• For the marinade
  • 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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.