Takeout-Style Chinese Spare Ribs

15 Ratings
Recipe courtesy ofJeff Mauro

Total: 6 hr 15 min Cook: 30 min

Yield: 20 to 24 ribs

Level: Intermediate



  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce 
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus a bit extra to finish 
  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder 
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic 
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring 
  • 2 racks spare ribs (8 to 10 pounds, St. Louis-style work best), individually sliced into single ribs 


  • Mix together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, five-spice powder, garlic, ginger and food coloring in a metal, non-reactive bowl. Pour the marinade into a large zip-top bag, reserving 1/2 cup on the side for basting later. Add the ribs to the bag and marinate, refrigerated, for at least 3 hours, though longer is better and overnight is ideal.

  • Heat a charcoal or gas grill to 275 degrees F for direct and indirect grilling.

  • Remove the ribs from the marinade (discard the marinade) and place onto a wire rack. Place the rack directly on the cooler side of the grill. Cook until the meat is very tender, basting with the reserved marinade 3 times during the cooking process, 2 to 3 hours.

  • Drizzle the ribs with honey, move them to the direct heat side and quickly char each rib to caramelize.

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15 Ratings

Susan B.
We love this recipe. I make the marinade and my husband does the grilling or smoking. We have used pork ribs and also beef ribs. The recipe is a favorite of ours now! I can't tell you how many times we have made them this summer. Easy & Awesome! Fall off the bone meat. They do taste like Chinese take-out! See All Reviews Post Review

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