 10 minutes of bake time. Once the foil tent is removed, this is your cue to fire up the outdoor grill, clean oil up to its rack.
  5. Remove the ribs from the oven, transfer them to the preheated grill and continue cooking over direct heat for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the ribs are slightly sticky, caramelized and charred. Continue to turn and baste both sides with the reserved jarred marinade during the last 10 minutes of grilling. Slightly oil the pear halves and on the hot side of the grill for the last 3 to 5 minutes before completing the ribs.
  6. Remove the ribs from the grill, sprinkle with sesame seeds, sliced green onions and cilantro. Cut the grilled pears into wedges and serve warm with the ribs.

Note: Never reuse the marinade once it has been sitting with raw meat. If there is any leftover, discard it.

Need help converting cooking and baking measurements? Here are some handy kitchen conversion charts.

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