Easy Slow Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs: Wanna Eat?

by Ella

Chinese cuisine is a symphony of flavors, textures, and aromas that has captivated palates around the world. Among its array of tantalizing dishes, Chinese spare ribs stand as a true culinary gem. From their succulent meat to the harmonious blend of sweet and savory flavors, Chinese spare ribs offer a delightful experience that transcends cultural boundaries. In this comprehensive guide, we embark on a culinary journey to explore the art of crafting authentic Chinese spare ribs, unraveling the techniques, ingredients, and nuances that contribute to this delectable masterpiece.

How To Make Chinese Spare Ribs

Chinese spare ribs, with their tantalizing blend of sweet and savory flavors, have captured the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts worldwide. This beloved dish offers a harmonious symphony of tender meat, aromatic spices, and succulent marinade. In this comprehensive step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through the process of crafting delectable Chinese spare ribs that are sure to impress your family and guests.
Prep Time15 minutes
Active Time40 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Yield: 4
Cost: $5


  • 1 oven
  • 1 Baking sheet
  • 1 Aluminum Foil
  • 1 grill


  • 2 pounds back ribs
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • chopped green onions
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • chopped cilantro


  • Start by cleaning the ribs. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs, as it can prevent the marinade from penetrating the meat.
  • Cut the ribs into individual portions, with each rib having a bone. This will make them easier to handle and serve.
  • In a bowl, combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, rice wine or sherry, minced garlic, minced ginger, and Chinese five spice powder.
  • Whisk the ingredients together until the brown sugar is fully dissolved and the marinade is well combined.
  • Place the ribs in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.
  • Pour the marinade over the ribs, ensuring that each piece is coated evenly. Massage the marinade into the meat for maximum flavor penetration.
  • Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight. This allows the flavors to meld and the meat to become tender.
  • Oven-Baking Method: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or place a wire rack on top to prevent sticking. Arrange the marinated ribs on the baking sheet or wire rack in a single layer.
  • Bake the ribs in the preheated oven for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and cooked through. Baste the ribs with the marinade every 20-30 minutes for a rich glaze.
  • For caramelization and an appealing finish, broil the ribs for 2-3 minutes at the end of the baking time.
  • Grilling Method: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  • Remove the marinated ribs from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature.
  • Shake off excess marinade from the ribs and place them on the grill.
  • Grill the ribs over indirect heat for about 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with the marinade. This will infuse the ribs with flavor and ensure even cooking.
  • For a final touch, move the ribs to direct heat and grill for an additional 2-3 minutes on each side to achieve a slight char and caramelization.
  • Once the ribs are cooked to perfection, remove them from the grill or oven. Sprinkle chopped green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and chopped cilantro over the ribs for an extra layer of flavor and visual appeal.

Garnishes and Serving Suggestions

Green Onions: Finely chopped green onions add a fresh and vibrant touch, balancing the richness of the ribs.


Toasted Sesame Seeds: A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds provides nutty flavor and a delightful crunch.


Chopped Cilantro: Fresh cilantro leaves lend a burst of herbal freshness that elevates the dish.


Sticky Rice: Serve the spare ribs with sticky rice, allowing the ribs’ savory juices to infuse the rice for an irresistible combination.


Unlocking the Secrets to Perfectly Cooked Chinese Spare Ribs

1. Choosing the Right Ribs: Selecting the right type of ribs lays the foundation for a successful dish. Baby back ribs are a popular choice due to their tenderness and lean meat-to-fat ratio. Their smaller size also allows for quicker cooking, making them an ideal option for those seeking a delicious meal in less time.

2. The Marinating Marvel: The key to infusing Chinese pork ribs with authentic flavors lies in the marinade. A well-crafted marinade not only imparts taste but also tenderizes the meat. A classic marinade might include soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, ginger, and Chinese five spice powder. Allow the ribs to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours, or preferably overnight, to ensure that the flavors penetrate the meat.

3. Temperature Control: Whether you’re using the oven or a grill, maintaining the right temperature is crucial. For oven-baking, a steady temperature of 350°F ensures even cooking and prevents the ribs from becoming overly dry. When grilling, monitor the heat to prevent flare-ups and avoid charring the ribs.

See Also: 10 Secrets to Super Tender Meat in Chinese Restaurants

What to eat with Chinese Spare Ribs?

Pairing the perfect accompaniments with Chinese ribs can elevate your dining experience to new heights. The sweet and savory flavors of Chinese ribs harmonize well with a variety of side dishes and beverages. Here are some delectable options to consider:

1. Fried Rice: A classic pairing, fried rice complements Chinese ribs beautifully. The combination of tender meat and rich marinade with the texture and flavors of fried rice creates a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

See Also: 7 Secrets to Delicious Fried Rice

2. Steamed Buns (Bao): Soft and fluffy steamed buns are an excellent choice for wrapping around the succulent Chinese ribs. The contrast between the savory ribs and the delicate bun creates a delightful taste and texture experience.

3. Stir-Fried Vegetables: A vibrant medley of stir-fried vegetables, such as bok choy, broccoli, bell peppers, and snow peas, adds freshness and crunch to balance the richness of the ribs.

4. Noodles: Whether it’s chow mein, lo mein, or sesame noodles, a noodle dish pairs well with Chinese ribs. The noodles provide a satisfying base that soaks up the flavorful sauce.

5. Pickled Vegetables: Pickled vegetables, like pickled cucumbers or daikon radish, offer a tangy and refreshing contrast to the savory ribs. Their acidity can help cut through the richness of the dish.

6. Steamed Vegetables: A plate of steamed broccoli, carrots, and snap peas provides a simple and nutritious side that complements the flavors of the Chinese ribs.

7. Egg Fried Rice: Add an extra layer of flavor to your meal with egg fried rice. The addition of scrambled eggs lends a satisfying richness to the dish.

See Also: The Easiest Egg Fried Rice (15 Minutes)

8. Sesame Noodles: Cold sesame noodles tossed with a flavorful sesame sauce can be a refreshing and satisfying accompaniment to Chinese ribs.

9. Wonton Soup: A light and comforting bowl of wonton soup can serve as a starter or side dish to balance the hearty flavors of the ribs.

10. Fresh Fruit Salad: A refreshing fruit salad, featuring a mix of tropical and citrus fruits, can provide a burst of sweetness and acidity that complements the savory ribs.

11. Scallion Pancakes: Scallion pancakes, with their crispy layers and savory scallion flavor, make for a delightful and unique accompaniment to Chinese ribs.

12. Kimchi: If you’re open to fusion flavors, the tangy and spicy kick of kimchi can provide an exciting contrast to the richness of the ribs.

13. Coleslaw: A refreshing and creamy coleslaw can add a satisfying crunch and a hint of sweetness to balance the flavors of the ribs.

See Also: Green Cabbage vs. Purple Cabbage: Which Is Better For Health?

14. Chinese Egg Drop Soup: Egg drop soup is a classic Chinese dish loved by many for its simplicity, heartwarming flavors, and comforting qualities.

See Also: Chinese Egg Drop Soup – Easy & Authentic!

FAQs About Cooking Chinese Spare Ribs

Q1. How Do I Choose the Right Cut of Spare Ribs for Chinese Cooking?

When selecting pork ribs for Chinese cooking, opt for baby back ribs or St. Louis-style ribs. Baby back ribs are known for their tenderness and are a popular choice for their meat-to-bone ratio. St. Louis-style ribs are meatier and have a rich flavor. Both cuts can be used to create delicious Chinese pork ribs, so choose based on your preference for meatiness and tenderness.

Q2. Should I Remove the Membrane from the Back of the Ribs?

Yes, it’s recommended to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs before cooking. The membrane can be tough and prevent the flavors of the marinade from penetrating the meat. To remove it, gently slide a butter knife or your fingers under the membrane at one end of the ribs, then grip it and peel it off in one piece.

Q3. How Long Should I Marinate the Ribs?

Marinating time can vary, but it’s generally best to marinate the ribs for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight. Longer marinating time allows the flavors to meld and the meat to become more tender. You can marinate the ribs in the refrigerator in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.

Q4. How Can I Achieve Tender Chinese Spare Ribs?

To achieve tender Chinese pork ribs, consider using low and slow cooking methods. Baking or grilling the ribs at a lower temperature for a longer duration allows the meat to become tender and juicy. Basting the ribs with the marinade during cooking can also help enhance their tenderness and flavor.

Q5. Can I Make Chinese Spare Ribs Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can make Chinese pork ribs ahead of time. After marinating and cooking the ribs, you can refrigerate them in an airtight container. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the ribs in the oven or on the grill until heated through. Keep in mind that reheating too long may result in overcooking and affect the texture.

Q6. Can I Freeze Chinese Spare Ribs?

Yes, you can freeze Chinese pork ribs. Once the ribs are cooked and cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place them in an airtight freezer-safe container. Frozen Chinese pork ribs can be reheated in the oven or on the grill when you’re ready to enjoy them. Be sure to label the container with the date for easy reference.

Q7. Can I Adjust the Flavor of the Marinade?

Absolutely! The marinade for Chinese pork ribs is versatile and can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. You can add more or less of ingredients like soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger to achieve the desired balance of flavors. Feel free to experiment and customize the marinade to your liking.

Q8. What Should I Do If My Ribs Are Too Salty?

If your Chinese pork ribs turn out too salty, you can try a few remedies to balance the flavors. You can dilute the saltiness by adding more unsalted liquid ingredients, such as water or unsalted broth, to the marinade. Alternatively, you can serve the ribs with sides that have a mild or neutral taste to help offset the saltiness.


The art of crafting authentic Chinese spare ribs is a journey that blends tradition with creativity. From the rich marinade to the tender meat, each element contributes to a symphony of flavors that dance on the taste buds. Whether you’re savoring these succulent ribs as a centerpiece of a celebratory feast or sharing them as a delightful appetizer, the process of marinating, cooking, and pairing opens the door to a world of culinary exploration. So, embark on this culinary adventure, embrace the aromatic nuances, and relish the satisfaction of mastering the art of Chinese spare ribs.



Wellfoodrecipes is a professional gourmet portal, the main columns include gourmet recipes, healthy diet, desserts, festival recipes, meat and seafood recipes, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023