Melt-in-Your-Mouth Asian Spare Ribs

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Make tender, flavorful Asian spare ribs possible with the magic of your trusty slow cooker. These Asian spare ribs are slowly cooked with a sweet and savory glaze that’ll keep you licking your fingers clean.

If you’re looking for an easy and impressive dish to shake up your weeknight meal routine or to wow your guests at your next gathering, this is it. And while this dish looks fancy, I promise you, this recipe is simple to make.

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The slow cooker does all the work, and the ribs come out fall-off-the-bone good and covered in a sticky Asian sauce. So skip the Chinese takeout and enjoy this tasty recipe at home!

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make these mouthwatering ribs a reality in your kitchen. From the ingredients, you’ll need (spoiler alert: everything can be found at your local supermarket) to the step-by-step slow cooker process.

Looking for more slow cooker pork recipes? Try slow cooker country-style ribs, slow cooker creamy pork chops, or slow cooker spiral ham.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy.

🥘Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • St. Louis-style pork ribs
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Chinese five spice powder: This gives it that signature Chinese flavor.
  • Brown sugar
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic cloves
  • Ground ginger
  • Red food coloring: This is optional. Use it if you want your ribs to have a classic red hue you see in restaurants.
  • Cornstarch
A list of ingredients for a Asian ribs.

🥣How to Make Chinese Spare Ribs

  1. First, mix the delicious sauce. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, hoisin, five-spice blend, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and optional red food coloring.
  2. Next, cut the ribs between the bones, every 2 bones. Once that’s done, place the ribs and sauce in an 8-quart slow cooker. Now, all you’ve got to do is sit back and let the slow cooker work its magic on low heat for the next 6 hours.
  3. After 6 hours, remove the ribs and place them on a baking sheet lined with foil.
  4. Stir the cornstarch into the leftover sauce in the slow cooker, turn it high, and let it cook for about 5 minutes to thicken the sticky glaze.
  5. Then, baste the ribs all over with this sticky sauce.
  6. Pop them under the broiler for about 5-6 minutes or until they’re nicely caramelized.
A glass bowl with a mixture of spices and seasonings.
Mix the sauce
Asian inspired pork ribs in a slow cooker.
Ribs before slow cooking
Asian ribs in foil on a baking sheet.
Broil the ribs
A slow cooker full of ribs with sauce.
Ribs after cooking

🍴Serving Ideas

Garnish these ribs with some sesame seeds and green onions and serve them with the extra sauce. One of my favorite ways to serve these tender, delicious Asian spare ribs fresh out of the slow cooker is over a steaming bowl of jasmine rice.

It’s a simple side, but the rice’s mild, slightly sweet flavor complements the savory ribs perfectly.

And why not try them with some stir-fried vegetables? I usually go for the classic broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots trio, but feel free to mix and match with your favorites.

And if you’re in a hurry (aren’t we always?), pair the ribs with some pre-packaged Asian noodles. It’s a quick and easy side that beautifully brings out the ribs’ flavors.

A person holding a piece of ribs with sesame seeds.

💭How to Store

If you’re anything like me, you might have way too much food. Three pounds of ribs is a lot! Luckily, these Asian spare ribs store well, so delicious meals are ready for the next few days.

Put leftover ribs into an airtight container and store them in the fridge. They’ll stay good for up to 4 days. When ready to reheat, toss them in a pan on medium heat or use your air fryer.

If you plan to save them for later, you can freeze the ribs. Make sure they’re completely cooled before you put them in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag, and they’ll last for about 3 months. To reheat, let the ribs defrost in the fridge overnight and then heat them up as you would with refrigerated leftovers.

Bbq ribs with sesame seeds and green onions.

⭐Tips

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Choosing the proper cut of meat is crucial. For this recipe, I recommend St. Louis-style ribs. They’re meaty and have less fat than baby back ribs.
  • If you’re strapped for time, you can cook the ribs on high for 4 hours instead of 6 hours on low.
  • Want to turn up the heat? Add more red pepper flakes.
  • Use the red food coloring to get the classic red color you’d see in a restaurant.

Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

Two ribs on a tray with sesame seeds and sesame seeds.
4.84 from 6 votes

Slow Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs Recipe

Published By Anne
These Asian spare ribs are slow cooked, absorbing a blend of aromatic spices and sauces for a mouthwatering result. It's an easy, set-it-and-forget-it meal.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Print Save Rate Pin

Ingredients
 

  • 3 pounds St. Louis style spare ribs one rack of ribs
  • 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
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring optional
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

  • In a small bowl mix soy sauce, honey, hoisin, five spice blend, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, red food coloring (optional).
    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, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 5 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • Cut the ribs between the bones, every 2 bones.
    3 pounds St. Louis style spare ribs
  • Place ribs and marinade in an 8-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Remove ribs and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  • Stir the cornstarch into the slow cooker. Turn it to high and let it cook for 2-3 minutes to thicken the sticky glaze.
    2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Baste the ribs all over with the marinade from the slow cooker.
  • Place under the broiler for 5-6 minutes or until caramelized.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

Notes

  • Choosing the proper cut of meat is crucial. For this recipe, I’d recommend St. Louis-style ribs. They’re meaty and have less fat than baby back ribs. 
  • If you’re strapped for time, you can cook the ribs on high for 4 hours instead of 6 on low.
  • Want to turn up the heat? Add more red pepper flakes.
  • Use the red food coloring to get the classic red color you’d see in a restaurant.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Nutrition Information

Calories: 593kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 925mg | Potassium: 483mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 103IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Asian ribs on a plate with green onions and sesame seeds.
anne

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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