These slow-cooker char siu spareribs are more tender and more delicious than the usual take-out Chinese restaurant standard. The key: a super flavorful braising broth made with ginger, garlic, hoisin, honey, soy and spicy chile sauce that becomes a sticky, finger-licking glaze.
Make-Ahead Tip: The ribs can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
- 2 racks spareribs, trimmed (about 4 pounds)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped peeled ginger
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 tablespoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce, sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce
- 1/2 cup water
1. On a cutting board, cut the racks into individual ribs and transfer to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker.
2. In a blender, combine the ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce, honey, soy sauce, molasses, chile-garlic sauce and the water; puree until smooth.
3. Pour the mixture over the ribs and toss to evenly coat. Optional: If your slow cooker has a delayed timer function, set it for 1 hour to allow the meat to marinate.
4. Cook, covered, on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, until the meat is tender but not falling off the bones.
5. Transfer the ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet. Strain the pan juices into a medium-size saucepan and spoon off as much fat as possible. Boil the pan juices until syrupy and reduced to 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
6. Preheat the broiler and position a rack 8-inches from the heat. Brush the ribs with some of the sauce and broil until caramelized, about 5 minutes, turning once or twice.
7. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with any remaining sauce. Serve.
Grace Parisi is a New York City-based food writer, cookbook author and food stylist. Her book, Get Saucy, was nominated for a James Beard award. Her latest book, Quick Pickles comes out in Spring 2016. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.