This Sticky Asian Pork Ribs recipe is baked in the oven to melt-in-your-mouth, sticky, sweet, crispy, spicy perfection.
I ADORE this flavor combination! Sweet and heat, especially with an Asian twist, is one of my favorites. Combine that with sticky and caramelized on these fall-off-the-bone, tender ribs and you have absolute perfection.
One thing I really like about this rib method, other then the fact that even my pickiest child will eat them, is that it is basically a set-it and forget-it type of recipe. No babysitting required.
- Pat them down with a smokey, brown sugar rub .
- Cover tightly with foil.
- Bake low and slow.
- Uncover, and brush them with the sticky, sweet sauce until it caramelizes under the broiler.
Truly a no-fail, easy recipe!
While my family usually eats them as a main course for dinner, they are great cut into individual portions and served as an appetizer. Looking for a unique dish to bring to your next get together or tailgating party? Look no further! Like this flavor combination on chicken? Definitely try my Grilled Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs. While these ribs are great served straight out of the oven or kept warm in a crockpot, they are fantastic at room temperature as well.
How to make baked Sticky Asian Pork Ribs
Begin by choosing a slab of meaty, pork baby back ribs. Here is an interesting article on the differences between baby back and spare ribs.
Should I remove the membrane from the back of the ribs?
There is some discussion that leaving the membrane on the ribs helps to retain the fat and moisture while cooking. It can also be said that the membrane is chewy and keeps the ribs from being truly fall-off-the-bone because of this connective tissue.
I prefer a middle of the road approach. I score the back of the ribs in a crosshatch pattern with a sharp knife. The ribs are no longer held together and the juiciness can be locked in. But if you have a preference for removing the white membrane, I certainly have no argument with that.
Rub both sides of the ribs with a brown sugar based rub. This is the same rub I use on a lot of pork recipes, like my Smokey Brown Sugar Crusted Pork Tenderloin. It’s sweet, smokey, and flavorful and creates the most delightful crust.
Place the ribs on a large baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 300 degrees for about 2.5 hours until the meat is fork tender and pulling away from the bone.
Meanwhile, at some point while the ribs are cooking, combine the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring them to a low boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Let the sauce cool so it can thicken.
When the ribs are tender, remove the foil, and turn on the broiler to high. Brush the ribs with the sauce and broil for 1-2 minutes. Re-sauce one or two times until the sauce is sticky and caramelized.
Can I finish my ribs on the barbecue grill?
Yes! I love to do this. The extra smokey, grilled flavor from caramelizing the sauce on the barbecue grill only enhances these bad boys. To do this, preheat the barbecue grill to a high heat. Place the ribs slightly off the direct heat so that the bottoms of the ribs don’t burn. Sauce the ribs at least twice and cook until the sauce starts to caramelize.
Remove from the oven and cut the ribs to the desired portion sizes. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
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Sticky Asain Ribs
- 2.25 pounds baby back pork ribs
Brown Sugar Rib Rub
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt – course
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
Sticky Asian Sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ginger, fresh grated
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- On the back of the rack of ribs, score the white membrane in a one inch diagonal pattern using a sharp knife or completely remove the white membrane.
- Stir the brown sugar rib rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Pat the rub mixture over the front and back of the slab of ribs.
- Place the ribs meat side up on a baking sheet that has been greased or lined with foil or parchment. Cover tightly with foil.
- Bake the covered ribs for 2 – 2.5 hours. Test for tenderness and if the meat is easily pulling away from the bone. Cook for an additional half an hour if needed.
- Place the Sticky Asian Sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let the sauce cool to thicken.
- When desired rib tenderness is reached, remove the foil.
- Turn the oven to broil. Brush the ribs with the Sticky Asian Sauce. Broil for 2-3 minutes and then brush with sauce again. Broil an additional 2-3 minutes until the sauce starts to caramelize.
- Garnish with any left over sauce, sesame seeds, and sliced green onions.