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May 24, 2008 02:25 PM

Azeka's Ribs Kihei, Maui. Trial Recipe

A friend of mine (Dave from Orinda, CA) and me have been missing Azeka’s Ribs from Azeka’s Ribs and Snack Shop in Kihei, Maui since they closed sometime ago (2006 maybe?) For those of you that don’t know about Azeka’s it was a small restaurant in Kihei with just a walk up window. You could get these ribs, among other items, as a lunch plate with rice and something else, which I can’t remember. You could also buy them uncooked by the pound and take them to the beach or your condo and grill them over charcoal or a gas grill. This recipe is an adaptation of recipes from the Internet for “Korean Style Ribs” and the wording on the card that Azeka’s would give you for cooking instructions if you bought them by the pound.

Quoted from the card:

“Our secret marinade is based on an original recipe of Bill Azeka’s mother. We use nothing but the finest country-fresh ingredients: full bodied soy sauce, Hawaiian cane sugar, fresh garlic, fresh island ginger and sesame seed oil. Our premium quality beef short ribs are properly aged to insure full flavor”.

Cooking instructions on card:

Barbecue Grill or Hibachi
Wait until the coals are glowing at medium heat, a hot fire will burn the marinade.
Grill 4-5 minutes on each side.

After much some trials we have come up with this recipe.

Go to a butcher and ask for Beef Short ribs cut "Flanken style", or "Korean style". You may be able to call a Korean Market and they will already have them cut that way.

SF Korean Markets:

We like the ribs cut 1/2" thick or just a tad thinner, but not 1/4 inch. Get about 20 of them, they are addictive.

Buy some “Hefty One Zip” 2.5 gallon zip lock bags, or similar.

You will also need "Aloha" Soy Sauce. I talked with a distributor for Aloha Soy Sauce in Hayward CA and he told me they used to sell to Azeka’s. I live in Montana and it is available at Wal Mart.

In a bowl mix the following ingredients:

2 cups Soy Sauce (Aloha
)1.5 cups water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon Sesame oil
4 to 6 inch piece of fresh Ginger minced
4 to 6 large cloves of fresh garlic, through press or minced fine.
4 cups dark brown sugar.

Mix well in bowl until sugar is dissolved.

20 Beef short ribs cut flaken style

Put ribs in zip lock bag and pour marinade over and seal. Marinate for 4 days in refrigerator, shaking and mixing, 2 times a day.

Grill over medium heat, ribs should be cooked medium with the edges toasting. Don't cook them too fast though or the sugar will burn. You want the sugar getting some nice toasty edges without the meat being too hammered.

There ya go: This is a trial recipe have at it and we don’t mind anyone changing the recipe and posting ideas, that’s the fun of it. It seems like a lot of sugar and it is a lot of sugar. We, our wives, family, and friends think these taste pretty close to Azeka’s not forgetting that when we were there in Maui, many Margaritas were consumed before the cooking and eating…


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  1. We too enjoyed Azeka's ribs in Maui and I am looking forward to trying out your recipe. Miss that restaurant very much!

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowdown47

      Love to hear your feedback. We were in Maui last November and a store named Eskimo Candy in Kihei sells them uncooked by the pound. Took them back to the Condo and grilled them up. They were a B+. We also bought fresh fish from them another night and it was some of the best fish I have ever bought in Hawaii. They also had some great poke!

    2. I last ate Azekea's Ribs in the early 70's. I once had them flown in for a family affair in the 80's and NOW will make them form my parents in their late 70's As a GIFT for their introducing me to such amazing things as a young man!

      1. My son is in Maui right now and wish Azeka's was still open for him to try it. We got their uncooked ribs back in '85 and loved them. Thanks for the recipe, can't wait to try it.

        1. Have spent many a wonderful night in Maui with Azeka best friend asked the old guy for the recipe once and he laughed and said "sure, for $5,000. So we settled for hauling them back everytime. Once we had to lay a cooler on it's side and ice water dripped on the lady under, then we discovered dry ice worked great until we found out it was illegal on an airplane. We've tried many recipes over the years but never quite got there. EUREKA! you've done it. One trick, when we take the ribs out to cook, we have another batch ready to go into the marinade and then freeze it for next time, we get two uses out of all that marinade that way!