Sweet-and-Spicy Spareribs with Korean Barbecue Sauce


Top Chef winner Mei Lin slow-roasts these ribs in the oven until they're super-tender; then she glazes them on the grill with a sweet and spicy sauce spiked with gochujang. She also stirs the sauce into pulled pork, serves it with french fries instead of ketchup, and mixes it with melted butter to toss with fried chicken.

Sweet-and-Spicy Spareribs with Korean Barbecue Sauce
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins


  • 1 cup gochujang

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup sake

  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated garlic

  • 2 tablespoons ground white pepper

  • 3 racks pork spareribs (about 8 pounds), membranes removed

  • Kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except the ribs and salt. Layer 2 long sheets of heavy-duty foil on a work surface and set 1 rack of ribs in the center, meaty side up. Brush with 3/4 cup of the sauce and wrap tightly in the foil. Repeat with the remaining 2 racks of ribs. Transfer the foil packets to 2 large rimmed baking sheets and bake the ribs until tender, about 2 hours.

  2. Unwrap the racks and transfer them to a work surface. Cut them into 3- or 4-rib sections.

  3. Light a grill. Season the ribs with salt and grill over high heat, brushing with the remaining sauce and turning occasionally, until glazed and lightly charred in spots, about 4 minutes. Cut into individual ribs if desired. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Make Ahead

The ribs can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before grilling and glazing.

Suggested Pairing

Pair these Korean ribs with a dark, cherry-inflected, spiced Argentinean Malbec.

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