Korean-style BBQ ribs are sticky, sweet, and tangy. Ginger, honey, brown sugar, and vinegar come together to infuse juicy ribs with Korean flavors. They’re cooked in foil so the cleanup is easy-peasy, too.
This is messy but great for sharing—my kind of food. The ribs will need basting during the last 30 minutes of cooking to prevent them from drying out, so don’t miss out on this step. You can finish these off on a barbecue if you like, but reserve some sauce so you can baste them regularly, as they will burn easily.–Louise Kenney
Korean-Style BBQ Ribs
- 2 pounds 4 ounces pork loin rib racks
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 medium (4 oz) onion* grated
- 3 garlic cloves grated or crushed
- 1- inch (25-mm) piece of fresh ginger grated
- 2 tablespoons runny honey
- 1/4 cup soft dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice (or white or cider) vinegar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds plus extra to serve
- Sliced scallions to serve
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a baking dish with parchment paper or foil. You want enough foil to be able to fully wrap the ribs so you might need to join 2 sheets together to ensure the ribs can be covered in one layer.
- Season the pork ribs generously with salt and pepper and lay them in the lined dish. Fold up the foil around the ribs. Slide the dish into the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir the onion, garlic, ginger, honey, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, water, and sesame seeds together.
- After 1 1/2 hours, increase the oven temperature to 400°F (204°C) and remove the ribs from the oven.
- Carefully open up the parcel and pour the sauce over the ribs, ensuring the pork is well covered. Return to the oven, uncovered, and cook, turning the ribs and basting halfway through, until the sauce is dark and sticky, about 30 minutes more. Don’t worry if the edges scorch during cooking; this is completely normal!
- Cut the ribs into pieces and serve with some sesame seeds and the scallions sprinkled over the top.
*How do you grate an onion?Sometimes, you want softer, smaller bits of onion than what you can get just by mincing them. They’re perfect for salad dressings, sauces, marinades, or even when you just want to slip them by your kids. By grating onions and shallots, you’ll end up with something that cooks down to a jammy consistency, without the big chunks. You also get a decent amount of onion juice, which adds even more flavor without bits. Cut the top and bottom of your onion, and slice in half from pole to pole. Remove the skins and start grating. Using the big holes on your box grater is usually enough but if you want to use the smaller holes, who going to stop you?
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This easy recipe for Korean-style BBQ ribs is so packed with flavor and it’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner. The final flavor is so good that you can serve this dish to company. Be prepared to eat with your fingers (and maybe lick them after) for the best experience. The sauce is wonderful. I poured the sauce over the ribs at the 1 1/2-hour cooking point, then basted the uncovered ribs every 10 minutes for 30 minutes.
The recipe suggests turning the ribs at the 15-minute mark. I did that but flipped them back over at the 25-minute mark to get the tops a bit browner. The sauce, although liquid when you first pour it over the ribs, becomes thicker as the ribs cook. I served the leftover sauce from the bottom of the baking dish in a small bowl to pass with the ribs. The ribs were delicious. I served them with crisp asparagus for a contrasting texture.
I love ribs and I make them at least once a week on the BBQ, especially when the weather is nice. I was happy to see that this recipe involved the oven as I have never done ribs in the oven before. I also love Korean flavors so this really appealed to me and I’m so glad I made them. I served this with fluffy white rice and a spicy Korean cucumber salad so with the sides it served four people, although we all wanted more Korean-style BBQ ribs!
Four thumbs up for Korean-style BBQ ribs (two from me and two from the hubby!) You can’t help but love a recipe that delivers maximum flavor with minimal effort. And if you line the baking pan (I used a half-sheet pan) with foil well, the clean-up is also a breeze.
One thing that I found was that I thought the ribs needed a little extra time to get tender (perhaps because I used some fairly meaty baby back ribs). I checked them after the first hour and half of baking (before I basted them) and they weren’t quite as falling-off-the-bone as I like, so I gave them another twenty minutes at 350°F before basting for the last half hour, and they were perfect. I was worried that a half-hour wouldn’t be enough time for the marinade to do its job, but the perfectly balanced flavors (sweet, salty, umami, tangy) were just fantastic and nicely caramelized. I served it with a stir fry of Asian noodles and vegetables and there is enough for the two of us to have this for dinner again tonight. Yay!
We really enjoyed these Korean-style ribs and I enjoyed how easy they were to make. The sauce bakes up dark and sticky with just enough sweetness. I served this with rice and a side of roasted broccoli in sesame oil. I’ll enjoy having a different rib recipe under my belt when we get tired of the same old barbeque ribs.
DELICIOUS! The Korean-style BBQ ribs were tender and the barbecue sauce was delicious. We loved them.
Originally published May 12, 2021