Chinese BBQ pork ribs

by Sarah

in Asian Dishes, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Entrees

Chinese BBQ pork ribsI was convinced I wasn’t a read meat fan, until I tried this recipe. These Chinese BBQ pork ribs slide right off the bone, and the home-made BBQ sauce is the perfect mix of sweet and savory. My usually tofu filled fridge will be making some room for these every once in a while.

I’ve made them two times so far, and it’s a simple and low maintenance dish to make if you get the timing right. The recipe starts off with boiling the ribs in water plus some flavoring for 1.5- 2 hrs. —> read: can’t eat it immediately. whelp. The first time I made these I realized I couldn’t finish cooking in time for lunch. But… after taking account the boiling time, the ribs were a breeze to make. I just set them to boil and do other things for 2 hours (keep the lid open or ajar and it won’t boil over) and then come back in time to cook them on a skillet!

To start this recipe off, you want to have 1/2 a rack of ribs. The recipe can easily be doubled to cook an entire rack at once, but my pot was not large enough to hold it all, so I did 1/2 a rack each time. When you buy the ribs, the store will probably cut it a few times, but you’ll have to chop a little at home to get it to about 2-3 inch width (follow where the bones end). It’ll look like this in size when you are boiling.

Chinese pork ribs, pre-cookingBoil with flavoring and vegetables (see recipe). When you’re done, a lot of the water will have evaporated (remember you are keeping the cap off or ajar while boiling) so it’ll look more like this:

Chinese BBQ pork ribs - yummy rib broth.At this point, the meat should be sliding off the bone and your kitchen will be filled with the tasty aroma of broth and ribs! The ribs would probably taste great just eaten like this, but if you want to add some more flavor, make the BBQ sauce and cook the ribs with it on either a grill, cast-iron skillet, or non-stick pot.At this point you can fish the ribs out of the broth and start grilling them. I grilled them on a skillet indoors, which consists mostly of placing the meat on the skillet, brushing with sauce, and flipping it over to cook and brushing the other side –> and repeat, till you have delicious BBQ ribs.

Chinese BBQ pork ribs - simmering

So you’re done cooking the ribs, and you have about 3 cups of rib broth still in your pot. Don’t throw the broth away just yet! You can use it to make delicious noodle soup. Keep it in the fridge overnight so some of the fat accumulates on top of the broth, then spoon the fat off and then cook the remaining broth with noodles, some water. Add cilantro to garnish at the end, and you’ll have something like this:

BBQ rib noodle soup

The recipe for the BBQ ribs is adapted from Seonkyoung Longest’s BBQ sticky ribs recipe. She has a beautiful video on youtube showing how she made it. The recipe is are slightly different in the video, so keep that in mind if you’re following along the video!

Chinese BBQ pork ribs

Chinese BBQ pork ribs


    Pork ribs
  • 5 cups water
  • 2-4 scallions (cut into halves)
  • 1/2 inch peeled ginger
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/2 carrot sliced in half longitudinally
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 garlic bundle, cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper corns
  • 1/2 rack ribs
  • BBQ sauce
  • 1tbsp hoisen sauce
  • 1tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey


  1. Add all materials listed under "pork ribs" into a pot. Cut the ribs along the bones so they are about 2-3 inches wide each. Since you are boiling to bring flavor to the ribs, you don't need to dice or the vegetables going in the broth. E.G. just dump the entire 1/4 onion in and the 2-4 scallions in. For scallions, cut once to make sure they don't poke out of of your pot!
  2. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let boil for 1.5 hrs to 2 hours with the lid off or ajar. At the end, the meat will be falling off the bones.
  3. Prepare BBQ sauce. Fish the meat out heat it of the broth, and brush with BBQ sauce.
  4. Heat up a skillet. Add 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, let heat 30 seconds, and swirl to coat the skillet bottom. Place the BBQ sauce brushed ribs on the skillet. Continue to brush BBQ sauce on the ribs as you cook to get a redder color and more flavor. I used a silicon brush to brush the sauce. Flip ribs around with chopsticks while cooking to make sure all sides are brushed with sauce and cooked.
  5. Serve when you have used up all your sauce. The meat should look saucy and brown (See pictures above). Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.


Leave a Comment

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 l June 12, 2016 at 6:54 pm

when my husband or his family make most kinds of pork on the stove top they have a similar cooking method. The season is all different, but they always boil it ( normally till the water is gone though ) then fry it. Im excited to try keeping some of the broth and switching to a different pot before frying.


Previous post:

Next post: