I have been making these ribs for years because it's so easy and unbelievably delicious! It's as simple as rub, cover, bake, and in a couple of hours you will taste the juiciest, most tender ribs you've ever had! The secret is in the amazing spice rub on the ribs, which is so good I also add it to my chili and taco fillings.
I used to put store-bought BBQ sauce on these ribs (no shame in that!) but since I was gonna share with you the rib recipe, I wanted to also have a homemade BBQ sauce to go with it. So I developed this BBQ sauce recipe just for you guys, using ingredients I already have at home, so you'll notice there are a lot of Asian ingredients involved! The result is far better than any store bought BBQ sauce I've had!
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Dry Rub (this makes enough for 2 x recipes)
- 2 Tbsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp black pepper
- ½ - 1 teaspoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper, to taste
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 rack pork back ribs or spare ribs
- 1 ½ - 2 cups low sodium stock (any kind will do)
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup diced onions
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ cup ketchup
- 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp tamarind juice
- 1 ½ Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp soy sauce (I used Japanese soy sauce)
- 2 Tbsp sweet soy sauce (Kecap Manis)
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Make the spice rub: Combine all spices in a coffee grinder and grind until fine. This recipe makes enough for 2 racks of ribs, so you can store any leftover in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Make the ribs: Cut the pork ribs in half and place in a deep baking pan. Sprinkle the spice mix over the ribs and spread it with your hands to get an even, thin coating on all sides of the ribs. If you have time, let it sit like this for at least a couple of hours or overnight before baking. If not, you can bake it right away.
Pour the stock into the bottom of the pan and cover the pan tightly with a lid or foil. Bake in a 325°F oven for 2.5 hours. Check it at 1:45hr to make sure the liquid hasn't dried up too much, which can happen if your lid isn't tight. If it has dried up too much, you can add a little more water.
Meanwhile, make the BBQ sauce: In a heavy-bottomed pot, saute the onion and garlic in a little oil over medium low heat until they are soft and translucent. Add dry spices and saute for just 30 seconds to toast. Add ketchup, soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, dark brown sugar, tamarind, rice vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce; simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the ribs are done, check that they're tender by poking a fork into it and there should be no resistance. Carefully place them on a plate and brush a generous amount of barbecue sauce all over them. Serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side (you'll want it!) and your side dishes of choice. Enjoy!