Chinese pork ribs featured image

Chinese Spare Ribs Recipe – How to make in 4 simple steps

Look at the image above, the Chinese Spare Ribs that has to be tasted to believe.


If you regularly use herbs and spices like rosemary, thyme, black pepper and olive oil to make braised pork ribs, now think of replacing them with a plethora of Asian spices- cloves, scallion, star anise, cinnamon, sesame oil and soybean paste.

This Chinese Spare Ribs recipe is my favorite because the preparation is incredibly simple. Even though the braised spare ribs takes 3 hours to cook, it is mostly passive cooking, means you just let it braise without doing a thing. In fact, you need less than 15 minutes to prepare everything. You will be pleasantly surprised by the aromatic flavor as the result of the interplay of this oriental spices.

This Chinese Spare Ribs Recipe (香燜一支骨) has a set of flavor with universal appeal that accessible to almost every palate. If you can’t imagine how these Chinese pork ribs taste like, let’s cook up a storm by following this step-by-step guide. You will be amazed how tasty it is.

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This Chinese Spare Ribs that has to be tasted to be believed!

Chinese prok ribs


How to make Chinese Spare Ribs Recipe in 4 simple steps

Let’s take a look how to prepare this amazing dish in four simple steps.

Step 1- Blanch the pork ribs.

Prepare a pot of boiling water. Place the pork ribs in a saucepan or skillet, and make sure the amount of water is sufficient to submerge the entire rib. I use a wok since I do not have a skillet large enough for the ribs.

Bring the water to a boil. Wait for five minutes and then remove the ribs and drain.

OK. We are supposed to braise the pork ribs, not blanching it in water, right?

Blanching the pork rib is an essential pre-treatment before proceeding to braise. Some pork ribs may have a strong gamey taste, and blanching can effectively remove the unpleasant taste of the pork.

This process will not reduce the flavor since it takes only five minutes.

Watch the videoRead on: Watch the video recipe at the end of this post

Step 2- Prepare the braising liquid.

The herbs, spices, and seasonings in the braising liquid define the complex and yet subtle flavor of the pork rib.

This step begins with adding two tablespoons of vegetable oil to the wok over medium heat.

Put your palm about two inches above the surface of the oil. If you can fill the heat from the oil, it is now hot enough to saute the herbs and spices.

Then add five slices of ginger, three cloves of garlic, two stalks of scallion, one star anise of about seven to ten star-points, and one stick of cinnamon, about 5 cm length. Saute the spices slowly over low heat until they turn aromatic.

Next, add 2 tablespoons of fermented soybean paste, 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce, 4 teaspoons of oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 4 tablespoons of Shaoxing wine, and lastly 1500 ml of water.

Stir and mix well the liquid and wait until it is boiling.

Do you realize that there is no salt in the recipe?

The soybean paste, light soy sauce, and oyster sauce all contain salt, which will provide sufficient saltiness to the recipe. Bear in mind that the amount of salt in different brands of soybean paste, light soy sauce, and oyster sauce are not the same. Therefore, I always like to adjust the saltiness of the sauce right before serving. If you follow this recipe, the saltiness is joust right in most cases. But you can add additional salt and light soy sauce during the final adjustment of the flavor.

Chinese spareribs recipe

Step 3- braise the pork ribs

And now you have completed most of the work. Just place the spare rib in the skillet (or wok in my case) and start braising it over low heat with the lid on.

Now sit back and relax. Have your coffee break or pick up a storybook. All you need is to check the progress of the braise occasionally.

There are two common questions about braising. First, should I close the lid or leave it open? And the second question, how long should I braise the rib?

Here are a few tips to help you make sure that you get the flawless Chinese Spare Ribs.

  • You can either leave the lid on or otherwise. If you cook without the lid, please monitor the level of water in the skillet regularly, as it will dry out pretty fast. The advantage of putting the lid on is that you do not need to check the amount of liquid often.
  • Always use the lowest heat to cook. You can raise up the skillet a little by putting a steaming rack on top of the stove and place the skillet on it. Bear in mind that you are braising the rib for three hours. The meat will eventually be so soft that it just falls off from the bone.
  • Since the rib is only partially submerged in the liquid, it is best to turn the spare ribs over occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  • The actual duration of braising depends on the heat and whether it is covered. Generally, it takes about three hours, but you can stop short once the meat is tender and soft.

Step 4- Thicken the sauce

After three hours of braising, there is only one more step remain before serving – to make the umami-rich sauce to coat the pork ribs.

Check the amount of the braising liquid.

If it is too dry, add a bit of water and bring it to a boil again. Then add some cornstarch slurry to thicken the liquid to form a thick sauce. Sometimes the liquid is already thick enough as the result of the gelatin from the bone. In this case, you can just omit the cornstarch slurry. The goal is to form a thick sauce that will cling to the rib, that for sure will tantalize your taste buds.

Remove the spare rib from the saucepan, place it on a large plate. Pour the thick sauce over the rib. Garnish with scallion. Serve.

Final note

This recipe is easy to prepare. You can adjust the amount of each ingredient according to your preference, and it will still turn out to be outstanding. You can follow this recipe for the first time and make changes during your next attempt. Chinese Spare Ribs are best to serve with steamed white rice along with some leafy vegetable. Guarantee to make your belly rumbles!

Now it is your turn to cook. Leave your comments and questions below, and I’ll try to reply as soon as possible.


Chinese spare ribs recipe

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Rice Cooking Wine (Red) by Shaohsing

GreenPan Rio 5QT Ceramic Non-Stick Covered Skillet

Watch this video

A picture worth thousand words, a video worth thousand images.
This video will show you how to prepare Chinese spare ribs. (8.25 minutes)

(Note: If you encounter any audio / visual problem of viewing this video, you can view it from YouTube by clicking this link, which will open in a new tab)

The Chinese Spare Ribs Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Chinese spareribs recipe
Chinese spare ribs recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 15 mins

A delicious Chinese style braised pork ribs that only take fifteen minutes to prepare.

Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 1 spareribs of 600g
Calories: 2176 kcal
Ingredients A
  • 1 stick of meaty spare rib about 600g
  • 4 g cornflour mix with 1 tablespoon of water
  • Scallion to garnish
Ingredients B
Ingredients C
  1. Place the pork rib in a large skillet with boiling water, which is sufficient to cover the entire pork rib.
  2. Blanch for 5 minutes. Remove the pork rib and discard the water.
  3. Heat up the vegetable oil in a wok or saucepan, saute the ingredients in B until aromatic.
  4. Add ingredients C. Bring it to a boil.
  5. Place the spare rib in the boiling liquid. Reduce the heat and braise for 3 hours.
  6. Turn over the spare rib occasionally.
  7. After 3 hours, add the cornflour and water in INgredients A to thicken the braised liquid.
  8. Remove the spare ribs and place it on a serving plate.
  9. Pour the thickened sauce over the spare rib.
  10. Garnish with scallion.
Nutrition Facts
Chinese spare ribs recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 spare rib (600g))
Calories 2176 Calories from Fat 1269
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 141g 217%
Cholesterol 618mg 206%
Sodium 4100mg 171%
Total Carbohydrates 47g 16%
Sugars 17g
Protein 167g 334%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Chinese Spare Ribs Recipe – How to make in 4 simple steps was last modified: January 7th, 2018 by KP Kwan


  • KP Kwan

    Reply Reply December 30, 2017

    Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am glad to reply any questions and comments as soon as possible.

  • Albert Bevia

    Reply Reply January 2, 2018

    These spare ribs look incredible, I love the whole concept of this dish, and I am sure it is worth the 3 hour cook time wait, great recipe 🙂

    • KP Kwan

      Reply Reply January 2, 2018

      Hi Albert,

      The preparation is easy, and most of the cooking time is just let it braise. Hope you will enjoy the Chinese spare ribs.

      KP Kwan

  • Janice

    Reply Reply January 4, 2018

    This looks really good. It looks like it will just melt in your mouth. I like how you used the spare ribs with the skin and fat still attached to it.

    • KP Kwan

      Reply Reply January 5, 2018

      Hi Janice,
      Glad you like the Chinese spare ribs recipe. Please try it, and you will love it.

      KP Kwan

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