Benne-Crusted Ribs

Bite into one of these ribs, and you’ll discover the most tender, fall-of-the-bone meat paired with an incredibly crunchy exterior. Slather it in the homemade sauce for a double dose of nutty flavor.

Benne-Crusted Ribs
Makes 6 to 8 Servings
  • 2¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons ground white pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 pounds St. Louis-style pork ribs, membranes removed
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1½ cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • ¼ cup toasted benne seeds
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Sesame Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)
Sesame Barbecue Sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together 2¼ teaspoons salt, white pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Season ribs with salt mixture, and place on prepared pan. Cover with foil.
  3. Bake for 1½ hours. Let stand for 15 minutes; cut between ribs.
  4. In a large Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 4 inches, and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°
  5. In a large shallow pan, whisk together bread crumbs, benne seeds, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Place eggs in another large shallow pan. Dip ribs in eggs, letting excess drip off. Dredge in bread crumbs mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess.
  6. Working in batches, carefully add ribs to hot oil; fry until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Serve with Sesame Barbecue Sauce.
Sesame Barbecue Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve warm. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month.