These Chinese Rib Tips are marinated in a homemade Chinese BBQ sauce and oven baked until they’re fall-apart tender! We’ve got a few tricks to recreate the flavors of your favorite Chinese takeout ribs––only if they were much, MUCH better.
3poundspork rib tips(1.4 kg)
3tablespoonsmaltose(mixed in 1 tablespoon of hot water; can substitute honey)
¼teaspoonred food coloring(optional, but if you really want to go for that “authentic” look…)
Rinse the pork rib tips, and pat dry with paper towels.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the maltose with the hot water using a spatula. Maltose is VERY thick and sticky, so the hot water helps to loosen and liquefy it so it’s easier to work with and can serve as the base of your marinade. You may mistake the stuff for super glue. You can use your hands to soften it faster, but a spatula works fine too. Microwaving the maltose for 10 seconds softens it up also. Working with maltose is admittedly a bit difficult, but the rich stickiness really makes it worth the extra steps! If you can’t find maltose, we’d love to hear your kitchen experiments with honey or agave as substitutes in the comments!
Add the garlic, hoisin sauce, salt, sugar, five spice powder, Shaoxing wine, ketchup, and red food coloring, if using.
Next, add the rib tip pieces to the bowl, rubbing the BBQ sauce into the meat and ensuring that it’s completely coated. You can cut the rib tips into smaller pieces but I leave them whole to ensure they’ll be tender and juicy. Cover the bowl with a large plate or plastic wrap and let the rib tips marinate overnight in the refrigerator (12 to 24 hours).
After the ribs are marinated, remove them from the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, letting them come up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan or roasting pan with parchment paper or non-stick foil to prevent the ribs from sticking to the pan. Place the two slabs of rib tips on the pan, cover with foil, and place them in the oven. Save the marinating liquid for basting.
Bake the ribs for 30 minutes, baste them, turn them over, and baste again. Cover again with the foil. Return them to the oven and reduce the temperature to 275 degrees F.
Repeat the process two times––that’s 60 minutes of additional cooking time. After 90 minutes in the oven, baste again, and return to the oven uncovered.
Baste the ribs every 20 minutes for another hour until done. At this point, if you like a slightly crispy bark on the rib tips, increase the oven temperature back to 325 degrees F. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan around the perimeter of the rib tips if it starts to dry out and burn.
Carefully transfer the rib tips to a cutting board. I wasn’t kidding when I said they would be fall-apart tender! Slice into bite-sized pieces, and serve with your favorite fried rice or plain white rice.