Char Siu Style Spare Ribs

I’m not sure how it happened, but we are surrounded by pork. We haven’t been buying any beef from Fallon Hills at the Sunday Farmers Market, because we’re still whittling away at the 1/8 of a cow we have in our extra freezer. So this past Sunday we got pork shoulder, spare ribs, and a lamb sirloin that is long gone by now. And yesterday, the most wonderous thing happened: My Good Eggs order arrived. If you live in the Bay Area (and soon: Brooklyn!) you must check this out. I won’t list everything available here because 1. There are too many things and 2. I really want you to go check it out! My order consisted of chicharrones and lard from Meat Revolution.   The problem with the chicharrones is that they don’t come with someone to pry the bag out of your hands when you’ve eaten enough. Aside form that, they are freaking delicious, and come in 3 flavors (2 of them sugar-free!) The lard is for a recipe I’m very close to perfecting, and is slightly related to this one. Can you guess what it is? I’m not telling, so you’ll just have to wait for the unveiling.

But in the meantime, make these ribs. They’re what you’ve been missing since you’ve shunned your favorite Chinese restaurant because of the soy, gluten, MSG, and damaged oils. (Pro Tip: “no MSG added” means they don’t physically pour straight MSG out of a 50 pound bag into the food. It doesn’t mean there aren’t MSG containing sauces in every damn dish. Just FYI.)

Want one?

Want one?

the ribs are ready for their overnight marinade.

the ribs are ready for their overnight marinade.

a combination of low heat, high heat and a quick broil yields the perfect ribs.

a combination of low heat, high heat and a quick broil yields the perfect ribs.

All of the ingredients, and a statement about marriage equality.

All of the ingredients, and a statement about marriage equality.

Char Siu Style Spare Ribs

serves 3-4 as a main course, up to 8 as an appetizer.


1 rack pork spare ribs, 3-4 pounds

For the Marinade:

3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
1 tablespoon siracha (look for OrganicVille brand, or make Nom Nom Paleo’s)
1 tablespoon plum or cherry jam
1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
1 teaspoon fish sauce

To roast:
1/4 cup sherry

To glaze:
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1 tablespoon siracha (or more to taste, if you’re going for heat)

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients (use a blender if your jam isn’t smooth)
  2. Place the ribs in an oven safe baking dish and pour the marinade over them. Make sure they’re well covered.
  3. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
  4. After they’ve marinated, remove the ribs from the fridge and pour the sherry into the pan. Cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Preheat oven to 300˚.
  6. Roast the ribs for one and a half hours.
  7. Meanwhile, combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl.
  8. After 1.5 hours, remove the foil and check the ribs. They shouldn’t be falling off the bone, but a sharp knife should easily pierce the meat. Proceed to step 9 if this is the case. Roast another 30 minutes if it not, and then continue to step 9.
  9. Glaze the ribs and turn the heat up to 500˚. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes, glazing every 10 minutes.
  10. Turn on the broiler to high, glaze one more time, and broil for 3-4 minutes, leaving the ribs on the center rack of the oven. Keep an eye on them; you want them nicely caramelized, but not overly charred.
  11. Cut the ribs between the bones and serve with remaining glaze.

char siu ribs

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  1. Oh wow! Yes! Of course I want one! Goodness! I love this post and the pics are so beautiful. I wish I was eating that right now.

  2. I love you so much right now. These ribs are happening this weekend. Thanks again for the nod to Good Eggs…I forget. Right now, I mostly go to the Saratoga Farmer’s Market, but I’m always looking for a better meat supplier than Whole Paycheck…let me know if you find good bison! P.S. I still haven’t found good pastured poultry, so I may have to shell out for Good Eggs…

    • Hi Tara! Victorian Farmstead is now at the new San Jose FM at the Blossom Hill VTA parking lot. We have the pasture-raised chicken You have been looking for! All our meats are raised on pasture, even the rabbits! Check out the website at See you at the market!

      • Thank you Adam! I didn”t know about the FM at VTA! I’ll come check you out for sure.

      • Hi Adam! Glad you chimed in here. I have also been having a tough time finding pastured chicken. Do you sell anywhere closer to SF? And do you offer wholesale pricing?

      • We do wholesale on a somewhat limited basis. It just depends on how many you need each week. We are increasing numbers as quickly as possible and should ba able to handle bigger orders soon! As far as SF, we do the Serramonte FM on Thursdays 9-1.

  3. Anything work as a good substitution for the plum vinegar? It’s not something I’ve seen around, and Amazon + Canadian shipping = badness most of the time.

    • rice vinegar or coconut vinegar would work! It’s not exactly the same, but there is so much flavor in the sauce that it will still be great :)

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  6. I’ve made these three times and just love them. But I just noticed something in the photos: at what point in the process did you french the ribs? Thanks!

    • You don’t have to at all, unless you want them to have a handle for serving without the usual rib mess. If you french them, I’d do it first, before marinating.