Spicy Oven-Baked Pork Spare Ribs Recipe

Ribs may not always be the cleanest food to eat, but they are one of the best foods to enjoy. This recipe for spicy, oven-baked pork spare ribs will leave you licking your fingers. No, you won't need a grill to make these ribs, which means these are great to enjoy all year round. All you need is an oven and a little time to make these flavorful ribs. The gochujang mixed with the sweetness from the barbecue sauce adds a lot of spice to the ribs.

Recipe developer Cecilia Ryu came up with this recipe for spicy, oven-baked pork spare ribs that are finger-licking good. "This recipe is so amazing because it comes together so quickly. Using store bought [barbecue] sauce, instead of making your own, really cuts down the time when making this recipe," Rye explains. "Normally, ribs need to be slow cooked for a long period of time in order to be fall-of-the-bone tender, but the step of boiling the ribs before baking them cuts down the time, and makes them equally tender." 

Gather the ingredients for these spicy, oven-baked pork spare ribs

To kick things off, you will need to pick up some St. Louis-style or baby back pork spareribs, barbecue sauce, gochujang, garlic cloves, sesame oil, freshly-grated ginger, coffee granules, sake, sliced scallions, and roasted sesame seeds. "With this recipe, I used Sweet Baby Rays barbecue sauce. It's my favorite, and the only kind of barbecue sauce I use," Rye notes. 

"Depending on the brand of barbecue sauce used when making this recipe, it will alter the taste of the sauce a bit, as some barbecue sauces are sweeter or more tart than others. My suggestion is, once you prepare the sauce, taste it. If it tastes good, it will taste good on the ribs. If you feel it's not sweet enough, add a sweetener [like] honey, maple sugar, [or] sugar." Once you have those things, you can make these spicy, oven-baked pork spare ribs. 

Prep the ribs

Preheat the oven to 350 F. While the oven gets hot, take out a large pot and add the spare ribs. Then, fill the pot with just enough water to cover the ribs, then sprinkle in the coffee granules and the sake. "Boiling the ribs in the coffee granules takes away some of the gamey taste that pork can have at times," Ryu shares. "The small amount used does not flavor the meat. The sake is used for the same purpose as well." 

Place the pot on the stove, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once you see bubbles reach the surface, boil for 10 minutes, until the ribs are cooked through.

Make the sauce

While the ribs boil, you can whip up the sauce. Mix the barbecue sauce, gochujang, minced garlic, sesame oil, and ginger in a small bowl, and then set the sauce aside.

"The sauce is made with a secret ingredient — gochujang. It's a Korean red pepper paste," Rye says. "Spice levels will vary depending on which brand you purchase. The gochujang is not too overpowering, and adds a nice subtle, spicy kick to the sauce. These ribs are the perfect combination of sweet and spicy." 

Drain the ribs, and add sauce

When your timer goes off, pour the ribs into a colander to drain the water. Rinse them under cold water in order to wash off any coffee granules that may still be on them. Transfer the clean ribs to a large bowl, and pour the sauce over them, mixing well to coat the ribs in the sauce.

Bake the ribs

Place the ribs on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Be sure to leave some space between each piece, so they don't stick together. Bake the ribs for 30 minutes, then change the oven setting to broil, and cook the ribs for about 2 to 3 minutes. This will help crisp the ribs ever so slightly and caramelize the sauce, giving the ribs that charred taste. 

Serve and enjoy the spare ribs

Add the sliced green onions and sesame seeds to the ribs after you remove them from the oven. It's best to serve the ribs when they're hot. "I always serve this as an appetizer, or as a main dish with a side of rice," Ryu shares. "These leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 4days. Reheat covered in the oven at 350 F," Ryu notes.

Spicy Oven-Baked Pork Spare Ribs Recipe
4.9 from 33 ratings
This oven-baked pork spare ribs recipe is the perfect mixture of saucy, sweet, and spicy.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pork spare ribs on tray
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 3 pounds St. Louis-style or baby back pork spareribs
  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee granules
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 3 scallions, sliced, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place the spare ribs in a large pot, and fill with just enough water to cover the ribs. Add the coffee granules and the sake, and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for an additional 10 minutes, until cooked through.
  2. While ribs are boiling, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, add the barbecue sauce, gochujang, garlic, sesame oil, and ginger. Mix well to combine, and set aside.
  3. Carefully drain the ribs in a colander, and rinse under cold water. Transfer the ribs to a large bowl, and pour the sauce over the ribs, mixing well to evenly coat the ribs.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the ribs on the baking sheet, leaving space in between each piece. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Change the oven setting to broil. Broil ribs under medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly charred and caramelized. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, and serve while hot.
Calories per Serving 1,221
Total Fat 85.2 g
Saturated Fat 26.4 g
Trans Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 272.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 38.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Total Sugars 24.6 g
Sodium 1,334.9 mg
Protein 55.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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