Chinese Style Honey Hoisin Sticky Ribs

By • January 13, 2014 • 89 Comments

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Author Notes: You could use almost any rib here for this recipe although probably not short ribs. I think beef ribs would be great, as far as pork goes you could use baby backs, spare, or St. Louis style. thirschfeld

Serves 2 to 3

For braising the ribs

  • 1 rack of pork baby back ribs, cut in half
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into disks
  • 1 thumb of ginger, about one inch, sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, sliced in half across the cloves
  • 1 cup tamari soy sauce, or your favorite brand
  • water
  1. Place the ribs into the bottom of a snug, heavy bottomed pot (make sure you have a lid for the pot, be it an actual lid, sheet tray, or pizza pan). Add the rest of the ingredients, then add water to cover the ribs by 1 inch.
  2. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Once it has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low, put the lid on, and simmer the ribs until they are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The meat should shrink on the rib bones, and the actual bones should have revealed themselves by 3/8 to 1/2 an inch. You can test for tenderness by slicing a sliver from an end and taste. It should have some tooth but still be tender.
  3. Remove the ribs from the pot and discard the braising liquid. You can make a soup from the liquid, or freeze it for the next time you want to make an Asian red cooked dish. (If you plan to cook the ribs later in the week, you can let the ribs cool right in the pot, then place the whole thing into the fridge until you are ready to finish the ribs in the oven.)

To finish the ribs

  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 green onion cut into slivers
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  1. In a small bowl combine the hoisin, oyster, soy, sriracha, vinegar, and honey. Whisk to combine.
  2. When you are ready to finish cooking the ribs, heat the oven to 450? F. Place the ribs onto a sheet tray lined with foil for easy clean-up. Using a grill brush, paint both sides of the ribs with a light coating of the sauce.
  3. Keep coating the ribs with the sauce until they take on a lacquer quality, then bake them until they start to darken and caramelize. Remove the ribs from the oven and cut them into pieces. To serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with green onion.
Jump to Comments (89)

Comments (89) Questions (2)


7 days ago Sunshine Thacker

Ok, I have to post again. The broth from these ribs makes an amazing dashi base for ramen. I removed the onion, carrot ginger and strained through a sieve, then reduced the broth by about 1/4. Serve it up with freshly blanched veggies (I used cabbage, carrots, breakfast radish and broccolini) a slow poached egg and pork belly. How to for the later two can be found in David Chang's Momofuku cookbook. Oh yeah - Make a rice bowl with any leftover rib meat the next day. Delish!


13 days ago Sunshine Thacker

we have a powerful Blue Star stove so I had to cut the cooking time in the pot to 1 hour. Also I would increase the heat when finishing to 500 so that the glaze really gets bubbly. Also during the glazing of the ribs go ahead and open the oven 5 minutes in and use the bubbly goo on the bottom of the pan to put more glaze back on the ribs. because it is caramelizing it will stick to the ribs better. The flavors are amazing. Super tender! I will be making this en-masse for dinner parties.


21 days ago chop chop

Prepared this dish tonight. A killer flavor bomb. My wife said this might be the best dish I have ever made. I won't argue with that. Bravo.


2 months ago Dave Moss

Came to food52 for some inspiration and found this recipe. Quick, easy, delicious. Saved broth and will freeze for another day.


3 months ago Matthew Bounous

Threw this together in a pinch. And it was fantastic. Simple recipe with big flavors! Thank you.


9 months ago Michele

This recipe is delicious. I can't wait to use the broth for ramen.


9 months ago Christina Marino-Caruso

This is a recipe that I tell everyone I know about, Simple to make, worth it and I totally saved the braising liquid and made some great asian style soups! Followed it to the T just amazing. Tip of the hat to you Thirschfeld and a HUGE thank you!


10 months ago Angie Bui

Hi, this recipe uses half a rack of ribs (whole rack cut in half) ? Or does it use the entire rack that's cut in half but entirely used? Also, when you put the water in the pot, does it cover them all or does it only rise up an inch from the bottom of the pot? And tamari soy sauce is regular soy sauce right? Sorry I just want to make sure


10 months ago thirschfeld

Whole rack, cut in half, goes into the pot. A snug pot so you use less water but still covers the ribs. Tamari is wheat free soy sauce. If you have no problem with wheat or gluten then regular soy sauce is fine. Hope this helps!


10 months ago Rob Evans

how long will it take for the ribs to caramelise?


10 months ago Jennifer

Not too long - about 20 min. I made extra braising liquid and coating them several times while they were finishing off.


12 months ago kmclark121

THESE RIBS ARE AMAZING!!!!!! I had errands to run so I put them in my crock pot on high for 2 hours (my pot has a stovetop setting). KEEP THE BRAISING LIQUIDS WHEN FINISHED for another meal (I put it back in my crock pot on low with star anise, more carrots added cabbage, rice noodles, green onion and used the left over meat to make a soup- DELICIOUS). Definitely a a keeper!!! FYI- I doubled the finishing sauce, simmered half instead of coating so my guests could have extra on the side.


about 1 year ago Sarah

Great recipe! Two questions:

1. I made these a couple nights ago and the meat turned out chewy/tough. Is that because I let it cook for too long? I accidentally let it simmer a little over two hours (meant to take it out at 1.5 hours).

2. My ribs floated up in the pot as soon as I put them in, so some of the meat was already above the water level from the start. Is that OK? If not, can you recommend a way to keep them down at the bottom of the pot?

Thank you!


about 1 year ago bricolage

I think they probably didnt simmer long enough. You might want to try using a cartouche ( as well.


about 1 year ago Sarah

Thanks for the response, bricolage. The cartouche technique looks interesting. Do you think if I did that I could simmer at the recommended 1.5-2 hours?

How long did you simmer yours?

I'm pretty new at cooking and confused about why it would take so much longer to simmer than what the recipe called for.


about 1 year ago bricolage

These were great. Pulled all the leftovers off the bones and had it over rice with sesame and green onions. Thanks,


about 1 year ago Rachel O.

The best ribs ever, according to my rib-loving husband. Made them for V-Day and they're back by popular demand tonight. I'm not a ribs person, and even I like them! Really delicious.


about 1 year ago gillianknitsalot

Wow- made these tonight. My fiance, who LOVES ribs, said that these might be his all-time favorites.


about 1 year ago sheilaraber

I don't eat pork. If I substitute beef (not nearly the same, I know), do I still need to braise the meat, or can I just bake it low and slow in the oven?


about 1 year ago thirschfeld

Beef is absolutely fine as a substitution and works great. I would still braise them because the liquid adds Asian flavors to the dish that wouldn't be there if you just back them.


about 1 year ago lydiab

Fabulous ! Tender, juicy, sticky, a feast to the soul !
Thanks Thirschfeld


about 1 year ago The Fiery Epicurean

Can you use pork spareribs instead?


about 1 year ago thirschfeld



about 1 year ago rbarr

This recipe is the gift that keeps on giving! I made a double recipe for the Superbowl and it was a huge hit. I kept the braising liquid and veggies and have used it to make ramen for the past two nights. The first night I sauteed shrimp and added it with pasta and lime to the soup and the second night I sauteed chicken, mushrooms and bok choy and added it with lime and sriracha. Thanks for a great recipe!


about 1 year ago Melody

What a great recipe! I made this dish last night for my boyfriend and ohhhhh man! We ate almost an entire rack of ribs between the two of us. Very, very tasty and easy to prepare!


about 1 year ago Jessie I

I briased for 1.5 hours, let cool for 30 minutes then started glazing. I also let them sit for about 5 minutes in between each time I brushed them - i think that helped. They were delicious and I have a half rack for later in the week.