Chinese Style Honey Hoisin Sticky Ribs

By thirschfeld
January 13, 2014
121 Comments


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
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 2 hrs 30 min

Ingredients

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

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

Directions

For braising the ribs

  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

  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.

More Great Recipes:
Chinese|Asian|Pork|Make Ahead|Summer|Spring|Fall|Winter|Gluten-Free|Entree

Reviews (121) Questions (4)

121 Comments

Micki July 4, 2018
I followed the recipe exactly & it was unbelievably delicious. I saved the broth as per previous reviews & can't wait to make Ramen with it.
 
dylan April 16, 2018
I've made this several times and it has always been delicious. This time, I made this with lamb spareribs. I added cumin and red pepper to the broth & cumin and extra sriracha to the glaze (I also broil instead of bake the ribs). They were SOOOOOO good.
 
Madison H. February 24, 2018
Save the braising liquid. It makes delicious ramen soup.
 
Sonya September 19, 2017
About how long are the ribs in the oven for? Apologies if this was already asked. Thanks.
 
PhillipBrandon May 24, 2017
I threw in a couple of fresh jalepeños I had with the simmer, and kept the broth for some excellent noodle soup. Really lovely.
 
Dee December 18, 2016
I thought these ribs (and resulting liquid) were phenomenal! I will make again💕
 
Food63 October 19, 2016
Noooo, don't get rid of the braising liquid! It makes an unbelievably delicious broth. In fact, I make this recipe just for the broth at this point! I no longer bother with glazing the ribs, but just season them lightly and bake (thirschfeld's recipes tend to be among my favorites, and clearly other commenters loved the ribs, so I take full blame for the ribs turning out ok but not great). I then shred the rib meat into bite-sized chunks and freeze it with the strained broth. Then when we want a delicious soup, I simmer sliced shiitake mushrooms and sliced Napa cabbage in the broth, pour it over separately cooked ramen noodles, and serve with sliced scallions. It's one of our favorite meals.
 
Madison H. February 24, 2018
I too save the braising liquid for a ramen soup. Thanks for suggestions about shredding the ribs and freezing. Doing that tonight thanks to you.
 
Christina M. July 16, 2016
Had to recomment since everyone is slamming the boiling, DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM!!! These ribs turn out amazing. I've had rubs off set smoked, smoked, grilled, oven cooked as well as pressure cooked- good ribs are good ribs unless you've made the recipe WHICH I HAVE stop telling people that they won't be good!!!! Btw THEY ARE SOOOO GOOD!! And definitely make the soup after ward and save for when you have a cold WORTH IT
 
Michael B. July 16, 2016
Hrm. Never said that end result was not good. Maybe you should re-read my comment. I said that I disagree with the boiling of the ribs, which I have made many versions of many, many times. The boiling of the ribs takes flavor out of the ribs, altering the final result. This is a fact. Taste the water after you boil the ribs.
 
Author Comment
thirschfeld July 17, 2016
The ribs aren't boiled they are simmered. But to prove a point, I could slap these ribs into a sous vide bag, cook them for 20 hours and all kinds of liquid would be exuded into the bag and yet the ribs would be fall apart tender and extremely juicy. It's because it's not about the liquid lost but rather the fat that remains. It's the fat that makes you mouth perceive moisture. It is about cooking the ribs at a low enough temperature and just the right amount of time to break down the collagen but not render the fat.
 
Michael B. July 17, 2016
Thank you for the additional info @thirschfeld. Even if it is a simmer, and not a boil, if overdone the water can dry out the meat by causing the proteins to contract and squeeze the moisture out of the muscle fibers. The meat falling off the ribs does not always indicate great ribs. But now I'm steering away from science and moving towards taste, which is of course subjective. We all have different tastes on how we'd like the texture of our ribs.<br /><br />Great discussion. I'm going to give your recipe a second try having simmered the ribs. :)
 
Author Comment
thirschfeld July 17, 2016
Well of course if you over cook anything it is going to be dry. Slow cookers are the perfect example. If you read step two I think this addresses the over cooking concern by clearly stating the ribs should be tender but toothsome. It doesn't say cook them until falling off the bone.
 
Michael B. July 17, 2016
Yes, your instructions are quite clear and detailed. I was not knocking the recipe steps as provided. I thought our conversation had switched gears to cooking methods in general since you brought sous vide into the discussion.<br /><br />Anyhow thanks again for sharing the recipe
 
Michael B. July 16, 2016
Great recipe but I tend to disagree with the boiling of the ribs. It pulls out too much of flavor IMHO. H2O is a solvent after all. Taste the water you boiled the ribs in when done. That's where the flavor has gone!
 
Donna H. July 3, 2016
Boiling ribs is a travesty. Yuck. Sauce looks good though
 
Kelly July 4, 2016
Ah,no! Not a travesty at all :) by boiling the meat first it helps tenderize the meat very nicely. Try it for once and you will see!
 
Donna H. July 4, 2016
I have tried it, been cooking for a few years now. I find that boiling the meat takes away a lot of the flavour. Just my opinion though :)<br />
 
Author Comment
thirschfeld July 4, 2016
Just a note of common decency, when you start a sentence like you have above it is always good to start with "In my opinion", it sets your comment apart, that you want to have a conversation. Instead you come across a know it all. There are all kinds of ways to cook. Some I don't agree with, others I do, sometimes I try something new that I think shouldn't work and I get a nice surprise because it does.
 
Donna H. July 4, 2016
wow, common decency? that's harsh. Noted though. Thank you for correcting me
 
lynx60489 June 13, 2016
I'm looking to double this recipe. Should I double the ingredients in the brine, or can I just add more water? 2 cups tamari sounds really salty.
 
Author Comment
thirschfeld June 14, 2016
There is enough brine for two racks. Don't bother to double it.
 
Kelly May 18, 2016
Made these ribs last night. Followed the recipe exactly. Mouthwatering. I simmered them for the full two hours. Served with a side of white rice and cold creamy cucumber salad. Muah! :*
 
Kerry G. March 13, 2016
Really easy and delicious.
 
Sarah N. January 22, 2016
I made these the other night. To be fair, I didn't get to eat any, but I did get rave reviews from my boyfriend who ate the whole rack in two sittings. He said they were tender, sweet and had great flavor. I served them with sesame noodles with a dressing similar to the ingredients in the ribs. This one is definitely going into my monthly repertoire.
 
Culinary E. January 22, 2016
These look amazing, and I want to try (a modified version of) the recipe. I am concerned, however, that the recipe is posted in the gluten-free section...neither hoisin nor oyster sauce is gluten-free. Please be more careful about categories.
 
Author Comment
thirschfeld January 23, 2016
There are versions of both that are gluten free and I use them all the time. If you have a large Asian grocer near you that offers lots of brands you should be readily able to find both without gluten.
 
Hana January 6, 2016
Yum! Made these ribs tonight and the whole family loved them. The whole rack of ribs braised for an hour and a half in the broth and then were cooled before finishing in the oven for about 25 minutes. Cranked the heat up to 500 degrees for the last 5 minutes while spooning the caramelized pan sauce. Followed the rest of the recipe exactly as written! Thank you! :-)
 
chop C. September 24, 2015
I am not a ribs fanatic but these are the best ribs I have ever eaten. I have made this recipe four times in the last year and have received rave reviews from every person who has eaten them. Making them this weekend.
 
Chef T. May 11, 2015
These are insanely good. Super tender and the sauce is delicious. I used the braising liquid and leftover pork the next day to make a Ramen soup and it was amazing. Will definitely make this dish again, it's two meals in one!
 
Michelle April 12, 2015
Could these be finished on the BBQ?
 
Ian C. May 1, 2015
Yes, I finished them on the bbq at a backyard party and they turned out fine...everyone loved them.
 
Sunshine T. March 21, 2015
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!