Char Siu Pork Ribs


2 racks St. Louis Style spare ribs

½ cup hoisin sauce

½ cup vodka

ingredients¼ cup honey

¼ cup less-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce

2 Tbsp powdered ginger

2 Tbsp powdered onion

1 Tbsp powdered garlic

1 Tbsp Chinese five spice powder

1 tsp red food coloring

Sesame seeds

Chives or green onions

I am a huge fan of Chinese food and especially ribs, so when I stumbled across this recipe I knew I had to make it.  The list of ingredients is long and you might not have some of them readily available in your pantry but it’s worth it.  

These ribs are everything you love about the ones you get from your favorite Chinese restaurant except better.  They are way less greasy because of the cooking method.  

I used my Big Green Egg for this.  I did not add smoke wood because these ribs are not really meant to have that flavor so just go with your lump charcoal.  I also had my platesetter in with a pan filled with warm water.

If you don’t have an Egg you can use any grill set up for indirect heat; even your oven if you put them on a rack above a baking sheet.  This is a BBQ website so obviously I could not use an oven!

1. Whisk together all ingredients in a mixing bowl except for the ribs.  Use a stainless steel bowl if you have it because the food coloring could stain a plastic one.  For those questioning the use of the vodka it is kind of necessary.  I think it helps to tenderize the meat here.  


2. For the ribs start to prepare them as you would for bbq.  Take the membrane off the back of the rack and cut off any large chunks of fat.  Now here is where things get crazy, cut them racks down into individual ribs.  We want that marinade to soak into each individual rib.

raw ribs

3. Place the ribs and marinade into a large ziplock bag and place in a bowl in the refrigerator (please put in a bowl just in case the bag leaks).  I let these marinate for 24 hours.  I really wanted the ribs to soak in that marinade and take on that color.

4. When you are ready to cook take the ribs out of the refrigerator and let them chill out on the counter while you fire up your grill.  Get your grill up to 225 degrees at the grate level.  I had more ribs than I could fit so I had to use a second level.  If you do the same, make sure you rotate the ribs halfway through the cook.

2 racks on grill

5. Once the grill is up to temp take the ribs out of the marinade and shake off the excess.  Discard the marinade.

6. Place the ribs on the grill and make sure they are not touching each other.  Place them meat side up.

grilling ribs

7. After 1 and a half hours check on the ribs and rotate the racks (if using 2).  Check for even cooking and move ribs that may be cooking faster than others.  

8. At the 2 and a half hour mark take a small bowl of warmed honey and paint it on the ribs with it.  This is really going to give you that eye-popping flavor you want.

honey glaze

9. Give the ribs another 15 to 30 minutes to let that honey glaze set and then take them off.  Toss them with some toasted sesame seeds and chopped chives and you have some delicious ribs.  I paired mine with a crunchy asian noodle salad and a few bottles of Tsingtao beer.  Enjoy!

sesame seed and chives

ribs and noodles

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