Out of the Fire: Mei Lin’s Vintage Cola BBQ Sauce Char Siu Ribs & Braised Greens
Mei Lin BBQ Eats & Drinks
Our OLIPOP BBQ meal was proof of Mei's style, as she crafted Siu Pork Ribs prepared with a BBQ sauce inspired by her Chinese roots and infused with OLIPOP Vintage Cola. The combination of Char Siu, a popular method of flavoring and preparing barbecued pork in Cantonese cuisine, with pork ribs, the cut of meat most commonly associated with American BBQ, Mei successfully fused her heritage into one delicious meal.
Vintage Cola BBQ Sauce
While preparing for the OLIPOP BBQ, we watched in awe as Mei spent hours preparing pristine racks of ribs for the smoker and reducing her soy, hoisin, oyster sauce, honey, and ginger based BBQ glaze from scratch. Selecting Olipop’s Vintage Cola as an ingredient for the sauce, Mei explained it would add just the right amount of sweetness without overwhelming or overpowering the other flavors. Therefore, she could fine-tune her flavor's precision. Knowing no BBQ is complete without equally delicious side dishes, Mei perfectly rounded out her Cantonese-American BBQ. Fresh, sweet, heirloom tomatoes lightly drizzled in a nutty sesame dressing; umami-laden ten-year Doubanjiang braised beans were a beautiful spicy-salty contrast to the sweetness of the ribs and tomatoes; and her Chinese-style braised greens provided a garlicky, vinegary addition, creating a nice balance between the other dishes on the table.
Mei Lin’s BBQ OLIPOP Cocktails
For beverages, Mei paired her delicious meal with her namesake Union Wine blend. In addition, she created a refreshing OLIPOP Ginger Lemon Elderflower cocktail with vodka for guests to sip on before and during the meal.
Mei Lin’s BBQ Recipes
Char Siu BBQ RIBS
- 2 cup Lee Kum Kee Premium Soy
- 2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 cup oyster sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 12 cloves garlic
- 4 in piece Ginger
- 12 cubes fermented red bean curd
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 4 cans of Olipop Vintage Cola - ** reduced to syrup**
- 4 tbsp ground white pepper
- 4 tbsp ground black pepper
- 8 tbsp kosher salt
Add all sauce ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until ingredients become smooth.
Pour ingredients into a tall saucepan and reduce by half.
Reserve for glazing ribs
Clean up and cut out any excess fat.
Season the ribs with the seasoning mix.
Wrap the Ribs well around with a plastic wrap. Then wrap in aluminum foil.
Bake the ribs for 1-2 hours depending on size. The larger the ribs, the longer you should bake.
It is imperative to let the ribs rest in its own juices before finishing it off in the grill. Rest for at least 30 minutes until it has cooled.
In the meantime, start up your grill. Once the grill has come up to temp (425*) place your ribs on the grill. You can then start glazing your ribs with the reduced sauce at least twice. Rest.
If you can’t achieve as much char with your grill, or maybe don’t want to use a grill, you can use the broiler in your oven. Watch it closely as it can burn very fast because of the sugar content. Once it starts to char, pull it out and glaze again and put back in the oven and let it do its thing for a minute or so. Glaze with as many layers as you like.
Rest. And Slice. Season sliced side with flakey salt.
Feeds 4-6 ppl
- 2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 jalapeños, sliced thin (for less heat, cut out the ribs & seeds)
- 6 bunches collard greens (no ribs, 2 in squares)
- 3 bunches red kale (no ribs, 2 in squares)
- 2 bunches black kale (no ribs, 2 in squares)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp kosher salt, or as needed
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 quarts, chicken stock or water
- 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup habanero tabasco or regular tabasco
- 2 cups fried garlic
Heat oil in a dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add onions and jalapeños and sweat them until translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add greens and fry until they start to wilt.
Pour in stock or water, and then proceed to season with sugar, salt, pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender. Season with fried garlic, Worcestershire sauce, habanero tabasco, and apple cider vinegar.
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