22 May2014


The inspiration are those dryish, savory sweet short spare ribs served in Chinese restaurants in the U.S. — we used to have them at Shun Lee Palace in New York, but practically every Chinese take-out place had a version of them. I have never made them before, and didn’t bother to look up a recipe and decided to just wing it. First, I cleaned up a rack of ribs (removing the “silver skin?” under the bones) then cut the spare-ribs in half and into individual ribs.


I made a marinade of soy sauce, a bit of grated ginger, several cloves of grated garlic, brown sugar, rhum (I didn’t have sherry or chinese cooking wine which is probably a better choice) and some water. I placed the ribs in the marinade and let this sit for an hour or two. Place in a 300F oven for roughly 2 hours until tender. Remove the ribs from the marinade and boil the marinade down a bit to thicken it. I added about a cup or so of maltose to try and get a stickier consistency — taste the marinade and adjust soy sauce if it is too sweet for you.


Get a grill ready with some charcoal that is just beyond its peak heat level. Dunk the ribs into the marinade and grill for a minute or two, dunk in more marinade and return to the grill for another minute or so.


You want a bit of char, but not burn and dry out the ribs completely. I suppose you could finish these in a hot oven as well, but you will lack the black charred bits I think.


The results? Not quite the NY chinese restaurant ribs (that probably have star anise and other spices I didn’t use) I recall, but these were delicious nonetheless! The long cooking time really resulted in the meat on the ribs SHRINKING in a big way but what remained was deeply flavored. A bit on the sweet side but the soy sauce was also dominant. Something I am definitely going to be cooking again and experimenting with further!



  1. lorraine says:

    can we do the same thing on beef ribs?

    May 22, 2014 | 6:28 am


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  3. Betchay says:

    Oh, it’s like a teriyaki sauce!

    May 22, 2014 | 7:50 am

  4. jay p says:

    you bake them sitting in the marinade MM?

    May 22, 2014 | 8:24 am

  5. Tina says:

    Try this tangy,spicy and sweet sauce to rub on the ribs. 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (or any spicy chili sauce), 2 tablespoon malt vinegar, 4 scallions, 2 inch piece ginger (peeled). 1 rack pork spare ribs, salt and pepper.

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, pulse ketchup, hoisin, sambal oelek, vinegar, scallions, and ginger until smooth. Season ribs with salt and pepper.Coat both sides with sauce. Roast bone side down, until ribs are tender. 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

    Hope you’ll like it.

    May 22, 2014 | 9:01 am

  6. ami says:

    I reckon it would be nice to add a dash of sesame oil to the marinate.

    May 22, 2014 | 9:56 am

  7. Thel from Florida says:

    Looks delicious! I usually put “Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce when I cook ribs–soooo good!

    May 22, 2014 | 10:18 am

  8. Khew says:

    Adobo ribs the next time, perhaps.

    May 22, 2014 | 10:29 am

  9. dianne says:

    i think my aunt uses molasses ;)

    May 23, 2014 | 1:48 am

  10. Eileen C says:

    Tried this recipe last night- didn’t have any rum so I used Chilean wine.
    Very good, indeed, MM- many thanks!

    May 24, 2014 | 7:46 am

  11. Marketman says:

    Eileen, glad you enjoyed them! Knew, I think I have a grilled adobo ribs post several months back… They were superb!

    May 24, 2014 | 11:47 am


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