Spare Ribs With Hoisin Sauce

Homemade spare rib with Chinese sauce
Chinese spare ribs with hoisin sauce MelindaChan/Moment/Getty Images
Prep: 24 hrs 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 24 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
695 Calories
46g Fat
22g Carbs
47g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 695
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 46g 59%
Saturated Fat 17g 84%
Cholesterol 183mg 61%
Sodium 823mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 47g
Calcium 121mg 9%
*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.)

The next time your family clamors for Chinese takeout, serve up this Chinese spare ribs recipe. It's made with a hoisin sauce that mimics what you would get from your favorite takeout restaurant, but it's much friendlier on the budget. When serving ribs, you generally allot about half a rack—or about 2 pounds—per adult. For Chinese-style spare ribs, you can divide it up the same way for an entree or reserve fewer ribs per person if you're serving them as an appetizer.


  • 2 racks spare ribs (8 to 10 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup water

Steps to Make It

  1. Cut the spare ribs apart into individual ribs, and place them in a shallow glass baking dish.

  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ketchup, rice wine or sherry, brown sugar, and chopped garlic. Pour the mixture over the spareribs.

  3. Cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator, turning occasionally to make sure the ribs are thoroughly coated.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F/177 C.

  5. Bring the water to a boil, and dissolve the honey.

  6. Fill a shallow roasting pan with 1/2-inch of water and place in the bottom of the oven. Place the pork on a rack above the water. Roast the pork for 30 minutes, or until the ribs just begin shrinking and the internal temperature reaches 160 F/71 C. Brush the spareribs several times with the honey and water mixture during roasting. Remove, let the ribs rest for 15 minutes, and serve.


  • Spareribs can be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. Thaw the frozen pork in the refrigerator or microwave. Use refrigerated pork within 4 days. Reheat ​the frozen or refrigerated pork before serving.
  • Cutting the slabs into individual ribs allows them to cook faster and more evenly. If you want to cook the whole slab, do the low-and-slow method: around 250 F for 2 1/2 to 33 hours.
  • If you want a deep red hue to the ribs, like you might get from the Chinese restaurant, add a few drops of red food coloring to the sauce.

Recipe Variations

  • Grilled Chinese spare ribs: After marinating overnight, take the ribs out of the fridge and bring them to room temperature. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to 275 F. Place the ribs on a wire rack, and place the rack on the cooler side of the grill. Cook for 2 to 3 hours, basting occasionally. Drizzle the ribs with the honey money and cook them on the grill over direct heat until they're quickly charred.
  • Smoky barbecue spare ribs: Replace the sauce ingredients (hoisin, soy sauce, ketchup, rice wine, sugar, and garlic) with 1/2 cup Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 cups of your favorite spice rub, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 1/3 tablespoons liquid smoke. Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce (about 2 cups' worth) throughout cooking.