Chinese spare ribs are melt-in-your-mouth tender with deep flavors of honey, hoisin, and five-spice powder.
We may earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this post. Read our disclosure policy here
Chinese spare ribs are made in the crock pot and come out so tender and delicious, better than in any take-out restaurant. Smothered in a flavorful sauce that becomes a delicious, finger-licking sticky glaze! If you love Chinese flavors as much as we do you'll have to check out my Chinese BBQ Pork.
Why this recipe works
I love ribs especially the ones in Chinese restaurants. Super tender with a sticky delicious sauce, once you start hard to stop! These are great for game day appetizers or my Easy Oven BBQ Baked Ribs. These Chinese spare ribs come out so tender cooked in a slow cooker.
- Ribs- I use St Loius style ribs and I have the butcher cut my ribs into riblets.
- Soy Sauce- Low sodium soy sauce can also be used.
- Brown sugar- I use dark but light brown sugar will also work.
- Hoisin Sauce- Adds a unique layer of flavors that in my iopinion can not be replaced.
How to make this recipe
- Step 1- Add all the sauce ingredients into a small bowl and mix.
- Step 2-Cut the ribs up into riblets.
- Step 3- Toss the ribs and the sauce together.
- Step 4-Place the riblets into the crockpot.
- Step 5-Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
- Step 6- Place the riblets onto a foil lined baking sheet and brush sauce over each one and broil.
- Red food coloring is optional but adding the red food coloring gives the sauce a deep rich color like what you would get at your local Chinese takeout.
- You can leave the ribs whole, I just prefer to have them cut especially if serving for an appetizer.
- Broiling them for the last few minutes helps the sauce caramelize just a tad, giving them the perfect texture.
- Add a little of your favorite barbecue sauce if you prefer before broiling.
- Add a drizzle of sesame oil over the top for a nice twist.
Yes, you can also use spare ribs or pork back ribs. Boneless country-style ribs will also work for this.
Made up of cinnamon, fennel, star anise, and cloves. It adds a depth of flavor to any dish. Here is a recipe to make your own.
Slow Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs
- 3 lb St. Louis-style spare ribs see notes
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- 5-6 gloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring optional
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- sesame seeds
- green onions
- In a small bowl mix soy, honey, hoisin, five-spice, brown sugar, sweet chili sauce, garlic, ginger, and red food coloring. Set aside
- Cut the ribs between the bones to give individual ribs and place them in a large bowl or freezer bag. Pour the marinade over ribs and marinate for 12 hours or 24 hours for the best flavor.
- Place ribs and marinade in the slow cooker and cook on low 6 hours or high 4 hours.
- Remove ribs from the slow cooker and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Remove the top layer of fat from the juice in the slow cooker. Pour liquid into a small saucepan and whisk in 2 teaspoon cornstarch. Let come to a low boil to thicken.
- Brush thickened sauce over ribs and broil 5-6 minutes to caramelize on top.
- Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.