Instant Pot Spare Ribs- Juicy, fall off the bone Spare Ribs with a gorgeous Sweet and Spicy Chinese Sticky Sauce.
The Ribs are first pressure cooked with the sauce and then broiled for a couple of minutes to get a beautiful caramelisation.You can also Air Fry instead of broiling in the oven.
These Finger licking ribs can be served as an appetiser on game night or as a main course with some steamed rice or even mashed potatoes.
Why make Ribs in the Instant Pot
Spare ribs can take a lot of time to cook and at times become very dry.Pressure cooking will retain the moisture instead of cooking it off which makes the meat very soft.
Also! THE SAUCE! I swear it will leave you licking your fingers! You get delicious sweet and sour sauce packed with flavours.It's so so good on it's own with plain rice but poured on top of the ribs- it's just EPIC!
Ingredients for Instant Pot Spare Ribs
Here is the list of ingredients and their alternatives
You can use Spare ribs or baby Back Ribs.Spare ribs are meatier and will take longer to cook than Baby Back Ribs.
They will also not fit inside the instant pot without cutting them down which is one of the reasons to slice them before hand into individual pieces.
Use any good quality Soy Sauce. Substitute for Tamari for a Gluten Free version.
White sugar will work here.You can also use Brown Sugar instead.Honey or Maple syrup is also a good option but the sauce might get a little more runny because of it.
Here there are a lot of alternatives.Ideally Shaoxing Wine is best used here but you can also use Mirin/White Wine/Sherry.
You can substitute rice vinegar with normal white vinegar or Cider Vinegar.
No alternatives here.Just Skip it if you don't have it.
You can use chilli flakes or paprika.I like my food spicy so i used my Indian Chilli Powder.
Corn Starch or Powder
This is a pantry staple.
How to make Instant Pot Spare Ribs
Step 1: Prep
If using Spare Ribs- Cut the Ribs apart.You can either do it yourself or get it cut while buying them.This makes the cooking faster and makes sure the sauce reaches all corners and crevices.Also, it makes the ribs fit in the instant pot.
If using Baby Back Ribs- You can use the slab as it is.
Measure out all the ingredients.Make any swaps if necessary.
Step 2: Pressure Cook
Add the Water,Sherry(Check the ingredients section above for alternatives),Soy Sauce,Rice Vinegar,Sugar and Minced Garlic into the instant pot.Do not mix.
Top it with the ribs and close the instant pot.Do not mix at this point.
Select PRESSURE COOK for 32 minutes(for Spare Ribs) or 20 min(for Baby Back Ribs) on HIGH PRESSURE with the pressure valve at sealed position.
When the time is over, let the pressure release on it's own.Open and Set the ribs aside on the grilling pan.
Step 3: Sauce
Switch to SAUTE mode.Add Cornstarch mixed with little water to the sauce.Bring the sauce to a boil.It should have thickened and become syrupy.
Step 4: Broil
Brush the ribs with the sauce and Broil in a preheated oven at 500 F or 250 C for 5-10 minutes.
Flip ,brush them again with the sauce and broil for additional 5-10 minutes.
You could also do this step in a hot barbecue or in the air fryer.
How to Serve Pork Ribs
This dish has a lot of leftover sauce.You can either eat them as they are or on top of rice or Mashed Potato with a drizzle of sauce on the top.
Garnish with some green onions or just a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds as shown below.
Here are some more Instant Pot Recipes for you!
- 2 lbs Pork Ribs* Read the Notes for details
- 1 tablespoon Corn Flour
- 2 tablespoon Dry sherry
- ¼ Cup Soy Sauce
- ⅓ Cup Rice Vinegar
- ⅓ Cup Sugar
- ½ Cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Chilli flakes or Paprika
- 6-7 Cloves Garlic- Minced
- If using Spare Ribs- Cut them into individual pieces along the bone as shown in the picture.
- If using Baby Back ribs, use them as they are.
- Add all the sauce ingredients in the inner pot of the instant pot.
- Place the Pork Ribs on the top.Close the Lid.
- Select PRESSURE COOK for 20 minutes if using Baby Back Ribs and 28 minutes if using Spare Ribs.
- NPR- Let the pressure escape naturally.Open the lid,Remove the Ribs and place them on the Grilling pan.
Thicken & Reduce the Sauce
- Switch to SAUTE.
- Mix the corn flour with 2 tablespoon of water.Add it into the sauce.Give it a mix and bring the sauce to a boil.It should become thick.
Broil the Ribs
- Preheat the oven at 500F or 180C for 10 minutes.
- Brush the ribs with the sauce and place them on the top rack.Broil for 10 minutes.
- Flip them and brush with sauce again.Broil for another 5-10 minutes.
- Drizzle the rest of the sauce while serving.