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Instant Pot Asian Sticky Ribs

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Asian Sticky Ribs are a great weeknight meal you can make in the Instant Pot! With simple ingredients and tons of flavor, these Chinese Sticky Ribs are an easy and delicious meals that kids will love!

Chinese sticky ribs with rice and broccoli

Asian Sticky Ribs (also known as Sticky Chinese Ribs) are a perfect meal to make in your Instant Pot! 

Growing up in the Midwest, I thought there was only one “right way” to do ribs – with a good rub and smoked for hours. It never occured to me that they could be made any other way. But cooking ribs in the Instant Pot is both super quick and just as delicious. With a rub flavored with Chinese Five Spice and a sticky Chinese-inspired sauce, these ribs are fall-off-the bone tender and will disappear so quickly! 

Also check out my favorite Turmeric Slow Cooker Thai Pork Ribs

asian sticky ribs on white background

How to make Instant Pot Asian sticky ribs

These Instant Pot Asian Sticky Ribs are a cinch to make! Your family will never guess that ribs this good can be made so quickly. Seriously! 

Before you make your ribs, you need to make sure they don’t have a silver membrane attached to them. This membrane is tough and prevents your flavors from fully penetrating the meat. You can ask your local butcher to remove it for you, or you can remove it yourself. Its easy to do this by yourself. Watch this video on how to remove the silver membrane on your ribs.

Here is how you make them (for the full recipe with measurements and more details, please scroll down to the recipe card below):

  1. Measure out and mix the spice rub.
  2. Rub the mixture all over the ribs.
  3. Place the metal trivet into the bottom of your Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water.
  4. Place the ribs on the trivet end up, bending the ribs into a circle or a spiral to get them to fit.
  5. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the vent is set to “sealing”.
  6. Turn the Instant Pot on and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  7. While the Instant Pot is going, make your sticky sauce! Combine the sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  8. Allow to naturally release pressure for 5 minutes, and then carefully quick release the rest of the pressure.
  9. Preheat a broiler to high (or 500 degrees).
  10. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set a heat-proof wire rack on top.
  11. Carefully remove the ribs from the Instant Pot (be careful, they will be so tender! And hot!) and place on the wire rack.
  12. Baste the ribs with half of the sticky sauce.
  13. Broil for 3-4 minutes.
  14. Baste with the remaining sauce, and then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  15. Enjoy!

You could also make these ribs in the slow cooker! Use the same recipe below, but follow the technique from these Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs.

how to make asian sticky ribs collage image

How to prep these ahead of time

 These Sticky Chinese Ribs are an easy weeknight meal to make, but there are a few steps you can take to make it even simpler:

  • Measure and mix the spice rub ahead of time. Store it in an air-tight container until ready to use.
  • Make sure your ribs have the silver membrane removed ahead of time. You can ask your local butcher to do this for you, too!
steps to make asian sticky ribs
basting chinese ribs with sticky sauce

How to make these sticky ribs kid-friendly 

These Asian Sticky Ribs are a total kid-approved food! What is better than a messy meal you get to eat with your hands?

Dinner conversations with kids 

Dinner is a great time to talk with your kids! I find that talking with your kids about the food you are eating (and more than a “take another bite!” way) really helps them to become more interested in trying the food in front of them.

Try discussions about:

  • Talk about the different textures they find on their plate.
  • Discuss the different flavors they taste – What is sweet, toasty, savory?
  • Ask questions about what their favorite part of the meal is, how they would change things, and what they would like to see next time you cook this.
Asian Sticky Ribs on white platter

How to serve Chinese sticky ribs to your family

These Chinese Sticky Ribs are a great family meal! The sauce on the ribs is just sweet enough that kids will devour them! Serve the meat either on or off the bone, depending on how your kids like it.

Serve with white or brown rice and broccoli with garlic sauce. For the full meal make sure to have Chinese peanut cookies on hand, too! 

asian sticky ribs on white platter with napkin

Other Instant Pot Recipes:

  • Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken – Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken is an easy weeknight dinner recipe that kids will love! This Hawaiian chicken inspired recipe is packed with chunks of pineapple in a sweet sauce. Serve over rice for an easy meal the whole family will adore. 

Other Kid Friendly Asian Recipes:

  • Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef – This Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef cooks to melt-in-your-mouth tender! Studded with onions, green peppers and shredded carrots, this Asian weeknight meal takes only minutes to throw together and is a perfect healthy family recipe! 
  • Slow Cooker Pork Ramen – This homemade ramen recipe is an easy slow cooker meal that is perfect for busy weeknights! This slow cooker pork is an easy  ramen recipe that makes a great family friendly meal that kids will beg for! 
  • Easy and Healthy Orange Chicken – This easy 30 minute healthy Orange Chicken is full of real ingredients, great fresh flavor, and is perfectly easy for any night of the week! Your family will be begging for you to make it again and again!
asian sticky ribs with broccoli and rice

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There’s nothing I love more than seeing you make my recipes! If you make these Instant Pot Asian Sticky Ribs, don’t forget to leave a comment below and rate the recipe!

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Yield: 4 Servings

Instant Pot Asian Sticky Ribs

asian sticky ribs on white platter with napkin

Asian Sticky Ribs are a great weeknight meal you can make in the Instant Pot! With simple ingredients and tons of flavor, these Chinese Sticky Ribs are inspired by Mulan and are an easy and delicious meals that kids will love!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 rack pork spare ribs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 Tablespoons Chinese Five Spice, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha

Instructions

  1. Remove ribs from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature while you mix the spice rub. Remove silver membrane if necessary.
  2. Mix together the brown sugar, 3 1/2 Tablespoons of Chinese 5 Spice, and the salt and pepper.
  3. Rub the spice mix over the ribs.
  4. Place the metal trivet into the bottom of your Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water.
  5. Place the ribs on the trivet end up, bending the ribs into a circle or a spiral to get them to fit.
  6. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the vent is set to “sealing”.
  7. Turn the Instant Pot on and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  8. While the Instant Pot is going, make your sticky sauce! Combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, rice wine vinegar, 1 Tablespoon Chinese Five Spice, and sriracha in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, then remove from heat.
  9. Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 5 minutes, and then carefully quick release the rest of the pressure.
  10. Preheat a broiler to high (or 500 degrees).
  11. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set a heat-proof wire rack on top.
  12. Carefully remove the ribs from the Instant Pot (be careful, they will be so tender! And hot!) and place on the wire rack.
  13. Baste the ribs with half of the sticky sauce.
  14. Broil for 3-4 minutes.
  15. Baste with the remaining sauce, and then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  16. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 463Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 2706mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 4gSugar: 36gProtein: 19g

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