Slow Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs

Slow Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs combine St. Louis spare ribs with sweet and spicy Asian flavors, then they’re cooked until they fall off the bone.

chinese spare ribs on a white rectangular plate

If you’re like us, you love a delicious mashup of cooking styles. That’s what we’ve done with these ribs. They combine classic all-American spare ribs with the delicious sweet and spicy flavors of Asian food into one amazing rib recipe.

chinese spare rib held in the air topped with sesame seeds and green onions

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It uses simple ingredients available at any grocery store.
  • It’s a straightforward recipe to make.
  • It’s a great dish to make for weeknight meals.
  • It’s a sweet, spicy, zippy rib recipe you’ll love.


slab of ribs, soy sauce, seasonings, vinegar, cornstarch, green onions and red food coloring on a white background

You’ll only need a few ingredients to make these ribs, and you can find them all at your local grocery store. Be sure to check the recipe card at the end of the post for exact amounts.

  • St. Louis spare ribs
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Chinese five spice powder
  • Brown sugar
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Minced garlic
  • Ground ginger
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  • Cornstarch
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Green onions (optional)

🔪 How to Make Slow Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs

Making this recipe is incredibly simple. It only takes a little mixing, and then the slow cooker does all the work.

chinese inspired sauce in a glass measuring cup

Step 1: Make the Sauce

Mix the soy sauce, honey, Hoisin, five spice blend, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, garlic, and red food coloring in a small bowl and set aside.

Step 2: Cut the Ribs

Cut the ribs up into two-rib sections.

raw ribs and chinese inspired sauce in the slow cooker

Step 3: Cook the Ribs

Place the ribs and sauce in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

ribs laid out on a parchment lined baking sheet to go in the broiler

Step 4: Broil the Ribs and Thicken the Sauce

Remove the ribs and place them on a sheet pan lined with foil. Then, add the cornstarch to the sauce in the slow cooker. Broil the ribs for 5 to 6 minutes until caramelized. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds and enjoy!


Do you want to change up this recipe and make it your own? Here are some ways that you can do that!

  • Extra Spicy – Try adding more red pepper flakes or some diced jalapenos.
  • Mild – Omit the red pepper flakes for a mild version.
  • Ribs – You can make this recipe with your favorite cut of ribs.
  • Meat – Try making this recipe with chicken, beef, or pork chunks.

If you love these Asian flavors and how easy this recipe is, then try our slow cooker Asian chicken noodle soup.

🥄 Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Slow cooker
  • Knife
finished chinese spare ribs in a slow cooker liner

🥫 Storage

Refrigerate these ribs for up to 3 days in an air-tight container. For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to 3 months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.

💭 Tips

  • It’s important to cook these ribs on low. Don’t try to rush them, or they won’t be super tender.
  • Keep an eye on your ribs while broiling them. It’s easy to go from crusty to burned.

⁉️ FAQ

Do you have questions about this recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Are Chinese BBQ ribs authentic Chinese food?

Yes, they are! Traditional Chinese BBQ ribs are a Cantonese dish.

Can you overcook ribs in a slow cooker?

You can, but it’s hard to do. Ribs are perfectly cooked after about 6 to 7 hours in the slow cooker, but even if you cook them a bit more, they should be fine.

Why are my slow cooker ribs tough?

If your ribs are tough, then they weren’t cooked long enough. Just put them back in the slow cooker and check them every 30 minutes.

🍽 More Recipes

Do you enjoy ribs? Then try these delicious recipes:

📌 PIN IT!!

chinese spare ribs on a white rectangular plate

🧾Recipe Card

Want to make this recipe? Print the recipe card below, or pin this recipe, so you can find it later.

chinese spare ribs on a white rectangular plate

Slow Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs

These slow cooker Chinese spare ribs are super tender and loaded with delicious sweet and spicy Asian flavors.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 513kcal


  • slow cooker
  • foil-lined baking sheet
  • glass measuring cup


  • 3 pounds St. Louis style spare ribs
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup honey
  • cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring optional
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Sesame seeds optional
  • Green onions optional


  • In a small bowl mix, soy sauce, honey, hoisin, five spice blend, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, red food coloring (optional) and set aside.
  • Cut the ribs between the bones, every 2 bones.
  • Place ribs and marinade in an 8 quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Remove ribs and place on a sheet pan lined with foil. Toss the cornstarch into the slow cooker with the marinade and stir, baste the ribs all over with the marinade from the slow cooker.
  • Place under the broiler for 5-6 minutes or until caramelized.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions and serve!


Any nutritional data I provide is an approximation and actual dietary information can vary based on ingredients and proportion sizes.


Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 924mg | Potassium: 479mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 109IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg

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