Honey Garlic Spare Ribs

These honey garlic spare ribs are inspired by a popular Chinese side rib dish. It is pretty much the same flavor except instead of side ribs, I am using spare ribs. These are incredibly easy and can be done in 1 hour.

Important steps for honey garlic spare ribs

Blanching ribs before cooking

I personally will always blanche my spare ribs before cooking. The reason being that it washes off a lot of the scum that you get from the butcher cutting the bone. If you decide not to blanche, you will see foam and scum start to float to the top. In that case, I would take a spoon or sieve to remove it.

Using water to melt sugar

If you have ever tried melting sugar in a pan without water, you know how long and difficult of a task that is. Using just a few tbsp of water will help melt the sugar faster and more evenly without it burning. This is a step that should not be skipped.

Important ingredients for honey garlic spare ribs

Spare ribs

In my opinion, spare ribs make this recipe much easier than any other type of rib. That is because spare ribs are smaller and easier to move around in a wok or pan. Imagine trying to toss around a whole rack of ribs in a pan, that wouldn’t work too well.

I get my spare ribs at my Asian grocery store and I used about 2 lbs in this recipe. Make sure to cut them up into their individual bones before blanching.


Garlic is an absolute essential here and I recommend finely dicing it. I used over 10 cloves of garlic because you can never have enough. The final outcome of the sauce came out perfectly and exactly how it tastes at Chinese restaurants.

Honey Garlic Spare Ribs

These honey garlic spare ribs are super easy and can be done in one pan.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Chinese


  • 1 kg spare ribs
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 10 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup water


  • ½ cup crispy garlic bits


  • Cut spare ribs into their individual bones.
    1 kg spare ribs
  • Throw them into a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes and strain. This will remove a lot of the scum that come from cutting bone at the butcher.
  • In a wok or deep pan, melt brown sugar with water over medium heat. The water helps evenly melt the sugar without it burning.
    ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp water
  • Once the sugar is fully dissolved, add the blanched spare ribs into the wok along with minced garlic. Stir and mix for 1 minute.
    10 cloves garlic
  • Add honey, soy sauce, and water. The water should only need to cover about half of the ribs.
    ¼ cup honey, 2½ tbsp soy sauce, ½ cup water
  • Cover with a lid then let it simmer on low for 30-45 minutes or until tender. I will usually taste test after 30 minutes and if the meat is tender and comes off the bone easily, I know its done.
  • Once the ribs are tender, remove the lid and turn up the heat to high. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes or until thick and glossy to your liking.
  • Garnish with crispy garlic ships and enjoy!
    ½ cup crispy garlic bits

How to make crispy garlic chips

  • Thinly slice 5-10 cloves of garlic. Using a mandolin makes it a lot easier and more consistent than a knife.
  • Add it into a cold pan with enough olive oil to cover all the garlic.
  • Place pan over medium heat while stirring for 5 – 10 minutes or until the garlic turns golden brown. Strain and enjoy.
  • The strained olive oil doubles as a garlic olive oil now which is amazing on bread.
Keyword braised, ribs, spare ribs

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