Chinese Spare Ribs Take-Out Style

March 28, 2023

Do you ever find that the next day’s leftovers from a meal you prepared taste even better than the original? These Chinese-style spare ribs are a great example of this trend. We published the instructions for making Chinese roasted ribs a few months ago. We used the remaining BBQ sauce from the previous rib recipe and decided to re-post it.

Don’t worry about making too much because the flavors will only improve with time. Sometimes we make an extra batch of the sauce so we can keep some on hand. It can last for months if stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Baby back pork ribs were used instead of regular pork ribs because they are more tender. It’s subjective, but we like these “fun-size” spare ribs. As a bonus, marinades can be prepared in less time. Leave them alone for 4 to 6 hours instead of overnight. It’s easy to make the sauce more concentrated by adding more.

When we had ribs rush at the Holiday Inn, we would marinate them more quickly by adding more sauce. Brush off some excess sauce before baking if you choose to go this route.

With no further ado, then, the recipe is as follows.


  • 5 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp. of canned pineapple (minced)
  • 1 pc. of star anise (ground in a mortar and pestle)
  • 1 tbsp. of salt
  • 5 tbsp. of sugar
  • 2 tbsp. of honey
  • 2 tbsp. of peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp. of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. of ground bean sauce
  • 2 tbsp. of tomato puree
  • 5 tbsp. of ketchup
  • ½ tbsp. of five-spice powder
  • 2 tbsp. of fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. of pepper
  • ½ tbsp. of paprika
  • 2-3 racks of baby back ribs


  1. Combine the garlic and paprika with the remaining BBQ sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix the ribs and half the sauce in a plastic bag. Marinate them for at least a full day or 4-6 hours if you want to use a bit more sauce. You can save the extra condiment by storing it.
  2. Set the oven temperature to 325 degrees. If you want to make cleanup easier, line your roasting pan with heavy-duty foil. Put 2 cups of water into the pan, or enough to cover the bottom by half an inch. After preheating the oven, set a roasting rack inside the pan and lay the spare ribs on it, rib side up.
  3. Toss in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. Roast for an additional 45-60 minutes with the racks turned over. As the water in the pan evaporates during roasting, replenish it. You can broil them for the final few minutes if you like.
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