There are those who prefer their ribs unadorned, sauceless, to let through the pure flavors of meat and smoke. Others like their meat and bones drenched in stuff. The sometimes fiery, sometimes vinegary, sometimes sweet or mustardy sauces are considered essential to rib-eating. Of course, even the best sauceless ribs may need a little marinade or spice rub to coax the pork or beef or lamb into fulfilling its potential. Here is a sampling of sauces and marinades from around the world that show there’s no one way to dress a rib.
Patak’s Tandoori Paste, tandoori flavorings, suitable for Mitula’s Indian Ribs (H10). Available at Bharat Bazaar, Culver City; 11 ounces/$2.99.
Lee Kum Kee Spare Rib Sauce, extremely sweet and rich, reminiscent of Chinese plum sauce. Available at 99 Ranch Market, Chinatown; 14 ounces/$1.59.
Teri Sauce, unusually sweet teriyaki sauce with strong molasses aroma. Distributed by Mutual Trading Co.; available at Modern Food Market, Little Tokyo; 8 ounces/$1.99.
Ebara Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce (ginger flavor), exotic ginger spiciness. Available at Modern Food Market, Little Tokyo; 14.4 ounces/$2.39.
Wei-Chuan Szechuan Sauce, China. Somewhat sweet sauce based on bean sauce, attractive mole poblano- like aroma. Available by mail order through Mo Hotta Mo Betta, (800) 462-3220; 8 ounces/$3.75.
Thep Padung Porn Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (For Chicken), Thailand. Strong chile-pepper fragrance, very sweet, suitable for marinade or sauce. Available by mail order through Mo Hotta Mo Betta, (800) 462-3220; 10 ounces/$3.75.
JCS Jamaican Country Style Boston Jerk Seasoning, Jamaica. Rough herbal aroma, very hot, for rubbing on meat several hours before cooking. Available by mail order through Mo Hotta Mo Betta, (800) 462-3220; 10 ounces/$6.25.
Maurice’s Gourmet Mustard-Based Barbecue Sauce, South Carolina-style. Strong mustard flavor, slightly sweet. Available by mail order through Spectacular Sauces, (800) 999-4949; 16 ounces/$4.39.