Asian fare,  crowd pleasers,  gluten free,  main course,  pork

Sticky Honey + Hoisin Lacquered Ribs

This recipe is simple yet packed with big flavors. But before you jump feet first into this recipe, I feel compelled to share that making these Sticky Honey + Hoisin Lacquered Ribs is a two-step process. This cooking process will result in fall-off-the-bone-tender ribs through braising and then coating them in a deep + dark amber lacquer.  Once they’re done, you’ll want to suck these babies all the way down to the bone.

But these aren’t just any ordinary BBQ ribs. Oh, no. These are ribs with a Chinese flavor twist.  Yessiree, a fusion of flavors that is so.damn.good you’ll be licking that sticky coating off your lips and fingers all the while begging for more.

Yes, my friends, I once again present you with one of those “get dirty” recipes. Consider yourself warned.

Besides insane lusciousness, ANOTHER beauty of this recipe is that it is 2 meals in 1. Yep. A twofer.

So are you up for a twofer?

  • Round 1: fall-off-the-bone tender Sticky Honey + Hoisin Lacquered Ribs. Serve these lip-smacking caramelized flavor bombs with a bright vinegar-based slaw and rice or ramen–something to soak up all that saucy goodness.
  • Round 2: a savory broth perfect for soup. Save the braising liquid as a delicious dashi for noodles. Strain and freeze broth (and maybe some of the rib meat—IF there is any left) for cooler weather. When ready to use, reduce the broth by about ¼, toss in a couple of fresh jalepeños, shiitake mushrooms, napa cabbage, scallions, carrots, maybe some star anise and ramen and top with a poached egg for a deliciously complex soup.
  • Come to think of it, there could also be a Round 3: a delicious meal of meat pulled from leftover ribs, served over rice with sesame seeds and scallions.

So I guess this is a recipe for a 3-way. Lucky you.

Actually, there is enough braising brine in this recipe for two racks of ribs, so I say go for the 3-way. You won’t regret it. Additionally, you may consider doubling the finishing sauce to give your guests an extra dose of deliciousness in which they can dip their ribs.

A word about oyster sauce: Quality oyster sauce is a dark brown intense reduction of boiled oysters. It is thick + savory + sweet with hints of fish flavor. This rich concentration adds umami + depth of flavor to recipes. I recommend that you not skip this ingredient; without it, however, the ribs are still delicious.

So in summary, this recipe is simply a two-step process: braising and brushing. The first step is a slow and steady braise. Put the pot on the stove, relax with your bourbon tea, and let the ribs cook for 90 minutes on a low simmer. In the second step you will lacquer the ribs with loads of finishing sauce. De-li-cious.  

If you are looking to pre-cook these ribs, follow the braising directions. Let the ribs cool in the pot and place it in the fridge until you are ready to finish the ribs in the oven (the liquid will keep them from drying out). The ribs may also be finished on the grill.

I tip my hat to thirschfeld who inspired this recipe.

Pair these Sticky Honey + Hoisin Lacquered Ribs with cold lager or Champagne.

Bon appetit!


If you make these Sticky Honey + Hoisin Lacquered Ribs, I’d love to hear about it!  Leave a comment below and tag #nakedepicurean on Instagram so we can celebrate together!

Sticky Honey + Hoisin Lacquered Ribs (for 2)


for braising the ribs

  • 1 rack of St. Louis style pork ribs (or baby back or beef ribs)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 serrano pepper, sliced
  • 1 knob of ginger, about one inch, sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, sliced in half across the cloves
  • 1 cup soy sauce (gluten free)
  • water

for finishing the ribs

  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (gluten free)
  • 2 tablespoons high quality oyster sauce (gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
the braising

1. Slice rack into individual ribs. Place the ribs into the bottom of a snug, heavy bottomed pot with a lid. Add the rest of the ingredients, then add water to cover the ribs by 1 inch.

2. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Once it has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low, put the lid on, and simmer the ribs on lowest setting until they are tender, about 1½  hours. Test for tenderness by slicing a sliver from an end. When you taste the meat, it should be toothsome but tender and not quite falling off the bone…yet.

3. Remove the ribs from the pot and let cool for 20-30 minutes.  You can discard the raising liquid or save it to make a soup. If you are saving, strain before you freeze.  

the finishing

1. When you are ready to lacquer the ribs, heat the oven to 450° F.

2. While you are waiting for the oven to heat, whisk together the hoisin, oyster, and soy sauces, Sriracha, vinegar, and honey.

3. Place the ribs onto a foil lined sheet pan. Using a grill brush, paint both sides of the ribs with a light coating of the sauce.

4. Continue coating the ribs with the sauce until they take on a lacquer quality, then bake them until they start to darken and caramelize, about 10 minutes. Reapply the sauce from the bottom of the pan after 5 minutes as it will start to thicken in the heat and will coat ribs nicely. Then turn oven to 500° F and finish them for 5 more minutes.  Remove the ribs from the oven, sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *