Mirin-lees Marinated Lamb Riblets

Lamb riblets are sectioned from the rib with small amounts of meat on them. They’re nice for a small meal, and the bones afterwards can be used to make stock along with leftover cut vegetable pieces. However, for a meal with several people a large amount of riblets will be needed, roughly 3 lbs per person. Serve alongside a grain such as rice or orzo with vegetables for a complete meal.

Mirin-lees, also called mirin kasu are the leftover rice from fermenting mirin. We have made our own mirin and so wanted to explore the uses of this by-product. Similar to sake lees, mirin lees can be used to marinate meats and vegetables. It is sweet smelling, sticky, but also very soft due to the high moisture content. If you use sake lees instead, add a couple tablespoons of mirin to your marinating mix.

Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 6 to 8 hours up to overnight for marinating

Cooking Time: 2 hours

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs lamb riblets
  • 5 oz. mirin-lees, also called mirin kasu
  • 1 oz. red miso
  • 1 Tbsp. sake

Equipment:

  • Tray lined with aluminum foil and foil for covering for marinating
  • Oven-safe baking sheet or tray lined with foil, foil for tenting
  • Bowl x 1
  • Wood spoon x 1
  • Food processor for mirin-lees (Optional)
  • Tongs x 1
  1. Line a tray that can hold your lamb riblets and marinade with foil.
  2. If the mirin lees are still mostly in its rice-grain form, use a food processor and pulse the lees until it is a smoother consistency. If you lack a food processor, you can skip that step, just ensure the final mix is as blended as you can get it. Mix 5 oz. of mirin-lees, 1 oz. red miso, and 1 Tbsp. of sake in a bowl. Stir and mix well.
  3. Pour a small amount of the marinade into your tray, using the spoon to cover all the area. Place your lamb riblets on top then pour the rest of the marinade on top of those. Cover with foil and let it sit in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours up to overnight.
  4. About 1/2 hour before cooking, remove from the fridge. Heat the oven to 300F. When you’re ready to cook, line a new tray with foil. Pull out the lamb riblets and remove some of the excess marinade and place on your new tray. Tent this tray with foil to cover the lamb riblets and cook for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour, remove the tent, but keep it nearby! Allow the lamb riblets to brown over the next half hour. Check after 15 minutes and see if the one side is browned to your liking and then flip the riblets to the other side. Cook the riblets for 30 minutes more, covered with your foil tent.
  6. When a total of 2 hours of cooking time has passed, remove the riblets from the oven and allow to cool so you can slice the ribs. Serve with a grain-side such as rice or orzo and enjoy!

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