These Honey Garlic Ribs aren’t your average Chinese ones; I’ve taken them to the next level for the best ones you’ll ever have. They’re deep-fried bite-sized ribs are super crispy, drizzled with honey, and coated in perfectly crispy garlic bits. Deliciously finger-lickin’ good!
Table of Contents
- What are Chinese Honey Garlic Ribs?
- Why You’ll Love This Honey Garlic Ribs Recipe
- Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Honey Garlic Ribs
- How to Make Honey Garlic Ribs (Step by Step)
- Deep Frying the Garlic
- Deep Fry the Ribs
- Joyce’s Tips For Making the Best Honey Garlic Ribs
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Honey Garlic Ribs
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Honey Garlic Ribs
- More Chinese Takeout Recipes You May Like
- Did You Make This Recipe?
- Recipe Card
Chinese honey garlic ribs are a staple at restaurants and for a good reason - they’re delicious and the sauce is amazing! But the one issue I have with them is the ribs aren’t as crispy as I’d like them to be since they’re soaking in a watery sweet syrup.
If you're looking for the traditional Chinese honey garlic ribs that soaks in a very wet and runny sauce like at the Chinese restaurants, this recipe will not be it.
What makes this recipe special is how perfectly crispy these bite-sized ribs turn out to be! My honey garlic ribs do not sit and soak in a wet sauce but is instead lightly coated with honey to just the right level to give you that delicious sweet flavor but to keep them nice and crispy.
This honey garlic ribs recipe creates ribs that are super crispy, coated in just the right amount of sauce, and have the perfect crispy garlic bits on top! The best part? These honey garlic ribs are bite-sized and easy to eat, so you can enjoy them as a snack with friends, serve them as appetizers or just hoard them all to yourself.
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious honey garlic ribs recipe today!
What are Chinese Honey Garlic Ribs?
Honey garlic ribs combine the deliciousness of pork ribs with the sweet and savory flavors of a honey garlic sauce. They’re incredibly popular in Asian restaurants, and if you’ve ever been to one, you’ve probably tried these!
This recipe is absolutely delicious! The sweetness of the honey, the umami from the soy sauce, come together to create a combination of flavors that will leave you craving for more.
Plus, the satisfaction of biting into a crispy piece of homemade honey garlic ribs, with its perfect blend of sweet, savory is simply unbeatable.
Why You’ll Love This Honey Garlic Ribs Recipe
- Quick: While the ribs do need to marinate for a couple of hours, the actual cooking process is incredibly quick. Deep frying the ribs only takes about five minutes per batch, meaning you can have this delicious meal on the table in no time.
- Chinese Takeout At Home: The unique blend of flavors in this recipe makes it a hit with both kids and adults. The sweetness of the honey and the punch of the garlic create a taste that's sure to be a crowd pleaser, especially for a Chinese takeout night!
- Versatile: This recipe is highly adaptable. If you have extra crispy garlic bits, you can use them to top your rice, noodles, or soups, making this recipe versatile and guaranteeing that nothing goes to waste.
- Delicious: Most importantly, these honey garlic ribs are simply delicious. The combination of deep-fried ribs, sweet honey, and crispy garlic creates an unforgettable flavor profile that's sure to impress.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Honey Garlic Ribs
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious honey garlic ribs recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Side Ribs (spare ribs): These are the star of our recipe. I used side ribs (spare ribs) and asked the butcher to cut them lengthwise 2 inches thick. They are also called riblets in the stores as well.
- Honey: Drizzled on at the end, honey adds a touch of sweetness that perfectly compliments the savory flavors of the ribs. It also gives the ribs a delicious, sticky glaze.
- Garlic Cloves: These are used as a crispy topping to add a burst of garlic flavor with every bite.
For the Rib Marinade:
- Garlic: Garlic is also used in the marinade to infuse the pork ribs with its flavor from the inside out.
- Fish Sauce: This adds a savory, umami depth to the marinade, balancing out the sweetness of the honey. If you can't get it locally, you can substitute it with soy sauce.
- Sugar: A touch of sugar in the marinade helps to balance the flavors and enhance the browning of the ribs.
- Rice Vinegar: The acidity in the vinegar tenderizes the ribs and adds a subtle tang to balance the overall taste. It will be available at an Asian grocery store but you can also substitute white wine vinegar for it as well.
- Corn Starch: This creates a light batter after, which when fried, gives the ribs a deliciously crispy exterior.
How to Make Honey Garlic Ribs (Step by Step)
Making this incredible honey garlic ribs recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
Prepare the Garlic: Start by peeling and finely mincing the garlic. Using a small food processor can make this step quicker. Once done, set the garlic aside for later use.
Marinate the Ribs
Prepare the Ribs: Cut the rack of ribs into individual pieces by cutting between the bones. Place these pieces into a large bowl.
Marinate the Ribs: Add all the ingredients from the marinade ingredient list to the bowl, except the the corn starch. Mix well and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours, but overnight would make it taste better.
Add Corn Starch: After the ribs are done marinating, add in the cornstarch to the ribs, and make sure to coat each piece well. This will create a semi-dry coating on the ribs.
Deep Frying the Garlic
Heat the Oil: In a high wall pot, add about two inches of oil and set the stove to medium heat. To test if the oil is hot, add a few bits of garlic to see if it starts to sizzle.
Fry the Garlic: Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and keep stirring every few seconds so it doesn't burn. Cook it for about 3-5 minutes. (Garlic burns easily especially garlic closer to the hot edges of the pan, keep an eye on it!)
Remove the Garlic: Once the garlic is a golden yellow, remove the garlic by pouring it out into a strainer or using a strainer to scoop it out. The garlic will continue to cook and brown. (Reserve the garlicky oil for deep frying the ribs.) Set the crispy garlic aside for later.
Deep Fry the Ribs
Deep Fry the Ribs: Pour the garlicky oil back into the pot and bring it back to temperature on medium heat. Cook the ribs in batches, careful not to overcrowd the pan. Each batch should take about four to six minutes. Once all the ribs are cooked, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess grease.
Final Touches: Drizzle honey generously over the ribs and toss it so that each rib piece is coated and sprinkle some of the crispy garlic on top. The crispy garlic will stick to the sticky honey.
Serve: Your honey garlic ribs are now ready to be enjoyed! They taste best when served piping hot or warm, and are especially delicious when freshly made.
Joyce’s Tips For Making the Best Honey Garlic Ribs
Marinate the Ribs: To make the best honey garlic ribs, marinate them in the fridge for at least two hours using the ingredients from the marinade ingredient list. The longer they sit, the more flavor they'll absorb, enhancing the overall taste of your dish.
Use Cornstarch for Coating: After marinating, coat the ribs in corn starch. This creates a semi-dry coating that helps to lock in the flavors and gives the ribs a crispy texture after frying.
Deep Fry the Garlic: Deep frying the garlic not only gives it a crispy texture but also infuses the oil with a garlicky flavor. This oil can then be used to fry the ribs, adding an additional layer of garlic flavor.
Control the Heat When Frying: Every stovetop is different and the secret to perfectly fried ribs is maintaining the right oil temperature. If the ribs are browning too quickly, lower the heat. This will help make sure that your ribs are cooked perfectly all the way through, with a crispy exterior and juicy, tender meat inside.
Use Crispy Garlic Bits for Extra Flavor: Sprinkle crispy garlic bits over the honey-glazed ribs for an extra burst of flavor. If you have leftovers, these can also be used to flavor rice, noodles, or soups.
- For a hearty, Asian-inspired dinner, serve these honey garlic ribs with a side of Chinese Sticky Rice (Lo Mai Fan). The sticky texture of the rice perfectly complements the crispy, juicy ribs. Cumin Beef Fried Rice is another great option!
- Looking for a noodle option? Try pairing the ribs with Cheesy Cheese Ramen. The robust flavor of the ribs beautifully balances the creamy, cheesy ramen.
- If you're a fan of fried rice, Easy Egg Fried Rice pairs wonderfully with these ribs. The simple, comforting taste of egg fried rice is a great match for the bold, garlicky ribs.
- If you're planning a Chinese takeout themed dinner, these ribs are a great addition. Serve them alongside Sweet and Sticky Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) and Crispy Fried Wonton Chips with Sweet and Sour Sauce for a complete feast.
- For a spicy kick, drizzle some Miso Garlic Chili Oil over the ribs. The heat from the chili oil adds an exciting contrast to the sweet and savory ribs.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Honey Garlic Ribs
This delicious honey garlic ribs recipe is so flavorful and easy to make, you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
- Make it Spicier: Spice lovers, this one's for you. Add a teaspoon of chili powder or finely chopped fresh chili into the marinade. This will give your honey garlic ribs a nice kick of heat that complements the sweet and garlicky flavors perfectly.
- Try it Smoky: For a smoky flavor, add a teaspoon of smoked paprika into the marinade. This will give your ribs a subtle smoky flavor that pairs wonderfully with the sweet and garlicky honey sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
For this recipe, I recommend using side ribs, also known as spare ribs. They are flavorful and become incredibly tender when cooked properly.
You can either finely mince the garlic by hand or use a small food processor. The latter can help save preparation time and guarantee that the garlic has been evenly distributed throughout the marinade.
The corn starch is used to create a semi-dry coating on the ribs after marinating. This helps to give the ribs a crispy texture once they're deep-fried.
To prevent the garlic from burning, keep stirring it while frying. The garlic closer to the walls of the pot tends to cook faster, so constant stirring guarantees even cooking and prevents burning.
If you have leftover crispy garlic bits, don't let them go to waste! You can use them to top off your rice, noodles, or soups. They add a wonderful crunch and flavor to any dish.
Yes, you can prepare the ribs in advance. After marinating and coating them with corn starch, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to fry them. Just remember, they taste best when served fresh and hot.
The ribs are done cooking when they have a nice, golden brown color. This usually takes about four to six minutes. If the ribs are browning too quickly, lower the heat a notch.
How to Store Leftover Honey Garlic Ribs
Got some leftover honey garlic ribs from that delicious recipe you tried last night? Fret not, because I've got you covered with some easy and efficient storage tips.
First off, let your pork ribs cool down before storing them. Once they're at room temperature, transfer the individual pieces into an airtight container. This will help keep the ribs moist and prevent them from drying out.
If you're planning to have the ribs within the next three days, go ahead and pop that airtight container right into your fridge. Don't forget - cold ribs are best reheated slowly to keep them bone tender.
Preheat your oven to a low temperature, place the ribs on a baking sheet covered with foil, and let them warm up slowly.
While you can technically freeze them, I don’t recommend it since they won’t be as crisp and delicious. They’re best consumed fresh!
More Chinese Takeout Recipes You May Like
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Crispy Honey Garlic Ribs
Joyce's Recipe Notes
- If you have extra crispy garlic bits, use them to top your rice, noodles or soups! This stuff makes everything delicious.
- 2 lbs side ribs (spare ribs)
- ¼ cup honey (for tossing the ribs in at the end)
- 10-15 garlic cloves (as crispy topping)
- Peel 10-15 garlic cloves and finely mince it. Set the garlic aside.
Marinate the Ribs
- Cut between the bones of the ribs into 1-inch pieces and place them in a large bowl.
- Add 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar and ½ tablespoon + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar into the bowl with the ribs and mix everything together.
- Marinate it in the fridge for a minimum of at least 2 hours, but it tastes best overnight.
- After 2 hours, add in 5-6 tablespoons corn starch to coat the ribs, this will create a semi-dry coating.
Deep Frying the Garlic
- In a high wall pot, add about 2 inches of oil and set the stove to medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add in all the garlic. (To test if the oil is hot, add a few bits of garlic to see if it sizzles)
- Keep stirring the garlic, the garlic closer to the walls of the pot will cook faster and burn faster.
- Once the garlic is a golden yellow (approximately 3-5 minutes of cooking), turn off the heat. Remove the garlic by using a strainer to scoop it out. The garlic will continue to cook and brown. (Reserve the garlicky oil for deep frying the ribs.) Set the crispy garlic aside for later.
Deep Frying the Riblets
- Pour the garlicky oil back into the pot and bring the oil back to temperature on medium heat. (You may need to adjust this to a lower setting depending on how strong your stove is)
- Cook the ribs in batches, careful not to over crowd the pan and cook it for 4-6 minutes. (If the ribs are browning too quickly, lower the heat a notch)
- Once all the ribs are done cooking, set it on some paper towel to absorb some of the grease.
- Drizzle ¼ cup honey generously on the deep fried ribs and toss it to make sure every rib has honey coating it. Then sprinkle some crispy garlic on top. The crispy garlic will stick to the honey coating.
- Serve piping hot or warm! It's best when it's is freshly made!
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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