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Cook-off to test best BBQ in Shanghai
By Victoria Fei

BBQ season is around April to November approximately. On May 17, the annual cook-off organized by Bubba’s Texas-style BBQ will be held at Cool Docks, complete with cold beer and music festival.

It is the fourth time that Bubba’s has hosted the cook-off and music day.

More than 1,000 spectators are expected, and around 20 to 30 competition teams will compete for top prize for best ribs, best sausage and best beef.

Barbecue masters, with their own styles and secret recipes, consider BBQ to be an art.

“There are many styles of BBQs. Texas BBQ, for instance, is not fast-cooking. You need to actually smoke the meat. Pork ribs, for example, take six hours to cook,” says Kenneth Walker, founder of Bubba’s Texas-Style BBQ.

With apple wood, he delivers genuine Texas-style BBQ with his secret barbecue sauces.

A former marketing professional, Walker has spent 17 years in Asia, including eight in Hong Kong and nine in Shanghai.

BBQ has been Walker’s hobby since high school. In 2006, he opened his first Bubba’s in Hongqiao.

Around 80 percent of his clientele are expats, especially North Americans, many of whom consider it home.

The place is decorated with gifts from customers, including photos, dozens of sports pennants, authentic jerseys attached to the wall, and two trophy bucks.

In addition to ribs, Bubba’s has pulled pork, chopped beef, smoked chicken and pizza.

Outside the restaurant is a big smoker, which just about every Texas family has in their yard. Walker’s was shipped from Texas.

He plans to use the smoker in the cook-off in May.

Backyard BBQ is a traditional way to entertain family and friends.

Walker says Bubba’s also has a Cool Docks location and eventually he would like to franchise the concept.

If you are interested in learning more about Bubba’s. the cook-off, or competing in it, please send email to bubba@bubbasasia.com.

Bubba’s Char Sui Ribs

1. Mix all ingredients together except honey and hoisin sauce (the sugars will burn too quickly on the grill/smoker).

2. Marinate ribs for several hours or overnight with above mixture.

3. Prepare smoker or grill to cook indirectly (coals to one side) and use wood chips if you can to add flavor.

4. Place ribs bone side down away from heat and cover the cooker.

5. Brush the ribs with the marinade mixture several times during cooking, at least every 45 minutes or so.

6. When the meat starts to pull away from the bone at the bottom of each rib, they are almost done.

7. At this time, add the honey and hoisin sauce to the marinade and brush on ribs.

8. Wrap the ribs in foil after generously brushing them with honey/hoisin sauce and let them set for 30-45 minutes away from the heat.

Char Sui sauce for smoked ribs

3 tbsp honey; 3 tbsp hoisin sauce; 3 tbsp soy sauce; 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine; 6 dashes white pepper; 3 tsp five-spice powder; 1 tsp sesame oil

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