Most Asian restaurants serve some sort of spare ribs--but a favorite is the Chinese Sticky Ribs!
These oven-baked pork ribs have a huge flavor and are ready when the meat falls off the bone!
The steam-cooked method and marinade are what really set these Chinese Sticky Ribs apart from other types of ribs. The marinade has just enough salty, sweet, sour and umami flavors to accompany a side of steamed vegetables, rice or a cup of Wonton Soup.
Type of ribs
Sticky ribs are typically pork ribs, however, you can certainly use the marinade recipe for beef or spare ribs.
How to slice
First, place the slab of ribs on a cutting board with the meat side down. Then, using a sharp knife, slice in between each rib. If you run your fingers along the ribs, you can feel the soft meaty area ...cut on that soft area.
What is Chinese Five Spice Blend?
Chinese five spice blend contains anise, fennel, cinnamon, cloves and szechuan pepper.
You can find a jar of "Chinese Five Spice Blend" on the spice aisle at your local grocer or, if you have these ingredients, you can make it at home. Use one teaspoon of each.
What is Chinese cooking wine?
Chinese cooking wine, also known as shaoxing wine is a salted rice cooking wine that contains alcohol. It consists of water, rice, wheat and salt so it is not gluten-free.
Note that Chinese cooking wine is not rice wine vinegar.
Are Chinese Sticky Ribs Gluten-Free?
Soy sauce has gluten and so does the Chinese cooking wine, so the answer is no.
However, you can make this recipe gluten-free by substituting Tamari sauce for the soy sauce and using dry sherry in lieu of the Chinese cooking wine.
As for the hoisin and oyster sauces, check the label for wheat. This recipe used Lee Kum Kee Panda brand Oyster Sauce ( make sure it's the Green Label) and Dynasty brand Hoisin Sauce, both Gluten-Free.
Chinese Sticky Ribs
- 1 ¾ - 2 lbs. pork spare ribs slice ribs individually
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons Chinese Cooking Wine (also known as shao xing) this is NOT rice wine vinegar!
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons ground chili paste (also known as Sambal Oelek)
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice Blend
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- cilantro for garnish
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Slice individual ribs and set aside
- Combine all ingredients into a bowl; mix well
- Place ribs in large plastic bag; pour sauce over ribs; massage until all ribs are well coated; refrigerate for at least 1 hour
- Preheat oven to 450ºF
- Place ribs and marinade in a deep baking pan; add 1 cup of water to pan; cover with foil and cook for 40 minutes
- After 40 minutes, remove foil from pan; turn ribs (coating each with the marinade) and continue to cook uncovered for 20 minutes
- Remove ribs from oven; pour marinade over ribs; allow ribs to rest for 10 minutes
- Garnish with sesame seeds and/or cilantro