Five-Spice Spare Ribs

These ribs are sure to bring the heat—and not just because they're made by firefighters. The five-spice blend gives them a tasty kick.
Publish date:
five spice spare ribs on cooling rack

Recipe by Eric Howard

Start to Finish: 2 hours, 20 minutes (plus marinating overnight)

Servings: 8



  • 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar

  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt

  • 2 tbsp. Chinese five-spice powder

  • 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cayenne

  • 1 tbsp. honey

  • 2 racks of spare ribs (2 1/2 to 3 lb. each)


  • 3/4 cup gochujang (Korean red chile paste)

  • 1/4 cup mirin

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 3 tbsp. (packed) light brown sugar

  • 2 tsp. ancho chile powder

  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika


1. For the ribs, in a medium bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients and 1 tbsp. pepper; rub all over the ribs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 275°. Unwrap the ribs, then wrap in foil. Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Bake until the ribs are tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

3. Heat a grill or a grill pan to medium-high. In a medium bowl, whisk the ingredients for the sauce. Unwrap and grill the ribs, basting with some of the sauce and turning once, until charred in spots, 7 to 10 minutes. Cut the ribs between the bones into individual ribs. Serve with the remaining sauce.