long red chiles (about 5 ounces), such as cayenne, trimmed, roughly chopped and deseeded, if you prefer less heat
garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
(5-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
shallots, preferably Thai, or 2 small banana shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
cup plus 1 tablespoon store-bought or homemade kecap manis (see Note for recipe)
Scant 1/2 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
teaspoon flaky sea salt
racks (1 1/2-pound) pork spare ribs
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the marinade: In a food processor, blend all the ingredients except the pork with 1/2 cup water until smooth.
- Line a roasting pan with four long layers of foil in the shape of a cross (two overlapping horizontal strips and two overlapping vertical strips), with enough excess foil spilling over the sides to wrap the ribs. Lay the ribs onto the foil in a single layer and pour over 1/2 the marinade, massaging it into each rack. Wrap the ribs with the foil and roast in the oven on the top or middle shelf for 2 hours.
- While the ribs roast, pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce until it has thickened to the consistency of gravy and is deeply flavorful, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- To check if the ribs are done, test an end rib: When you tug the end bone, the meat should start slipping off the bone. If they are not yet tender, return them to the oven and continue cooking until tender, testing every 10 minutes.
- Once the ribs have finished roasting, remove the roasting pan from the oven and turn on the broiler. Open the foil and brush some of the reduced marinade onto the ribs, reserving the rest as a dipping sauce. Broil the ribs for 5 to 7 minutes, uncovered, until they darken and the marinade caramelizes. Serve immediately, with the remaining marinade in a dipping bowl.