Chinese spare ribs are melt-in-your-mouth tender with deep flavors of honey, hoisin, and five-spice powder.
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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.
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Slow Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs
These easy Chinese spare ribs are tender with the most delicious sticky sauce.
- 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.
*Have the meat dept cut your ribs right down the middle for shorter ribs.
**I used St Louis Style Spare Ribs but you could also use baby back ribs
**Red food coloring is optional but adds to the presentation of the dish.
Serving Size1 Servings
Amount Per Serving Calories 911Total Fat 57gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 26gCholesterol 184mgSodium 1514mgCarbohydrates 63gFiber 2gSugar 52gProtein 39g
Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on butteryourbiscuit.com should only be used as a general guideline.
Can this be done in the oven and if so what would your cooking instructions be?
I have only used pork for this recipe. I'm sure it would taste great but short ribs are much thicker than spare ribs so it would change the way you eat them.
Can I substitute beef short ribs instead of pork ribs??
I have doubled this recipe before and still cooked it for 6 hours on slow. 6-8 hours on slow should be fine.
I am using 7 lbs of Ribs for this recipe. What is the expected cook time
If I want to cook in slow?
I do have a Chinese BBQ pork recipe but its not made in the slow cooker.
Love, love the recuoe! Have you tried this method ( but maybe less crockpot time) to make Chinese BBQ pork?
So happy you loved it John!
Excellent recipe. We prepared exactly following the directions in our slow cooker on low. In finishing we made a few adjustments. We finished the ribs on our smoker at very low temp around 180F. We strained the slow cooker drippings and separated out the fat to leave a silky smooth sauce. To this we added 1 tsp rice vinegar, 2 tbs sweet chili sauce and 2 tsp hoisin. This brightened things up after the long cook. This sauce was used to baste the ribs for about 45 minutes. Final results were excellent.
John Treiber, Germany
Hello! I made these for my dear Better Half for Mother's Day 2020 (during the pandemic I should add) and it's really a great recipe that my wife and teenage daughters really enjoyed. I have made American-style ribs in the slow cooker, so this was a surprising alternative that can be eaten with white rice rather than baked beans or bread. Also, I made two adjustments to the recipe that might be of interest. First, I pan-fried the ribs for a few minutes in a small layer of oil to brown them before putting them in the slow cooker. Secondly, I did the ribs on high in the slow cooker and added about a cup of water so that the sauce did not become too thick. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly and I was amazed how the ribs turned out -- actually very similar to the Chinese BBQ ribs we had in Sacramento's famous Frank Fat's restaurant. Many thanks for posting!