Sticky Sesame Garlic Ribs

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These Sticky Sesame Garlic Ribs are incredibly tender, coated in a sticky, sweet, and savory sesame and garlic glaze, and fall right off the bone. Cooked long and slow, they are perfect for summertime grilling and make a crowd-pleasing main dish.

I am a firm believer that BBQ ribs that combine savory and sweet flavors are the BEST kind of ribs out there. And these ribs are exactly that 🥰🥰 They combine smoky and charred flavors with the bold, sweet, and savory flavors of Asian sauces and spices. These sticky sesame garlic ribs are always a hit with the family and are perfect for cookouts, parties, or just a delicious weeknight dinner.

If you don’t know how to cook pork ribs, don’t you worry one bit! This recipe is pretty straightforward. Just prep your ribs (we’ll explain how!), grill ’em, make your sticky sauce, combine, and you’re done!

Sesame Garlic Grilled Ribs – What You Need

  • Baby back ribs: Our favorite kind of ribs for this Asian pork ribs recipe. They’re lean and tender, and they cook a lot faster than full-size spare ribs.
  • Five-spice powder: This blend of spices (usually star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, and fennel) is commonly used in Chinese cooking and adds a unique flavor to the ribs.
  • Honey: Used to sweeten the sauce and create that sticky glaze we all love!
  • Soy sauce: The base of our sauce, soy sauce adds a salty umami flavor to the ribs.
  • Garlic & ginger: These two ingredients add depth and complexity to the sauce, making it rich and flavorful.
  • Rice vinegar: Adds a touch of acidity and tanginess to balance out the sweetness in the sauce.
  • Sesame oil: Adds a nutty and fragrant undertone to the sauce that is absolutely delish!
  • Sriracha: A little bit of heat from Sriracha adds a nice kick to the sauce. You can adjust the amount according to your personal preference!
Two slabs of seasoned raw pork ribs are placed on a large rectangular baking sheet, ready for cooking.

What can I use instead of honey?

If you don’t have honey, you can use maple syrup or brown sugar as a substitute. These options will still give you the sweetness and stickiness that you want in the sauce.

Can I swap the sriracha for something less spicy?

Of course! Substitute with ketchup for a non-spicy option, or add a dash of cayenne pepper for some heat without the intense spiciness of sriracha.

Try Another Rib Marinade!

We love this sesame garlic sauce for our ribs, but if you’re looking to switch things up, try our Maple Dijon Rib Marinade Recipe! Its tangy and slightly sweet flavor pairs perfectly with pork ribs.

cuts of pork image.

Cuts of Pork

Not sure where all the different cuts of pork come from on the pig? We made it easy. Check out more details on everything pork in our favorite pork recipes round up!

Directions at a Glance

For the full recipe, scroll down to the recipe card for a list of ingredients and instructions.

  1. Remove the membrane, and season the ribs with five-spice powder and kosher salt.
  2. Cook the ribs at 300-350ºF on the grill for 2 hours over indirect heat, flipping every 20 minutes.
  3. While the ribs are cooking, make the sauce.
  4. When there is about 15 minutes left of the rib’s cooking time, use a pastry brush to brush each rib with the sauce.
  5. Serve, and ENJOY.

How do you remove the membrane from ribs?

Removing the membrane can be intimidating at first, but it’s an important step to achieve juicy ribs that are fall off the bone tender. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it:

  1. Start at around the fourth rib in from the end (the end with less meat).
  2. Use a sharp knife to gently lift the membrane and loosen it from the bone.
  3. Once you have enough grip, grab the membrane with a paper towel and slowly pull it down the rack of ribs. If it starts to tear, use your knife to loosen it again before continuing to pull.

here’s a tip!

Save time and effort by asking your local butcher to remove the membrane for you! They are usually happy to do it upon request.

Two racks of barbecued ribs cut into portions, placed on parchment paper with a knife, a brush, and a bowl of sauce.

Sesame Garlic Grilled Ribs Storage

These ribs will last up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container. To reheat, simply place them on a grill or pan and cook for a few minutes on each side until heated through.

Can I freeze these garlic pork ribs?

Yes, you can freeze these ribs before or after grilling them. Make sure they are completely cooled before placing them in airtight freezer-safe containers or bags. They will last up to 3 months in the freezer.

Close-up of a stack of glazed, grilled ribs, with the top piece cut to show a juicy, tender interior. The meat is richly caramelized with a glossy, charred exterior.

What to Serve with Sesame Garlic Ribs

These sticky Asian ribs are delicious on their own, but if you’re trying to make a complete meal we’ve got some great options for you:

Sticky Sesame Garlic Ribs Recipe

These sticky sesame garlic grilled ribs are sweet, savory, and packed with flavor! The meat falls right off the bone and is perfect for any summertime gathering. Grill them up and serve with some delicious sides for a complete meal.
Prep: 2 hours
Cook: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8
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Ingredients 

  • 4 lbs. baby back ribs
  • 2 tablespoons five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Sauce

Instructions 

  • Remove the membrane from the rack of ribs. Season the ribs with five-spice powder and kosher salt. Massage the seasoning into the ribs. Once coated, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for best results.
    Two slabs of seasoned raw pork ribs are placed on a large rectangular baking sheet, ready for cooking.
  • Preheat the grill to 300-350ºF, remove the ribs from the refrigerator, and let them sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes to come to room temperature.
  • Once the grill comes to temperature, transfer the ribs to the grill and cook for 2 hours over indirect heat, flipping every 20 minutes.
    Two racks of seasoned ribs cooking on an open grill.
  • While the ribs are cooking, add all of the ingredients for the sauce to one bowl and whisk together until combined.
    A white bowl filled with a reddish liquid and finely chopped ingredients, with a spoon and a dollop of minced garlic on top.
  • When there is about 15 minutes left of the rib's cooking time, use a pastry brush to brush each rib with sauce.
  • Remove the ribs from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce and enjoy.
    Two racks of barbecued ribs cut into portions, placed on parchment paper with a knife, a brush, and a bowl of sauce.

Tips & Notes

  • If you like a saucier rib, feel free to double the sauce. 

Watch It

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Nutrition

Calories: 689 kcal, Carbohydrates: 38 g, Protein: 45 g, Fat: 41 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 35 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.

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About Linley Hanson

Linley has played an important role in the success of Fit Foodie Finds over the last 10 years. She is an incredible home cook and has an amazing palate. She is the brain behind our recipes and has spent thousands of hours developing, testing, and perfecting the delicious meals you see here at Fit Foodie Finds.

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