Chinese Style Honey Hoisin Sticky Ribs

By • January 13, 2014 • 84 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 (84)

Comments (84) Questions (2)

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6 months ago Michele

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

Stringio

6 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!

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7 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

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7 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!

Stringio

7 months ago Rob Evans

how long will it take for the ribs to caramelise?

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7 months ago Jennifer

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

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9 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.

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9 months 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!
Sarah

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9 months ago bricolage

I think they probably didnt simmer long enough. You might want to try using a cartouche (http://remcooks.com/2012...) as well.

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9 months 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.

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10 months ago bricolage

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

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10 months 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.

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10 months ago gillianknitsalot

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

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10 months 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?

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10 months 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.

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11 months ago lydiab

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

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11 months ago The Fiery Epicurean

Can you use pork spareribs instead?

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10 months ago thirschfeld

yes

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11 months 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!

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11 months 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!

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11 months 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.

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11 months ago Jennifer

Served the ribs last night at our Superbowl party (in Seattle:-) Actually we had a rib-off. My friend made a thai style rib, and I made your recipe. Mine (or yours, really) won. I did the braising step the day before and stored them in the liquid. I cooked them off before the party. I actually made extra of the marinade and coated them several additional times while they were finishing. They were so tender and delicious. Could not have been easier. Thanks for the great recipe!

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11 months ago Eric Liftin

I used baby backs and braised 2 hrs. Too long, I think. The meat was falling off he bone, too tender. I cooled in the liquid, too, and I think the ribs were too wet to get a good glaze going. Tasty, but didn't resemble the lovely picture at the head of this recipe.

Stringio

11 months ago arhoad

These were delicious and so easy! Can you give me suggestions for use of the cooked marinade?

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11 months ago Joyce

I saw two comments where they asked if you store the liquid WITH the ribs in the fridge IF you are gonna cook them later in the week, but I did not see an answer....do I drain before I store in fridge????

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11 months ago MaureenOnTheCape

Add me to the chorus of people confused about whether to store in the fridge with or without the liquid.

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11 months ago thirschfeld

You can store them either way. If you take them out of the liquid store them wrapped so they don't dry out if you leave them in the liquid the flavor of the ribs will become stronger the longer they are stored in the liquid.

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11 months ago JJ-the goldminer

thanks, I went and bought the Sriacha sauce, very inexpensive and great flavor. This sauce is from the company that was shut down in southern california. Funny, do date to use by. So it is like honey, good forever!!!! I think 1 1/2 hours is all that is needed for par boiling. Ribs are falling off the bones. Coating ribs with sauce, do something else, coat again and again. Maybe in three hours they will be ready to bake, then cool and heat up again tomorrow. I did some special cut beef and pork baby back ribs. Morgan my yellow lab already has been given a beef bone and is in heaven. More to follow.

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11 months ago Cheryl mackey

JJ- I don't see why not....

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11 months ago JJ-the goldminer

sriracha sauce -- would one say any hot chili sauce would work for this recipe??? Such as hot sauce for hot wings???

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11 months ago Julie

Any suggestions for a veg recipe to serve with this?

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11 months ago kingfish

I would do an asian slaw

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11 months ago JJ-the goldminer

Hi thirschfeld--Baby back ribs on sale today. Is there any reason one cannot boil the ribs per directions, remove them from the water and paint on the finish marinade and let them set for a few hours for the marinade to penetrate the meat before putting in the oven?????????

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11 months ago thirschfeld

I don't see any reason why not.

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11 months ago daisy326

If I wanted to start the ribs early in the day and then store them in the fridge to bake later that day- should I store them in the cooled braising liquid? Thanks!!

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11 months ago jenlib07

I never comment but these were absolutely delicious. Made them on a snowy day and they are worth raving about. I used beef ribs (a little expensive I have to point out) and left out the oyster sauce. The directions were perfect! Thanks.

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11 months ago Deb R

So delicious! And tonight I'm making ramen soup with veggies, pork and tofu and this tasty broth! Thanks. I also agree with the comment below I liked the texture when they were cold or reheated better than the first day.

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11 months ago Mrs. McB

I made these this weekend--fantastic! One recommendation would be to refrigerate and re heat before serving. I served the first batch piping hot and they were falling off the bone, so much that they were very hard to handle. Day two was perfect.

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11 months ago JJ-the goldminer

Nice comment!!!!!!

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11 months ago Cheryl mackey


Tamari sauce or your favorite brand soy sauce. Water is the next ingredient.

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11 months ago clayshapes

In the braising ingredients: "Tamari sauce OR your favorite brand water" Wha? Water, as in H2O? Instead of tamari? Confused.

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11 months ago thirschfeld

Water is the last ingredient but I see how it could be confusing

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11 months ago Cheryl mackey

Thanks Judia! I haven't tried to make the red chinese spare ribs. Maybe Food52 can post a recipe for them!! Then I would try!

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11 months ago Judia Black

Cheryl Mackey, I love the idea of using bonelesss chicken thighs with the braising liquid.

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11 months ago JJ-the goldminer

thirschfeld--This recipe looks good!! Have you ever tried to make the ribs that are always available in grocery market asian take out food, the red pork ribs?????

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11 months ago thirschfeld

JJ essentially this is a red braising recipe which is how those ribs are cooked. Often a little bit of citrus peel, generally orange is added too. If memory serves me right the ribs you see in the store that are red are dyed that way. I think it was a thing were the person who sold them originally dyed them so people would know they were the original. Hope that makes sense. What I do know, if you are interested, is David Chang in his Momofuku cookbook roasts a sugar and salt cured pork roast the replicates the ribs in the best way. It even takes on a little of the traditional red color.

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11 months ago JJ-the goldminer

thank you for the nice reply!!!! I will make this recipe and then look for Davids. Any place to send you pics of how this recipe turns out????????

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11 months ago Cheryl mackey

I just made these with boneless country style ribs because thats what I had in the house. They are fantastic!! I'm going to save the braising liquid and do some boneless chicken thighs the same way. Great recipe!! One comment, they do brown very quickly in the oven and have to be watched closely.

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11 months ago thirschfeld

Chicken thighs would be great!

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11 months ago Andochina

I'm a bachelor once a week when my wife gets together with her friends (to watch "The Bachelor" ironically) and I cook for myself. I'm making these tonight. And last week I made Thirschfeld's quick braised sirloin and it was awesome. Thanks buddy!

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11 months ago thirschfeld

Anytime!

Stringio

11 months ago Judia Black

I agree! These were delicious. Saved the braising liquid too. Will freeze it to make more ribs in the future.

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11 months ago Maureen

How long can they safely sit cooling in the braising liquid on the stove?

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11 months ago Mike Swanger

Do you think the ribs would turn out the same if done in a pressure cooker rather than just simmering them? If so, do you think 20-30 mins in the cooker would be long enough?

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11 months ago thirschfeld

They would be great cooked in a pressure cooker the issue becomes time. A pressure cooker as you know can do the job in a short amount of time. My whole thing is do not cook them till they fall of the bone otherwise all the flavor is rendered into the cooking liquid and the ribs left void of pork flavor.

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11 months ago Sharonzell

Wow. These were amazing! Really easy, super tasty. Kept the braising liquid, planning to throw in some country-style ribs and ramen noodles to make soup.

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11 months ago CookedGoose

HOW LONG did it take to bake (not braise)?

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11 months ago thirschfeld

15 to 20 minutes. You are looking to heat the already cooked ribs but more importantly to caramelize the honey hoisin. It may take longer for one persons to caramelize then another's so the time may vary.

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11 months ago CookedGoose

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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11 months ago cindiz

We baked ours they were delish!

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11 months ago Betty

This sounds delicious and easy to make. I think if the ribs are braised for 1 1/2 to 2 hours they are probably done and that it is to the cooks taste as to has to how dark and caramelized to let them become.

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11 months ago CookedGoose

Step 3, baking the ribs: about how long should this take?

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11 months ago thirschfeld

15 to 20 minutes

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11 months ago Andrea

The recipe that appeared 2 hours ago simply said "ribs". Happy someone at Food 52 fixed it.

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11 months ago linda

I don't understand the rib confusion! First, read the recipe! It calls for pork baby back ribs. Not complicated!

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11 months ago JJ-the goldminer

well pointed out linda!!!!!!!! I would imagine St.Louis style would work as well.

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11 months ago Margie

I am allergic to seafood...all of it..so I am always afraid to make dishes that call for oyster or fish sauces. Are there any Asian sauces that don't have seafood? Any substitutions so I can make these ribs?

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11 months ago thirschfeld

I would probably just omit the oyster sauce and add more hoisin

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11 months ago Nancy

Similar Chinese recipes call for pork spare ribs so I'm guessing that's the meat intended to be used for this dish.

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11 months ago Judia Black

I think they are probably pork spareribs. Pork ribs are more frequently used in Chinese cuisine, while you see beef short ribs frequently used in Korean food.

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11 months ago thirschfeld

Judia I did use pork but I have also made them with beef and the recipe works well with either.

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11 months ago Judie

I, too, want to know the type of ribs? I think it is pork but uncertain.

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11 months ago Shelda Witt

Are these baby back ribs ?

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11 months ago Andrea

Ribs: baby back, spare, pork, beef? Ideas what the recipe writer was thinking?

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11 months ago vellner

Are these pork ribs or beef ribs? Can you do the braising in a pressure cooker?

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11 months ago thirschfeld

Sorry for the confusion. Either would work but I used pork

Stringio

11 months ago Judia Black

I am going to try these today. Great football-watching food!

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11 months ago thirschfeld

Great!

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11 months ago NancyK

What is sriracha sauce? Any possible substitutes?

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11 months ago Andochina

Sriracha is a southeast Asian sweet chili and garlic sauce that is DELICIOUS and in my opinion should be a staple in every pantry. It's so popular that I'm confident it can be found in any grocery store's Asian section, right next to the Hoisin and oyster sauces that you also need for this recipe. But if you don't want to use it I would think you can just increase the Hoisin or add in just a tiny amount of another hot sauce for heat.

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11 months ago cindiz

trying these this afternoon to eat while watching football!

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11 months ago Jennifer

Let me know the approximate time it takes to finish off the ribs in the oven. Not sure if it will be 10 minutes or 30 minutes.

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11 months ago thirschfeld

Anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. You really just want to get the ribs hot and caramelized the sauce.

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11 months ago thirschfeld

awsome!