Traditional recipes

Chinese pork ribs recipe

Chinese pork ribs recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Pork

This is my husband's favourite dish. It is so succulent and salty-sweet that he eats it with his fingers.

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 1/3kg rack of pork ribs
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • 500ml soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:2hr ›Extra time:2hr marinating › Ready in:4hr10min

  1. Cut the rack of ribs into individual pieces of about 10cm wide, 2 or 3 bones each. Season all over with Chinese 5 spice.
  2. Put the ribs in a large bowl, and pour in the soy sauce. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  4. Choose a large, shallow baking dish, and cover the bottom with aluminium foil. Lay the ribs in and pour about 300ml of the marinade over them, reserving the rest for later.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices.
  6. After about 1 hour 15 minutes cooking time, stir the honey into the reserved marinade, and pour over the ribs. Cover with aluminium foil, and continue baking for another 30 minutes.
  7. To serve, place the ribs on a serving platter or directly on plates. Put the marinade in a sauceboat and serve alongside.

Serving suggestion

This is delicious served with white rice.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

I love the “barbecued” pork and ribs in Chinatown. Unlike traditional Southern American low-and-slow smoke roasted BBQ ribs, there is no smoke flavor, even though there is a pink ring beneath the surface of the meat. How do they do it?

Well, it turns out that Char Siu, even though it sounds like charcoal, is not grilled or smoked. It is roasted in a special oven, usually gas fired. And most of the time it gets its ruddy tone from red food coloring (some chefs use a red bean paste, or beets, but that’s not common). But it still tastes great. You can buy Char Siu sauce in Chinese specialty stores, but it is thick and gooey. It makes a fine glaze, but it doesn’t make ribs that taste like Chinese restaurant ribs. That’s because you need to marinate the meat first. I’ve worked on this recipe for a while and I think I’ve really nailed the technique for making Chinatown Char Siu Ribs at home in the oven or on the grill. Here’s how to do this dizzyingly delicious favorite.

This marinade is especially good on pork, but I used it on chicken, turkey, and duck with great success.

Hungry for more ribs recipes, tips, and techniques? Click here to download our ebook “Amazing Ribs Made Easy” $3.99 on Amazon (free Kindle app runs on all computers and devices). Or, get this book and others FREE as a member of the Pitmaster Club. Click here to join.

Learn more about roast pork by clicking here.

Chinese Pork Ribs

These flavorful and tender ribs are quick to prepare. They are perfect for company as they spend several hours in the oven, leaving you plenty of time to get ready for your guests.


  • 1 cup Hoisin Sauce (I Prefer Soy Vay)
  • ½ cups Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Ginger, Peeled And Finely Grated
  • 3 Tablespoons Honey
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 racks Baby Back Pork Ribs (approx. 4 Lbs.)


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Separate the ribs and place in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Combine the Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, and vegetable oil in a medium bowl.

Pour mixture over the ribs and cover the dish with foil.

Bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, basting and turning the ribs halfway through baking time.

Hoisinful Nine Dragon Chinese Ribs Recipe

In August 1972, I was 23 and a senior at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Don’t ask why it took me so long to get to be a senior. My best friend, Kurt Westfall, and I had just opened our first exhibit of photography, a two-man show, in Cedar Key, Florida. After the opening I felt like a rock star. I decided to go to the big city and make my fortune as an artist.

On the way back to Gainesville I picked up two hitchhikers who told me that they were making an unbelievable $3.75 an hour working on the assembly line at Ford’s Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan. I made a quick stop at my apartment, tossed my clothes and camera gear into the car, and drove them all the way to Detroit.

Hungry for more ribs recipes, tips, and techniques? Click here to download our ebook “Amazing Ribs Made Easy” $3.99 on Amazon (free Kindle app runs on all computers and devices). Or, get this book and others FREE as a member of the Pitmaster Club. Click here to join.

When we got to Dearborn, wouldn’t you know it, the factories were all shut down to re-tool from one model year to the next, as was customary in August. They knew, but conveniently forgot to tell me.

After a few months I went to Chicago to see an exhibit of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago by my mentor and inspiration, Jerry N. Uelsmann. After one look at Chicago I decided not to go back to Detroit. Chicago was so much more beautiful and the arts and food communities were so much more vital (OK, Detroiters, send me your hate mail). I got a job at Foremost Liquors in Skokie and rented a room upstairs in a woman’s home.

A few days after I started work I stopped at a Chinese restaurant, the Nine Dragon Inn. It was opening night and I was their first customer. Over the next few months I ate there often. I even kept a case of white wine in their walk-in cooler because they had no liquor license, and I hung around the kitchen watching them cook. I took friends, customers, and even my future wife there on our first date. The owners’ two young girls, Jean and Ada, found endless fascination in my beard, and played under the table while I ate. They called me something like toy-ya-ya, which I thought was a term of endearment, but I later found out meant “smelly feet”.

I loved everything they made at Nine Dragon, but I especially loved their grilled ribs. I have tried Chinese ribs many times since, but never found a restaurant that made them the same way. The owners later moved to the west coast, and I have lost track of them. So I was forced to try to replicate their Asian-style ribs recipe, and I’ve come pretty close while also adding a BBQ element by finishing them on the grill. Sadly, I have never come close to the affection I had for Jean and Ada. Hopefully some day they will Google Nine Dragon Inn and find this article, and me.

Sticky-Sweet Five-Spice Pork Ribs

Lacquered with a tangy, garlicky hoisin glaze that's spiked with fragrant Chinese five-spice, these ribs are impressive without being burdensome: There's no grilling or marinating—just two hours in the oven followed by a quick broil. Make them for your end-of-summer barbecue, but be sure to provide plenty of napkins (and maybe a plate of crunchy, bright vegetables for some refreshment). St. Louis-style pork ribs are flatter and fattier (not to the mention less expensive) than baby back ribs, which means that they'll brown more easily. The weight of a rack of can vary greatly, so you'll need to adjust the salt accordingly: As a general rule of thumb, use 1 tsp. salt for 1 lb. meat (our recipe calls for 2 Tbsp.—a.k.a. 6 tsp. salt—because it's based on two 3 lb. racks).

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Why this recipe

If you’ve tried my char siu pork recipe, you’ll find the difference between that and my Chinese BBQ ribs is that ribs don’t require maltose, which is a specialty ingredient commonly used to give char siu pork that sticky glaze everyone loves. Because I used a different roasting method, you can use honey instead of maltose. Yet, you’ll still get a wonderful glossy glaze that you’ll love licking off your fingers. It’s so good!

Frankly, I love the Chinese BBQ ribs even more than regular char siu pork, because the ribs have a good amount of marbling that results in an extra moist and tender result. The meat that’s closer to the bones is also tastier. Once I’m done roasting, I literally cannot cut the meat without it falling apart, because it’s SO TENDER.

While the slow roasting process does take some time, the recipe itself is super easy to put together. You’ll be able to bring your favorite Chinese restaurant dish of Chinese BBQ ribs to your home, and it’ll taste even better than takeout.


All you need is a rack of ribs, a spice mix and a BBQ sauce.

For the ribs, I used St Luis ribs, but baby back ribs and spare ribs should work as well. When you’re shopping for the cut, try to find a piece that is well marbled with an evenly distributed meat layer that is not too thin or too thick. This will guarantee the best result.

The rest of the ingredients are quite common and you should be able to find them at regular grocery stores.

  • 4 tbsp finely grated fresh root ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 200 ml hoisin sauce
  • 4 tbsp clear honey
  • 50 ml rice wine or mirin
  • 1.5 kg pork spare ribs
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 300g cooked long grain rice, to serve
  • 3 eggs, beaten, to serve
  • 2 spring onions, chopped, to serve

Combine the ginger, garlic, chilli flakes (if using) hoisin sauce, honey and rice wine in a large bowl. Add the pork and mix until the sauce coats the spare ribs evenly. Add everything to the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on the high setting or 8 hours on low.

About 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, heat the sesame oil over a high heat in a wok or large frying pan and add the cooked rice. Stir and toss for 2 minutes, until the rice is heated through, then add the beaten egg and spring onions and stir until combined.

Serve the spare ribs with the sauce poured over and accompanied by the egg-fried rice.



For this sweet and sour ribs recipe, I prefer using back ribs (also known as baby back ribs) over spareribs because the bones on the back ribs are smaller and the meat is more tender. Back ribs come from the ribs around the pork loin (essentially, the pig’s back). Spareribs, on the other hand, come from the belly area and the bones are usually larger. If you can’t find baby back ribs easily, you can use spareribs.

When purchasing back ribs, try to find ribs that are sold in long strips that are between 1 to 1.5 inches wide (see photo above). These strips of ribs are usually easier to find in Asian supermarkets because many Asian recipes use shorter pork ribs. If you can only find back ribs sold in large pieces, ask the butcher to cut the pork into strips.

Before slicing the ribs into smaller pieces, check the bone side of the ribs and remove any membrane (or silverskin) that’s covering the bones. In the photo above, you can see that there’s a white layer of membrane covering the top strip of ribs. That layer can turn leathery once cooked and it can prevent the marinade from penetrating the meat. You can use your fingers to grab onto that membrane and rip it off.

To cut the strip of ribs into small pieces, slice the meat in between the bones. Then, transfer all the pieces of ribs into a bowl.


The marinade uses several ingredients: rice cooking wine, soy sauce, Zhenjiang vinegar, sugar, salt, and garlic powder. Zhenjiang vinegar (also known as Chinkiang vinegar) is a rice-based black vinegar with a malty flavor profile. If you can’t find this easily, use white vinegar or rice vinegar. Although they are similar in color, don’t use balsamic vinegar because it’s too sweet and there isn’t enough tangy flavor.

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together and pour it over the ribs. Coat the ribs with the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the ribs for at least 2 hours. I like stirring the ribs after an hour to ensure that all the ribs are evenly marinated.


Heat some oil in a wok (or sauté pan) over high heat. Using tongs, extract the ribs from the marinade and transfer them to the wok. Stir fry them for about 1 minute. Then, pour the marinade into the wok and cover it with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the ribs for 7 minutes.

Uncover the ribs. You’ll notice that there’s a lot of liquid in the wok. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook down the liquids until it’s almost completely reduced, about 3 to 4 minutes (see photo below). Stir the ribs frequently to keep them from burning.

Turn off the heat and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on the ribs. My mom likes serving the ribs with pieces of pineapple but that is optional. Transfer the ribs to a dish or a plate. Garnish the ribs with sliced scallions and red pepper flakes, if desired.

Mom's Best Braised Pork Ribs


  • 1 slab (1.8 kg / 4 lbs) pork ribs , halved crosswise and cut into one-bone sections (*Footnote 1)
  • 2 " (5 cm) ginger , sliced
  • 20 g (1 oz) onion , halved lengthwise
  • 1 whole nutmeg (or 1 teaspoon nutmeg powder)
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 pieces red fermented bean curd (Optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Vegetables (Optional)

  • 2 red potatoes , chopped (or waxy potatoes)
  • 3 carrots , chopped
  • 1/2 lb (230 g) green beans



  1. Contrary to the common practice of selecting meaty ribs, Chinese cooking prefers smaller ribs with thin layers of meat, so the meat will be more flavorful. When you purchase the ribs, ask the butcher to saw the ribs crosswise into two shorter slabs. Then you can cut them into one-bone sections at home. Cutting the ribs into shorter sections makes serving easier and the meat more flavorful.
  1. Alternatively, you can transfer the pork and vegetables into a large bowl. Then reduce the sauce by turning to medium high heat for 15 to 30 minutes, until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.


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  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours 8 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1 x

These boneless spare ribs are done in less than 20 minutes in the oven and only 8 minutes using an air fryer! Faster then take out and tastier, too!


3 pounds pork tenderloin or boneless pork chops cut into strips

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

Fresh black pepper to taste


Combine the ingredients for the marinade (everything except the BBQ sauce) in a large plastic resealable bag.

Add the pork strips and marinate at least 6 hours or overnight. (Overnight is recommended)

Remove the pork from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and place on a wire rack that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Place the wire rack over a baking sheet that’s been lined with aluminum foil.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

While the pork is cooking, pour the marinade into a pot and bring to a boil. Let the marinade boil for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the BBQ sauce. Let the sauce simmer over low heat while the pork is cooking.

Remove the pork from the oven, baste with the sauce then bake again for 7-8 minutes until the edges of the pork are crisp.

Baste the pork one more time with the sauce before serving, if desired.

Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.

Add the pork in a single layer and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the pork from the air fryer, baste generously with the sauce (follow the instructions above for the sauce) and cook another 4 minutes until the pork is crispy.

Baste with more sauce if desired and serve.

Spray the inside of your slow cooker with non stick cooking spray.

Drain the marinade from the pork (reserving the marinade) and add the pork to the slow cooker.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours. (The longer you cook the spare ribs the softer the pork will be)

Pour the reserved marinade into a pot and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Add the barbecue sauce and let simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Toss the pork with the sauce sand serve.

Keywords: slow cooker recipes, crock pot recipes, air fryer recipes, boneless spare ribs, chinese spare ribs, low carb recipe, chinese food recipe, easy dinner recipe, easy dinner ideas, pork recipes