Chinese Dry Garlic Spareribs

Chinese Dry Garlic Spareribs

The Spruce / Danielle Moore

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 3 pounds
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
911 Calories
55g Fat
68g Carbs
38g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 911
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 55g 70%
Saturated Fat 16g 81%
Cholesterol 183mg 61%
Sodium 1528mg 66%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 62g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 103mg 8%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 718mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Although there may not be a big difference between American and Canadian Chinese food, there is one recipe that Montreal claims as their own: Chinese dry garlic spareribs. The ribs are first boiled in water and then simmered in a sauce made of brown sugar, garlic, soy sauce, and mustard. The result is a rib that is sticky and sweet—hand wipes are definitely needed!


  • 3 pounds spareribs

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic

  • 4 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dry mustard

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chinese Dry Garlic Spareribs ingredients

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the ribs to the boiling water; cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes until tender.

    spareribs cooking in a pot with water

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  3. While the spareribs are simmering, mix together the brown sugar, water, garlic cloves, light soy sauce, and dry mustard in a small bowl.

    mix together the brown sugar, water, garlic cloves, light soy sauce, and dry mustard in a small bowl

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  4. Remove the spareribs from the pot and slice the meat between the bones. (If you like, set aside the pork broth to use in another recipe.) Clean out the pot.

    Remove the spareribs from the pot and slice the meat between the bones

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  5. Add the sauce ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the spareribs, bring back to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, basting often.

    Add the sauce ingredients to the pot with the spareribs

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  6. Remove the ribs to a serving platter. Return the sauce to the heat and simmer to thicken; pour over the ribs and serve. 

    Chinese Dry Garlic Spareribs, sauce in the pot

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

All About Spareribs

Pork spareribs are the most popular type of rib so you should not have any difficulty finding them in the meat section of your supermarket. Spareribs are cut from the bottom section of the ribs (baby back are cut from the top section) and have flat bones with a lot of fat marbling throughout the meat. They are sold as slabs, with about 11 bones per slab and averaging 3 pounds per slab. Keep in mind, however, that half of this weight is the bone, so if it seems like you are buying more than you need, calculate the amount of meat per person, not the total weight of the rack of ribs. A good rule of thumb is that one slab of spareribs can feed two people. Also, look for ribs with pinkish-red meat and no discoloration. 

Fresh spareribs will keep for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator and up to six months in the freezer; it is best to use them soon after you buy them, however. If you freeze the ribs or buy frozen, plan for 12 to 14 hours in the fridge to thaw. No matter what, let the ribs come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. 

This recipe is very adaptable in terms of servings; you can easily increase the number of spareribs and then adjust the other ingredients accordingly.