July 29, 2011

Asian Spare Ribs

Every now and then I crave spare ribs. Tender, juicy and (let’s be honest) fatty pork ribs, lacquered in a sticky, sweet, spicy sauce.

If this sounds appealing, then look no further because I have the perfect recipe for you. This recipe takes classic Asian ingredients – rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce and Sriracha – and combines them with ketchup and brown sugar to make the most finger-lickingly delicious barbecue sauce you have ever tasted!

And talk about easy. I have read so many convoluted recipes for spare ribs. Some tell you to boil them first, to cook off the excess fat. Have you ever tried to pull a rack of slippery ribs out of a vat of boiling water? I have, and it’s not pretty. Other recipes have you cooking them for hours, some with the additional directive to turn the ribs over every 20 minutes during cooking.

This recipe is simple. The sauce comes together in minutes in the food processor. You marinate the ribs in the sauce and then throw the ribs in the oven for a few hours. Drain the excess fat out of the pan (a turkey baster works great for this task) and you’re ready to eat.

For the sauce, start with your ginger, garlic and scallion.

Chop up the ingredients

And then pulse them as finely as you can in a food processor.

Add the remaining ingredients – ketchup, hoisin sauce, Sriracha, rice vinegar and brown sugar – and puree until the sauce is smooth.

Now take your spare ribs and pat them dry. Trim off any excess fat and cut the racks into smaller portions if you need to in order to fit them in your baking dish.

Pour the sauce over the ribs and massage it into both sides of the ribs. Refrigerate the ribs overnight.

Cook the ribs for at least 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and practically falling off the bone. Cover your pan with aluminum foil for the first 1 ½ hours of cooking, then remove it. Drain the excess fat out of the pan. You can use a spoon or turkey baster for this job.
Garnish your ribs with sesame seeds and serve!

Asian Spare Ribs

Recipe adapted from Heather Christo Cooks

2 racks of St. Louis style pork spare ribs
For the BBQ sauce:
4 scallions, roughly
3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into slices
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup ketchup
1 cup Hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp Sriracha
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Sesame Seeds for garnish

1.      In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the scallions, ginger and garlic.
2.      Add the ketchup, Hoisin sauce, Sriracha, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and soy sauce. Puree into a smooth sauce.
3.      Set the spare ribs on a large sheet pan covered in a sheet of foil.

4.      Spread the sauce on the ribs, on both sides.
5.      Cover the whole sheet pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
6.      Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
7.      While the oven heats up, let the meat come up to room temperature.
8.      Cook the spare ribs at 325 degrees for about 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the meat easily pulls away from the bone and the sauce is caramelized. Drain the excess fat out of the pan.
9.      Let the spare ribs rest for a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serves 6


  1. Urmi! I made these over the weekend and they were delicious. Really great recipe and the sauce was soo good. Just wanted to say it was great and I love following your blog. The pictures are also good and I get hungary every time I visit your blog!

    Heather G (Nikhil's wife)

  2. Yummy! Many thanks for website. I will definitely try this recipe. Have a good day!


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