These Honey Garlic Sticky Ribs are firmly planted in the finger licking good category. Perfect for dinner with some rice or noodles or as game day grub to share with friends.
Most of the recipes I’ve encountered for this type of sticky ribs have a sauce that’s far too runny and the ribs just sit in it. That’s the sort of thing that’s popular at Chinese take-out restaurants in these parts and the thinner sauce does lend itself well to pouring over steamed rice or noodles, so I’m not knocking it at all. This time however, I wanted to create a recipe that was more of a finger food version to be enjoyed on game day in particular. Yes, you might get the sticky glaze all over your fingers but at least not in your lap.
I borrowed a couple of ideas from a couple of other recipes like using a rub and the same method as in my recipe for Foolproof Dry Rubbed Oven Ribs and the basic Honey Garlic Sauce from my very famous Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken. With a little customization of the rub and the sauce, the result was absolutely delectable. Slowly cooked to tender perfection, and glazed with layers of sweet sticky garlic glaze, these are the kind of ribs you just can’t stop eating!
Like this Honey Garlic Sticky Ribs recipe?
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- 3-4 pounds pork ribs (back or side ribs)
- 2 tbsp powdered ginger
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ to ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 cup honey
- ¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium soy sauce is best)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Mix together all ingredients well.
- In a medium saucepan add the 2 tbsp olive oil and minced garlic. Cook over medium heat to soften the garlic but do not let it brown.
- Add the honey, soy sauce and black pepper.
- Simmer very slowly together for about 20 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Watch this carefully as it simmers because it can foam up over the pot very easily.
- There is a thin membrane called silver skin on the back of all pork ribs that I like to remove first. If left on, it will shrink during cooking and cause the ribs to curl. It also prevents the spice mix from seasoning the underside of the ribs. I push a butter knife between the silver skin and the first bone on the rack of ribs to loosen the skin, then I poke my finger into the slit the knife has made, grasp the silver skin and pull it off all the way down the length of the rack of ribs.
- Liberally rub the spice mix all over the surface of the pork ribs on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for several hours or as I prefer, overnight. You can of course cook them immediately but you get better flavour penetration into the meat if you do it in advance. They will be delicious either way if you are pressed for time.
- Place the ribs, uncovered, on a wire rack over a baking sheet and place in a 225 degree F oven for 8-9 hours depending on the thickness of the ribs. Baby Back Ribs tend to take less time than side ribs for example.
- In the last couple of hours or so of cooking time, begin brushing on the glaze and turning the ribs every 30 minutes or so. You can continuously brush on layers of glaze for as long and as often as you like to build up the sticky glaze to your taste.
- When a bone from the ribs is easily and cleanly able to be pulled away from the meat, then they are done.
- Let the ribs rest for 10 minutes before serving.