Hector Rivera's Charcoalholics Spicy Coconut and Rum Ribs

Hector Rivera's Charcoalholics Spicy Coconut and Rum Ribs
Ardie A. Davis and Paul Kirk


For the slather

  • 1/2 Cup  prepared mustard
  • 1/4 Cup  coconut milk
  • 1/4 Cup  sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons  rice-wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons  curry paste
  • 1/4 Cup  chile sauce
  • 1/4 Cup  pineapple juice concentrate
  • 1 Tablespoon  canola oil
  • 1/4 Cup  dark rum

For the rub

  • 1/2 Cup  turbinado sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon  salt
  • 1/2 Cup  all-purpose seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons  five-spice powder
  • 1 Teaspoon  crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons  curry powder
  • 2 Teaspoons  paprika
  • 1/4 Cup  chili powder
  • 1/4 Cup  garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons  ground cumin

For the sauce

  • 1/2 Cup  chile sauce
  • 1/2 Cup  ketchup
  • 2/3 Cups  coconut milk
  • 2/3 Cups  Coco Lopez coconut cream
  • 3 Tablespoons  hot curry paste
  • 2 Tablespoons  barbecue rub
  • 1/2 Cup  pineapple concentrate
  • 2 Tablespoons  soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons  rice-wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons  Sriracha
  • 1/2 Cup  dark rum

For the ribs

  • slabs baby back ribs or spareribs, membrane removed, trimmed
  •   Coconut water in a spray bottle, for spritzing

Hector has won first place twice with this recipe. These ribs are so popular with Hector's family and friends that he often serves them at backyard barbecues. Hector told us that the first thing he did upon recovering from an illness that put him in bed for six months was to cook these ribs in celebration of a cousin's daughter's first birthday. Lucky girl! We wish we could have teethed on these spicy ribs with a coconut accent when we were infants!

Click here to see 9 Mouthwatering Rib Recipes.


For the slather

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, whisk well, and set aside.

For the rub

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, and set aside.

For the sauce

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.

For the ribs

Pat the ribs dry. Use a pastry brush to apply the slather. Wrap tightly in plastic or place in a 2-gallon zipper bag and refrigerate overnight.

Three hours before cooking time, remove the ribs from the refrigerator and rub with about 3 tablespoons of the rub.

Heat a cooker to 225 degrees. When the cooker is hot, place the ribs on the grate, cover, and cook for about 4 hours (5 hours for spare ribs), spritzing with coconut water every hour.

About 45 minutes before the ribs are done, slather with sauce. Slather with sauce again about 15 minutes before the ribs are done. When you can grasp 2 side-by-side ribs and easily pull them apart, remove the ribs from the cooker. Let them rest for 20 minutes before serving.


Calories per serving:

1,051 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Dairy Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 347g 534%
  • Carbs 434g 145%
  • Saturated 157g 786%
  • Fiber 56g 223%
  • Trans 2g
  • Sugars 301g
  • Monounsaturated 120g
  • Polyunsaturated 50g
  • Protein 313g 626%
  • Cholesterol 985mg 328%
  • Sodium 18,705mg 779%
  • Calcium 1,567mg 157%
  • Magnesium 825mg 206%
  • Potassium 7,651mg 219%
  • Iron 61mg 340%
  • Zinc 47mg 314%
  • Phosphorus 3,274mg 468%
  • Vitamin A 838µg 93%
  • Vitamin C 211mg 352%
  • Thiamin (B1) 8mg 505%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 6mg 330%
  • Niacin (B3) 110mg 552%
  • Vitamin B6 9mg 448%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 228µg 57%
  • Vitamin B12 8µg 133%
  • Vitamin D 16µg 4%
  • Vitamin E 35mg 175%
  • Vitamin K 384µg 480%
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