Chinese and Korean-Inspired Asian Pork Riblets Recipe

By Alex Au Yeung

5/5 - (1 vote)

Asian pork riblets are a delightful dish that combines the tenderness of pork with the rich and bold flavors of Asian cuisine. Specifically, I will share the Chinese pork riblets recipe combined with a little Korean flavor. These bite-sized pieces of ribs are marinated in a harmonious blend of spices, herbs, and sauces, resulting in a mouthwatering experience for your taste buds. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking for a new dish to impress your family, Asian pork riblets are a fantastic choice.

What are pork riblets?

Pork riblets are small, bite-sized pieces of pork ribs. They are typically cut from larger rib cuts, such as baby back ribs or spare ribs. Pork riblets are known for their tender and succulent meat, perfect for marinating and cooking. They are a popular choice for Asian-inspired dishes due to their ability to absorb flavors and the delicious combination of meat and fat, resulting in a mouthwatering and flavorful eating experience.

pork riblets
  • Baby Back Ribs:
    • Location: Baby back ribs are cut from the upper part of the pig’s ribcage, near the backbone.
    • Size and Shape: They are shorter in length and curved, with a slight arch shape.
    • Meat-to-Bone Ratio: Baby back ribs have a higher meat-to-bone ratio, making them leaner and more tender.
    • Flavor and Texture: They have a milder flavor compared to spare ribs, with meat that is tender and moist.
    • Cooking Time: Baby back ribs generally cook faster due to their smaller size.
  • Spare Ribs:
    • Location: Spare ribs come from the lower part of the pig’s ribcage, closer to the belly.
    • Size and Shape: They are longer, flatter, and straighter in shape compared to baby back ribs.
    • Meat-to-Bone Ratio: Spare ribs have more meat and fat, resulting in a richer and juicier taste.
    • Flavor and Texture: They have a stronger, more pronounced pork flavor and a meatier, chewier texture.
    • Cooking Time: Spare ribs typically require a longer cooking time due to their larger size and more substantial meat.

Baby back ribs are often favored for their tenderness, while spare ribs are appreciated for their rich flavor and juiciness.

The origin of Asian pork riblets

Asian pork riblets find their roots in the culinary traditions of various Asian countries such as China, Korea, and Vietnam. These regions are known for their love of pork and their mastery in creating flavorful dishes. The combination of savory and sweet flavors in Asian marinades and sauces perfectly complements the tender meat of pork riblets, resulting in a truly delightful culinary experience.

Asian pork riblets recipe (Chinese cuisine)

asian style pork riblets

This recipe combines the best of Chinese and Korean flavors to create a well-balanced and delicious Asian Pork Riblets dish. With simple pantry ingredients and a touch of love, you can easily make this recipe in one pan. It’s a fusion of both cuisines, offering a blend of sweet and savory flavors that will be enjoyed by the whole family.

Cooking note

  • Yield: Serves 4-6 people
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes (grilling) or 40 minutes (baking)
  • Total time: 35-55 minutes (including marinating time)
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Asian (Chinese)
  • Equipment:
    • Pan or skillet: Used for frying the riblets and simmering the sauce.
    • Knife: To mince the garlic and chop the shallots.
    • Whisk or spoon: To mix the sauce ingredients together.
    • Small bowl: To prepare and hold the sauce mixture.
    • Cooking utensils: Such as tongs or a spatula for flipping and stirring the riblets.
    • Serving plate or dish: To present the cooked Asian Pork Riblets.


  • 2 pounds pork riblets
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Green onions and sesame seeds for garnish


How to prepare pork riblets before cooking?

To prepare pork riblets before cooking, you can follow these steps:

  • Soaking and brining : Soak the pork riblets in a brine solution for about 30 minutes. The brine can be made by dissolving salt in water, along with any desired additional flavors like herbs, spices, or garlic. This process helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor.
  • Parboiling: Parboiling is the process of partially cooking the riblets by boiling them in water. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the riblets. Let them simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Parboiling helps remove impurities from the meat and bones, and it can contribute to a more tender and juicy result. However, note that this step is optional, and skipping it may affect the texture of the riblets.

After completing these preparation steps, the pork riblets are ready to be marinated, seasoned, or cooked according to your preferred recipe or cooking method.

Start cooking

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped shallots and fry until they turn light golden brown.
  2. Add the pork riblets to the pan and cook for about 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they achieve a light golden color on all sides.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the dark soy sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, Chinese cooking wine, and water.
  4. Pour the sauce mixture over the riblets in the pan. Turn the heat to simmer on medium-low and cover the pan partially. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking.
  5. Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium. Continue stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated and the riblets are coated in a dark glaze, which should take about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the Asian pork riblets from the pan and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Tips for perfectly cooked riblets

chinese pork riblets recipe

  • Ask your butcher to cut the riblets into 1-2 inch pieces. This will make them easier to cook and eat.
  • If you don’t have chili flakes, you can use cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes instead.
  • You can also add other vegetables to the dish, such as carrots, onions, or bell peppers.
  • Serve the riblets with your favorite Asian dipping sauce, such as soy sauce, hoisin sauce, or sweet and sour sauce.

How to serve Asian pork riblets?

Asian pork riblets can be enjoyed as a main course, served with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables for a complete meal. You can also serve them as an appetizer or finger food at parties or gatherings. Pair them with a tangy dipping sauce or offer a selection of Asian-inspired condiments to complement the flavors of the riblets.

Other ways to cook Asian pork riblets

Yummy Pork Ribs Stir Fry

Experience the bold flavors of stir-fried Asian pork ribs. This recipe features tender riblets cooked with a combination of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and other aromatic ingredients. The stir-frying method results in a quick and flavorful dish with a perfect balance of savory and slightly caramelized flavors. It offers a different cooking technique compared to the previous recipe, providing a stir-fried texture and taste that pairs well with steamed rice or noodles.

Air Fryer Riblets!

Indulge in guilt-free Asian pork riblets with this air fryer recipe. Enjoy the crispy and succulent riblets with a fraction of the oil used in traditional frying methods. The air fryer technology allows for a healthier alternative while still achieving a satisfying crunch on the outside. Seasoned with Asian-inspired spices and sauces, these riblets are a perfect choice for those looking for a lighter yet flavorful option.

Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs

Experience the tangy and sweet flavors of Chinese-style sweet and sour pork ribs. This recipe features tender riblets cooked in a sticky and luscious sweet and sour sauce. The combination of vinegar, sugar, and ketchup creates a delightful balance of flavors that coat the riblets beautifully. The result is a delectable dish that pairs perfectly with steamed rice, offering a contrasting taste to the previous recipes and showcasing the popular Chinese sweet and sour flavor profile.

Chinese Red Braised Spare Ribs

Indulge in the rich and robust flavors of Chinese red braised spare ribs. This recipe features larger spare ribs cooked in a flavorful braising sauce made with soy sauce, sugar, spices, and aromatics. The slow braising process allows the ribs to become tender, infused with the rich flavors of the sauce. The resulting dish offers a deeply savory and aromatic experience, perfect for those who appreciate the bold flavors of Chinese cuisine.

Why should you make these dishes?

These recipes provide a diverse range of flavors and cooking methods for Asian pork riblets. Each recipe offers a unique taste experience, showcasing different regional influences and cooking techniques.

Whether you prefer the quick and bold flavors of stir-frying, the healthier approach of air frying, the tangy sweetness of sweet and sour, or the rich and robust braised flavors, these recipes allow you to explore the versatility of Asian pork riblets and add variety to your culinary repertoire.

They are sure to impress your family and guests with their delicious and authentic Asian flavors.


Where to buy pork riblets?

Pork riblets can often be found at Asian supermarkets, where they are commonly available and may be cut into riblet portions upon request. Some Asian supermarkets even sell pre-cut riblets.

If you are unable to find them at a local supermarket, you can visit your nearby butcher and request a rack of ribs of your choice, asking them to cut it into 1.5-inch riblets.

Can I use boneless pork for the riblets?

While bone-in riblets are traditional, you can use boneless pork if desired. Keep in mind that bone-in riblets add flavor and help retain moisture during cooking.

Can I substitute the soy sauce with a gluten-free alternative?

Yes, you can use tamari or coconut aminos as gluten-free alternatives to soy sauce. Ensure to check the labels for any potential allergens.

Can I make Asian pork riblets in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can adapt the recipe for a slow cooker. Cook the riblets on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours, depending on the desired tenderness.

How can I make the riblets spicier?

Increase the amount of chili flakes or add a spicy Asian sauce, such as sambal oelek or gochujang, to the marinade for an extra kick of heat.

How long do chinese pork ribs take to cook?

In total, the cooking process for Chinese pork ribs, as described in the recipe, takes approximately 40 – 50 minutes.

Can I freeze the cooked riblets?

Absolutely! You can freeze the cooked riblets for up to 1 month in the freezer. To ensure their quality, it’s important to use freezer bags or airtight containers that prevent freezer burn. Properly sealed and stored, the frozen riblets can be enjoyed at a later time by simply thawing and reheating them. Freezing the cooked riblets is a convenient option for meal prep or preserving leftovers for future enjoyment.

Can I reheat the Asian pork riblets?

Certainly! You can reheat the Asian pork riblets using a pan and water. To prevent the riblets from drying out, ensure that there is enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Start with an amount that covers the pan and add more water if needed. Gradually add 1 tablespoon at a time to maintain the moisture while reheating. This method will help retain the tenderness and juiciness of the riblets when reheating them.


Asian pork riblets offer a tantalizing combination of tender meat, bold flavors, and the essence of Asian cuisine. Whether you’re a fan of Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese flavors, these bite-sized pieces of pork ribs will satisfy your cravings and impress your guests. With their versatility and delightful taste, Asian pork riblets are a must-try for any food lover. So, fire up the grill or preheat your oven, and indulge in the irresistible flavors of Asian pork riblets!