Traditional recipes

Sticky Asian Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

Sticky Asian Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

Sticky Asian Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

Have plenty of napkins on hand — although you might prefer not to use them. (Note that the ribs need to be started about a day in advance of serving.)


  • 2 racks pork baby back ribs (3-4 pounds)
  • 1 cup aji-mirin sweet cooking wine
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Meanwhile, from the back, boney side of the ribs, slide a thin, blunt tool, such as a flathead screwdriver, over the bone but under the thin membrane that covers the entire back of the rack. Work the tool down the bone, swaying from side to side, until there’s a gap large enough for you to grab the membrane and peel it off. Place the ribs in a large roasting pan (you can cut the racks into pieces if need be). Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the aji-mirin, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, Chinese five-spice powder, and garlic and bring to a boil. Pour the hot mixture over the ribs, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and bake until the meat is tender and almost falling off the bones, about 2 hours. Remove from the oven and let the ribs cool in the sauce. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

Remove the ribs from the baking liquid (save the liquid), scraping the fat off the ribs. Cut each rack into 3-rib pieces and set aside. Skim the fat off the top of the liquid. Strain 1 ½ cups of the liquid and set aside (discard the remaining liquid).

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the strained baking liquid with the brown sugar and the cornstarch mixture, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Prepare the grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Grill the ribs until heated through, 2-3 minutes per side. Brush both sides with some of the brown sugar sauce and cook for another 1-2 minutes per side.

Transfer the ribs to a platter or plates and sprinkle with the scallions and sesame seeds. Serve hot, with the remaining brown sugar sauce on the side.

Asian Baby Back Ribs

A sticky, tender Chinese-style rib recipe that you can make on a grill or in the oven.

I created this baby back ribs recipe as my Father’s Day gift to my husband Gary, who loves ribs more than any one else I know, with the exception of my own father. My kids are no slouch in the rib-loving department either. We are a pork ribs family, and baby back ribs are a true love.

Below is a photo of Jack when he was about 1 1/2, eating his first rib. In it he looks simultaneously surprised and perplexed and ecstatic, and maybe a little drunk. In my mind the caption for this photo was always, “For the love of God, where have you people been hiding the pork?”

Katie Workman’s recipe for Chinese-style ribs is so easy that I’ve made it countless times.

Julia Moskin, New York Times

If you have a food processor, small or large, this marinade, really an Asian barbecue sauce, comes together in a flash. If you are a cutting board-and-knife kind of a cook, then it will take a tiny bit longer, but it’s still an extraordinarily simple and flavorful sauce.

I almost feel like paper napkins should be listed in the actual ingredient list, since they are so critical to the enjoyment of this dish. These are great eaten outside, with no white clothes or tablecloths or cushions in sight. These are great with a simple Mayonnaise-Free Potato Salad and a salad with Japanese Restaurant Dressing, or sautéed spring greens. And for the grown ups, a cold beer.

Best-Ever Sticky Asian Ribs

Ever since I was little, barbeques meant two things around my house: lots of family and lots of good food. I grew up living just five minutes away from both my obachan and ojiichan (Japanese grandparents) and a handful of my cousins, so family get-togethers were a weekly event. It was only for special holidays, though, that my mom or obachan would make these Best-Ever Sticky Asian Ribs. Have I mentioned we’ve had this recipe in the family for over 30 years? I hardly ever make a recipe more than once or twice since I like to explore new flavor combinations, but these always keep me coming back for more. If you haven’t caught my drift yet, these ribs are one of my all-time favorite foods <3. Sweet and salty combinations make my world go round and the BEST pairing in my opinion is sugar and soy sauce. Go ahead and forget alllll about salted caramel or dark chocolate sea salt truffles, because this, my friends, is where it’s at.

Now let’s get one thing straight. These ribs aren’t tea party food or food you want to eat on your first date with Ryan Gosling. They’re gooey and deliciously messy and you end up with half your face covered in sauce and oops… how did that chunk of meat get in my hair? It’s beautiful, really. This is a recipe meant to be shared with family and people you’re comfortable with fighting for the last piece because trust me, it’ll happen. So go on and grab a rib (or ten), some family, and a year’s worth of napkins and get ready for your tastebuds to go straight up to the golden gates!

Asian Sticky Spare Ribs Recipe


  • 1 rack St. Louis style spare ribs, sliced into individual ribs
  • Your favorite Teriyaki Sauce


Place the individually sliced ribs into a zip top bag or Briner Bucket. Pour one bottle of Smoke on Wheels Pork Marinade in with the ribs. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS640 Pellet Grill to 250ºF.

Remove the ribs from the marinade. Place in a foil pan. Season with Chili Dawg's Habanero Seasoning. Go light for less spicy ribs, heavier if you like the burn! Then season all meat surfaces with the Dizzy Pig Pineapple Head Rub. Let the rubs soak in for 5-10 minutes.

Place the ribs directly on the second shelf of the cooker. Smoke until ribs are tender and the meat can move freely from the bone, about 2-2.5 hours. Remove and place all the ribs in a foil pan. Mix two parts teriyaki sauce to one part Wildflower honey and pour enough over the ribs to coat them. Toss the ribs in the sauce until all sides are coated in sauce. Place the foil pan and ribs in the smoker and continue cooking another 15 minutes.

Smoke on Wheels Pork Marinade is perfect for this recipe thanks to the pineapple juice and soy sauce.

Be sure to get every surface seasoned. You really want to take advantage of the extra surface area.

Soakin' up the smoke. These ribs went from raw to bite through tender in two and a half hours!

Time for the sauce! Applying the sauce and honey and returning the ribs to the cooker for a short time is what gives these guys their sticky finish.