Lamb Ribs with Garlic, Ginger, Lemon & Soy Sauce Baste

from Smoking Foods

Because lamb ribs can be very fatty, I use a tart and salty rub and basting mixture to cut the richness.  The flavors of soy sauce, garlic, ginger and lemon juice help balance the dish but don’t mask the flavor of the lamb.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Smoker temp: 235F/115C

Smoke time: 4 to 5 hours

Wood suggestions: oak or hickory


¼ cup freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup molasses

12 garlic cloves, minced

5 tbsp olive oil, divided

4 tbsp soy sauce, divided

4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided

1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves

2 tsp minced ginger, divided

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp kosher salt

8 racks of lamb ribs (about 12 to 16 oz (340 to 450g) each), silver skin, sinew and fat trimmed

1 tsp sambal oelek (red chili sauce)

1 green onion, minced


In a medium bowl, combine the black pepper, molasses, garlic, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, rosemary, 1 teaspoon of ginger, red pepper flakes, and salt. Mix until well combined. Rub this mixture all over the ribs. Place the racks in a large container and cover. Refrigerate for 24 hours, turning and spooning pooled liquids over the ribs every couple of hours.

Preheat the smoker to 235F (115C) with a moist humidity level. Use oak or hickory wood.

Evenly space the ribs on a smoker rack. Place the rack in the smoker and smoke the ribs until the bones move fairly freely, about 3 hours.

Transfer the ribs to a heatproof work surface. Brush the ribs all over with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Tightly wrap the ribs in two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Return the smoker rack to the smoker and continue to smoke until the bones pull away cleanly from the meat, about 2 hours more. Remove the rack from the smoker and allow the ribs to cool slightly.

Preheat the grill to 350 to 400F (180C to 205C). Cut the rib racks into 2- to 3-bone portions.

In a medium bowl, combine the sambal oelek, green onion, the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of ginger. Mix until well combined.

Place the ribs on the grill and cook until lightly charred and heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Baste once or twice per side with the green onion mixture.

Remove the ribs from the grill and serve immediately.

Recipe Note: Lamb ribs can be quite fatty and that can cause flare-ups during grilling. You can prevent these by searing the ribs over high heat and then finishing and basting them over indirect heat until they’re caramelized rather than scorched.

Nada’s Tips and Tricks: Since I’m in the only one in the family that likes lamb, I made a small rack for myself and the rest of the family got pork ribs.  The marinade and basting sauce worked well with both meats. We don’t have a smoker so I used Ted’s recommendations on getting the same affect on the barbecue – worked great!

Contents and images used with permission by Ted Reader, Smoking Foods.