Five-Spice Short Ribs With Hoisin Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Are you tired of the same old barbecue recipes? Are you in search of a new and exciting dish to impress guests at your next backyard cookout? Look no further than my Five-Spice Short Ribs with Hoisin Barbecue Sauce recipe. This dish will take your tastebuds on a journey to the Far East, with its bold and complex flavors that will leave you craving more.

The secret ingredient in this exquisite recipe is Chinese five spice powder, a blend of cinnamon, clove, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Combined with hoisin sauce, it gives the meat a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from traditional barbecue fare.

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients – this recipe is easy to follow and worth every effort. So fire up that grill and get ready to wow your guests with this aromatic and succulent dish. Your taste buds (and friends) will thank you later.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Five-Spice Short Ribs With Hoisin Barbecue Sauce
Five-Spice Short Ribs With Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

Are you tired of the same old barbecue recipes? Do you want to try something new and exciting that will leave your taste buds longing for more? Then look no further than this exquisite recipe for Five-Spice Short Ribs With Hoisin Barbecue Sauce.

If you love experimenting with bold flavors and spices, this recipe is a must-try. The Chinese five spice powder used in this recipe blends perfectly with the beef short ribs, creating a memorable taste that is sure to impress. The addition of hoisin sauce takes the flavor profile to another level, giving it a unique Asian twist that sets it apart from traditional barbecue sauces.

Not only is this recipe packed with delicious flavors, but it’s also incredibly easy to prepare. With simple-to-find ingredients like rice vinegar, ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, and dry sherry, you can whip up the hoisin barbecue sauce in no time. And when combined with slow-cooked meat, the result is a mouthwatering dish that melts in your mouth with every bite.

If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing recipe that’s perfect for summertime barbecues or Sunday family dinners, this dish is sure to be a hit. And if you’re craving something other than beef short ribs, this recipe can easily be adapted to work with pork ribs or spare ribs for those who prefer pork over beef.

In summary, whether you’re a lover of Chinese food or just looking for something new and exciting to try on your grill or smoker, this Five-Spice Short Ribs With Hoisin Barbecue Sauce recipe is sure to impress. So why not give it a try and let your taste buds dance with excitement?

Ingredient List

Sure, here are 11 unique photo captions for the recipe:
Sure, here are 11 unique photo captions for the recipe:

Here is what you need for this succulent Five-Spice Short Ribs With Hoisin Barbecue Sauce Recipe:

Beef Short Ribs

  • 4 lbs beef short ribs bone-in

Chinese five spice powder

  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder

Fine Sea Salt

  • 2 tablespoon fine sea salt

White Pepper

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Hoisin Barbecue Sauce Recipe – Sauce 1

  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Hoisin BBQ Sauce Recipe – Sauce 2

  • [Bold] 4 cups hoisin sauce
  • [Bold] 3 cups ketchup
  • [Bold] 2 cups brown sugar
  • [Bold] 2 cups soy sauce
  • [Bold] 1 cup oyster sauce
  • [Bold] 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • [Bold] 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • [Bold] 1/4 cup water
  • [Bold] 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Chinese five spice powder
  • [Bold] 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • [Bold] 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • [Bold] Spice rubbed into the meat:
    • 3 tablespoons kosher salt (for the night before)
    • 3 tablespoons garlic ginger or toasted garlic oil (for the night before)
    • Extra white pepper for sprinkling on top

That’s it! Head to your nearest grocery store and get your hands on these fresh, flavorful ingredients.

The Recipe How-To

Now that you have your ingredients ready, let’s start cooking!

Preparing the Short Ribs

  1. Trim excess fat: Use a sharp knife to trim excess fat from the short ribs. Leave a thin layer of fat to keep the meat tender and juicy during cooking.

  2. Season with salt and Chinese five spice powder: Combine 2 tablespoons of Chinese five spice powder, 1 tablespoon of fine sea salt, and 2 teaspoons of sugar in a small bowl. Season the short ribs generously on both sides with the spice mixture, rubbing it in well.

  3. Brown the short ribs: In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the short ribs and brown them on all sides until deeply caramelized, about 4-5 minutes per side.

Making the Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

While the short ribs are browning, it’s time to whip up the barbecue sauce!

Sauce 1: Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

  1. Combine hoisin sauce and other ingredients: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of hoisin sauce, 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, 1/4 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar, 3 garlic cloves (minced), 2 scallions (thinly sliced), and 2 tablespoons of finely grated fresh ginger.

  2. Simmer: Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for 10-15 minutes until thickened and fragrant.

  3. Set aside: Once done, remove from heat and set aside.

Sauce 2: Hoisin Honey Barbecue Sauce

If you’re feeling adventurous, try this alternative version:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of hoisin sauce, 1/3 cup of honey, 3 tablespoons of Chinese rice wine, and 2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper until smooth.

Braising the Short Ribs

Once you’ve made your preferred hoisin barbecue sauce,

  1. Add liquid to pot: Pour 4 cups of beef stock into the pot with the browned short ribs.

  2. Add braising liquids: Add another teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and ½ cup dry sherry wine to the pot.

  3. Simmer: Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cover the pot with a lid.

  4. Cook for several hours:
    Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least three hours until meat is tender enough to fall apart easily with a fork or tong tips.

  5. Optional slow-cooker method: You can also cook these short ribs in a slow cooker on low for approximately six hours.

  6. **Glaze

Substitutions and Variations

Now, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to put your own spin on this recipe, let me give you some ideas for substitutions and variations that will give this dish a whole new vibe.

First of all, instead of using short ribs, you could use spare ribs or baby back pork ribs. These cuts of meat have slightly different attributes than beef short ribs, but they will certainly work well with the hoisin barbecue sauce and Chinese Five Spice powder. You can follow the same cooking instructions as per the recipe for beef short ribs.

For the barbecue sauce, try switching things up by substituting some of the ingredients. For example, instead of using ketchup, you could use tomato paste or tamarind paste which provides an interesting sour note. You could also add some honey to the hoisin sauce for a sweet twist on the original barbecue sauce recipe. Adding sesame oil or oyster sauce to the mixture will also help create a thicker consistency.

If you’re looking to keep things vegetarian or pescetarian you can marinate tofu or shrimp in the hoisin barbecue sauce and spices for just as delicious results! You can cook them over a hot grill or saute them in your favorite pan.

Additionally, you could experiment with different spices within the Chinese Five Spice blend as it features star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds along with szechwan peppercorn and cloves. Use white pepper alongside black pepper, or perhaps swap it out with red chilli flakes to add some heat.

Take a deep breath and don’t be afraid to explore—trust me; it’s worth experimenting! By getting creative with flavors and ingredients, you might discover something fantastic that you never thought possible.

Serving and Pairing

 Get your grill on with these Five-Spice Short Ribs!
Get your grill on with these Five-Spice Short Ribs!

Alright, you’ve done it. The pork or beef short ribs with hoisin barbecue sauce have finally made it out of the flames and into your waiting stomach. But how exactly should you serve this exotic dish?

Personally, I like to keep things simple and stick with a side of white rice, which is great for soaking up that finger-licking-good hoisin sauce! Lightly sautéed vegetables such as bok choy or broccoli can also be served on the side, adding a fresh balance to this rich and bold mains course.

Another fun option is to make a lettuce wrap with the tender short rib meat, hoisin sauce and a sprinkling of scallions. Of course, if you’re feeling like you have something to prove in the kitchen, go all out with some gourmet mashed potatoes topped off with crispy shallots.

Now for the pairing…here’s where we’re going to have some fun. A traditional rule of thumb when pairing beverages is choosing something that can stand up to bold flavors, like full-bodied red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. However, if you’re not a huge wine fan, pair with an ice-cold beer or even better yet, an Asian lager-style brew which will complement the five-spice powder common in Chinese cuisine.

But don’t forget about non-alcoholic options. Freshly squeezed lime juice mixed with soda water and served over ice would be excellent for cleansing your palate before every bite. And a sweet finish to this big meal? I recommend serving some sliced pineapple or mango – both fruit are super juicy and packed full of tropical flavor.

So, there you have it. A few suggestions that should help guide your choices but also let your imagination run wild so that each time you make these five-spice short ribs with hoisin barbecue sauce, they can feel brand new. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These ribs are so tender, they fall off the bone!
These ribs are so tender, they fall off the bone!

If you’re planning to make these scrumptious Five-Spice Short Ribs with Hoisin Barbecue Sauce recipe ahead of time or are thinking of leftovers, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, you can definitely store the ribs and sauce separately in the fridge for up to three days. It’s ideal to let the flavors meld together, so these short ribs will actually taste even better on day two or three.

Reheating these delicious short ribs can be done in several ways – in the microwave or oven. For the microwave, place the ribs on a plate and cover with plastic wrap before microwaving until heated through for about 2-3 minutes per side. If you prefer using an oven, preheat it to 325 F, then place the short ribs in a baking dish and pour some sauce over them. Reheat for about 15-20 minutes until hot all the way through.

One thing to remember is that when reheating meat too much, it may dry out, but thanks to this hoisin barbecue sauce, that isn’t something you need to worry about. These Five-Spice Short Ribs with Hoisin Barbecue Sauce are still going to be mouth-wateringly juicy and tender days later!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect blend of Chinese and American flavors in one delicious dish.
The perfect blend of Chinese and American flavors in one delicious dish.

Cooking short ribs requires patience and attention to detail, but the end result is a delicious and savory dish that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Here are some of my tried-and-true tips for ensuring that the Chinese five-spice short ribs with hoisin barbecue sauce recipe comes out perfectly every time.

1) Select the Right Cut of Meat:

It’s essential to use the correct cut of meat to make this delicacy. To achieve the best texture and flavor, opt for beef short ribs, preferably bone-in. Pork ribs may also work well in this recipe.

2) Marinate Overnight:

The marinade is an essential component when cooking with ribs. A marinade comprising spices, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce infuses flavors into the meat and tenderizes it. For optimum results, marinate your meat overnight, so the flavors penetrate deep into it.

3) Slow Cooker Method:

Slow-cooking techniques give an incredible flavor to short ribs; however, they require constant monitoring. The slow-cooker ensures a low-and-slow cook that tenderizes your meat while developing enough flavor.

4) Baste Your Ribs:

Basting will keep your ribs moist and adds much-needed flavor to them. Brush a generous amount of hoisin barbecue sauce all over your meat before putting it into the oven or slow cooker. When slow-cooking, baste the ribs every hour to keep them moist with an exquisite smoky flavor.

5) Monitor Internal Temperature:

Undercooked ribs taste rubbery and unappetizingly tough, while overcooked ones are dry and stringy. Therefore it’s essential to monitor internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Beef short ribs are considered cooked thoroughly when they get an internal temperature of 145 °F while pork ribs should reach about 165°F.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to prepare Chinese five-spice short ribs with hoisin barbecue sauce that will impress even the most discerning palates. Practice makes perfect; mastering these hacks entails perfecting your craft through frequent practice until you become a BBQ master yourself!


Now it’s time for some frequently asked questions, or as I like to call them, the “rib rumors.” I know you’re curious about some things, A fact is that getting your hands on the right rib cut is essential, but there’s a lot more to learn. Don’t fret; I’m here to ease your mind and clear up any confusion about this recipe. Keep reading!

Is hoisin sauce the same as BBQ sauce?

If you’ve ever tasted Hoisin sauce, you may have noticed that it has similarities to American-style barbecue sauce. However, there are several distinct differences between the two. Hoisin sauce has a much saltier and richer taste, with less sweetness. One of its defining characteristics is the addition of fermented soybeans, which provide a savory umami flavor. This sets it apart from other sauces that may rely on fish or meat to achieve a similar taste profile.

What do you mix with hoisin sauce?

Are you tired of the same old bland flavors when it comes to grilling meats, seafood, or vegetables? Look no further than creating your own marinades. By combining hoisin sauce, honey, lemon, salt, and garlic, you can add a burst of deliciousness to your favorite foods. Want to try something different with your veggies? Mix equal parts maple syrup and hoisin sauce to create a unique glaze for your carrots. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Do you put BBQ sauce on ribs before or after baking?

As a BBQ chef’s assistant, a common inquiry that comes our way is the optimum time to incorporate sauce into your ribs. For those curious about this, you should reserve applying the sauce until the final 20-30 minutes of cooking. It’s important to note that when brushing on the sauce, moderation is key- don’t go overboard and smother your ribs.

Can I substitute barbeque sauce for hoisin sauce?

When it comes to BBQ, molasses can be a game changer in terms of flavor and texture. With its thick and sticky consistency, it can add depth and richness to any sauce or marinade. If you want to recreate the taste of hoisin, a popular Chinese sauce, you can try blending together 3/4 cup of barbecue sauce with 3 tablespoons of molasses. This simple combination can elevate the taste of your BBQ dishes and make them more interesting and delicious.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, there’s nothing quite like the flavor and aroma of Chinese five-spice short ribs with hoisin barbecue sauce. The combination of savory and sweet flavors, mixed with the bold spice of the five-spice powder, is sure to leave your taste buds yearning for more. Plus, with a recipe that’s easy to follow and adaptable to different dietary needs, you can serve this dish to anyone from meat-eaters to vegetarians.

Whether you’re looking for a weeknight dinner or an impressive barbeque dish, these five-spice short ribs will not disappoint. So gather your ingredients, get your grill or slow-cooker ready, and let the magic happen! Your taste buds (and guests) will thank you for it.

Five-Spice Short Ribs With Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

Five-Spice Short Ribs With Hoisin Barbecue Sauce Recipe

From Stephen Raichlen’s "Primal Grill".
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Calories 2021.6 kcal


  • 4 lbs beef short ribs, bone in


  • 2 tablespoons Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper

Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup chinese rice wine (Shaoxing) or 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar (to taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled minced ginger
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts minced


  • Score the meaty side of the ribs with a knife in a diamond pattern.
  • Combine rub ingredients in a bowl. Rub into all sides of ribs. Refrigerate 2-4 hours.
  • Prepare a charcoal grill with an indirect grill setup – put hot coals on outside of grill, leaving a cool center zone, with a drip pan in the center. Place ribs over the drip pan. Place a handful of hardwood chips on each pile of coals. Position the lid with the vent holes centered over the meat, and mostly closed to get about 250°F.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine hoisin sauce, rice wine, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, ketchup, garlic, ginger and scallion. Heat over medium flame; simmer 10 minutes.
  • About 15 minutes before the meat is finished, brush sauce onto meat. Meat is done when bones are exposed by about 1/4", about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.



Serving: 406gCalories: 2021.6kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 70.7gFat: 166.6gSaturated Fat: 71.9gCholesterol: 346.7mgSodium: 4500.1mgFiber: 2.6gSugar: 36.1g
Keyword Meat, Pork
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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.