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Pork Spare Ribs

posted Feb 25, 2013, 6:49 AM by Sam Hunt   [ updated Mar 1, 2013, 4:47 PM ]
A Sweet and Sour Pork Spare Rib recipe was requested by Celia Boland! Thank you Celia for the wonderful request!
The Spare Ribs are the most inexpensive cut of pork cuts. They are flatter in shape than the baby back ribs and contain more marbling which attributes to their higher calorie count. St. Louis style ribs are St. Louis style when the sternum bone, cartilage, and rib tips have been removed. The shape is almost rectangular.

A standard serving of 4 oz. has 200 total calories with 22 grams of protein.


Spare ribs have a small amount of nutrients such as iron, vitamin B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, and zinc. They are a good source of selenium. They also contain 2 grams of saturated fat and 23 mg of sodium per ounce.


Interesting tid-bits:

  • Pork spare ribs are popular in Chinese and American Chinese cuisine, they are generally called paigu (Chinese: pinyin: páigǔ, literally "row of bones"). When removed from the bone and roasted, or when roasted after marinating in a red colored stock, they are called char siu.
  • In County Cork, Ireland, pork spare ribs are boiled and eaten with potatoes and turnips. This dish is called bodice locally.


Information from: and

Sweet and Sour Pork Spare Rib Recipes to Try:

(4 total)




For the ribs

  • 2 racks spareribs
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 to 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
For the glaze
  • 2 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar (don't waste your best balsamic here)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 can beer (preferably dry)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 cup grainy mustard
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons Tabasco (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup water


Preheat the oven to 250°F and place each rack of ribs on a square of aluminum foil. Sprinkle the ribs generously with salt, add a few sprigs of thyme to each, and then wrap well. Place the rib packets on a cookie sheet and bake for 3 to 4 hours, until the ribs are extremely tender. Allow the ribs to cool slightly in their packets before opening.

To make the glaze, combine all of the ingredients in a large pot on medium-low heat. Allow to simmer, stirring every so often, for a few hours, until the sauce is nice and thick. Set aside.

To bring the ribs and glaze together, do the following. Turn on the broiler (if you don't have a broiler, get the oven up to 450°F). Cut the rib racks into individual ribs, place them on a foil-lined cookie sheet or broiler tray, and brush them aggressively with the glaze. Pop them under the broiler and watch them carefully: all that sugar makes them burn very easily! You want the glaze to fuse with the ribs; it takes 3 to 4 minutes. If you're cooking the ribs in the oven, do so just until the glaze begins to bubble, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve the ribs hot with lots of napkins—trust me, you'll need them.

* The recipe for the glaze makes enough for up to four racks, so if you have a hungry crew, double the meat.
* Keep an eye on the sauce; it has a tendency to bubble up.




  • 5 to 6 pounds pork spareribs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cold water


  • Place ribs on a rack in a large shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1-1/2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, ketchup, vinegar and water until smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove ribs and rack from pan. Drain and discard fat. Return ribs to roasting pan; drizzle 1-1/2 cups sauce over ribs. Bake 30 minutes longer. Cut ribs into serving-size pieces; brush with remaining sauce. Yield: 5 to 6 servings.


Recipe courtesy of TasteofHome website



(a Vietnamese recipe)
  • 1lb pork spare ribs bone in, cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes, diced into small cubes
  • cornstarch mix: 1 tsp cornstarch 2 tbsp water, stir into a slurry
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • green onions, chopped
  • thai chili, chopped (optional)
  • cooking oil
  • water
Briefly marinade the spareribs with fish sauce, sugar, and garlic–a few minutes will do. In a large saute pan or wok on medium high, heat about 2 tbs of cooking oil and add the shallots. When fragrant, add the spare ribs and sear until edges are golden brown. Then add enough water to just cover the spareribs and cover lid and reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer for about 25-30 minutes. This will tenderize the ribs–the longer you simmer, the more tender.

The water should now be slightly reduced. Add the diced tomatoes and continue to simmer until tomatoes breakdown and thicken. Now add the cornstarch slurry and mix well to thicken the sauce even more. Finally, season the sauce with a pinch of salt or fish sauce and by adding equal parts 1 tsp vinegar and sugar, add more if necessary, adjusting to taste–should be, well sweet and sour. Add chop green onions and optional thai chili. Remove and serve with jasmine rice.

(a Chinese recipe)


-          2 lbs Spareribs cut to 2-3 inch pieces

-          ½ cup sugar

-          ¼ cup Black Vinegar (preferably the one from Zhenjiang (aka Chingkiang), China – if you really can’t find black vinegar use white rice vinegar instead)

-          3 tbsp soy sauce

-          4 cups water

-          1 scallion, cut to 2 inch long pieces

-          3 slices Ginger

-          1 Bay leaf

-          1 clove garlic, minced

-          Roasted sesame seeds for garnishing


  1. Soak the Ribs in cold water for at least half an hour to get rid of blood. Clean thoroughly in running water. Drain off the excess water.
  2. In a wok or medium size skillet over medium heat, combine the ribs, 2/3 of sugar, water, ginger, scallion, and bay leaf. Once boiled, cover and let simmer in low heat for about 2 hours. Turn the ribs occasionally.
  3. After two hours, discard the scallions, the bay leaf and the ginger. Turn the heat to medium and let the liquid reduce to abut 1 cup. Add rest of sugar, vinegar and soy sauce. By now the fat from the ribs should be mostly rendered and the liquid should be relatively dense and sticky like maple syrup. Continue to reduce the liquid until it can stick to the ribs. Turn off the heat and toss in the minced garlic. Add salt if needed.
  4. Sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds and serve theribs hot. Serve as an appetizer with beer or an entrée with rice/noodles.

Recipe Courtesy of: