I made a version of these ribs, adapted from a recipe by Nigella Lawson that I can no longer find, the first time for a barbecue several years ago. My friend’s children, Max & Oz, were very nearly refusing to eat anything until they stumbled on a pile of these ribs, and proceeded to munch away contentedly (and quietly) for the next hour. It was quite the endorsement and put these ribs on the short list of group-friendly recipes.
One of the things I like best about this recipe is its inclusion of unusual flavors that require no extra effort. Items like five spice powder, star anise, and chili paste in soybean oil are as easy to add as garlic powder, garlic, and mustard, but they open up the spectrum of flavors with no additional effort.