These Keto Chinese Spare Ribs are so delicious that you will never miss Chinese Takeout again! With only a few modifications to the original recipe, this delicious Chinese takeout keto dinner becomes super-duper easy to make! Keto, low carb and gluten-free, serve these delightful ribs with some riced cauliflower for a complete homemade Chinese take-out diner.
This recipe was one that I always remember was a special treat for my dad when I was a kid growing up.
Believe it or not, I was a super picky eater and so I actually never tried these when I was young.
Recently, my mom mentioned that she had made Chinese Spareribs for my dad and I kid you not, the next day when I was at the store, spareribs were on sale for a ridiculous price.
So, after I grabbed my ribs and headed home to email my mom to send me this famous recipe.
Here is the email response I received:
What problems did I have with this Famous Chinese Sparerib recipe?
- I don't own a Dutch oven (any family member's reading this can take the hint that it is on my Christmas wish list!!)
- there were absolutely no cooking times
- there were no measurements
- I had never eaten them before so I had no idea what my end result was supposed to be
- And when I did some more research online, all the recipes I found used VH Garlic Sauce (which is only sold online in the states and is FULL of weird additives)
So, what does a girl do when she wants Chinese Spare ribs and doesn't have a recipe?
She creates one!!!
Who exactly is Ruby Foo?
According to Wikipedia, Ruby Foo was born in San Francisco in 1904. In 1923, she moved to Boston, where she started a one-room restaurant in Chinatown. The venture was a success, and in 1929 she opened Ruby Foo's Den, a restaurant and nightclub. Billed as "Chinatown's smartest restaurant", the "Den" was the first known Chinese restaurant in the U.S. to attract a large non-Chinese clientele. In the 1930s and 40s, it was a nationally known gathering place for famous athletes, actors, and other celebrities. It became one of the first Boston restaurants to expand into other cities when Foo lent her name to similar establishments in New York City, Miami, Washington D.C., Providence, and Montreal. Foo was a mentor to many aspiring chefs in the Boston area.
Unfortunately, Ruby Foo died at the age of 42 from a heart attack yet her restaurants and her legend continue to live on
Not wanting Mr. Grumbles nor I to die from heart issues, I decided to lower the carbs and sugars since recent studies have shown a strong link between sugar intake and plaquing of the heart (if you want to read more about this study, check out this link)
What ingredients do you need to make these famous Ruby Foo Keto Chinese Spare ribs?
- spare ribs
- soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- garlic powder and minced garlic
- homemade sugar-free hoisin sauce
- OPTIONAL - jellied cranberry sauce, red food colouring (I had some beet juice leftover which I used for the sake of the pictures)
How do you make Homemade Keto Hoisin Sauce?
It's really easy!
Combine 4 tablespoon of soy sauce with 2 tablespoon of peanut butter, 2-4 tablespoon of brown sugar substitute (or molasses/honey) 2 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon hot sauce (preferably Chinese hot sauce) and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
How do you make these Chinese Spare Ribs without a Dutch oven?
Since I don't have a Dutch oven, I decided that these Chinese Spare ribs would have to be baked in the oven.
To keep them nice a moist, I used the same technique as I used for cheesecake by creating a water bath under the ribs.
Directions for making Oven-Baked Chinese Spare Ribs:
- take spare ribs and cut them into individual pieces
- add ribs to marinade and let them sit for at least 3 hours or overnight
- lay the ribs on a baking rack that lies on top of a rimmed baking sheet filled with water
- bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
- remove ribs from the oven, turn them and coat them again with marinade
- continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes or until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
Can I make these in a Pressure Cooker or in an Instant Pot?
Since I first made this recipe, I have adapted it to make it in a pressure cooker. I own a Ninja Foodi so I can air fry them first to get them nice and brown and then use the pressure cooker feature to keep them nice and moist.
I will say though that if you have the extra time, I still prefer these ribs baked in the oven.
Direction for making ribs in a Foodi Ninja or Instant Pot:
If you want to make these in either of these appliances, you will want to reduce the number of ribs to 2.5 lbs instead of 4 lbs.
For the Ninja Foodi:
- marinate the ribs
- place the ribs only (drain the marinade and save it) in the air fryer basket and air fry at 400 for 10 minutes
- while ribs are air frying, add reserved marinade plus ¼ cup soy sauce and ¼ cup liquid allulose - stir and set it aside
- once ribs have been fried, remove the basket and add the ribs and the marinade mixture directly into the pressure cooker pot
- pressure cook on "HI" for 10 minutes and allow to naturally release for 10 minutes
- if desired, air fry for an additional 5-10 minutes or until desired crispiness has been reached.
For a pressure cooker or Instant Pot:
- marinade the ribs
- once they have marinated, pour the marinade plus ¼ cup soy sauce and ¼ cup liquid allulose into the pressure cooker
- add the trivet and place the ribs on the trivet
- pressure cook for 25 minutes and allow to naturally release for 10 minutes
- toss the ribs in the sauce and, if desire, place them on a baking sheet under the oven broiler on "HI" for about 5 minutes or until they just begin to brown and crisp
How do I know if the ribs are fully cooked?
The ribs are fully cooked when they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F but if you like them to be "fall-off-the-bone" then cook them until they reach about 185 degrees F.
How do I serve these Chinese Spare Ribs?
Once the ribs have cooked, sprinkle the ribs with some sesame seeds and garnish them with slivered green onions.
Looking for more delicious Chinese food recipes? Check out the following:Print
- Take the spare ribs and cut them into individual pieces. Add the ribs to marinade and let them sit for at least 3 hours or overnight
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a baking rack on top. Spray the rack well with cooking spray. Lay the ribs on the baking sheet and pour 2 cups of water onto the rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes, remove ribs from oven, turn them and coat them with remaining marinade.
- Continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes or until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
- Turn the oven to "broil - hi" and broil for 3-5 minutes or until they just begin to crips.
- see post for Whole30 and paleo options
- see post for Air fryer or Instant pot directions
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- marinating: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Main Meals
- Method: Baking, Instant Pot, Air Fry
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Diet: Diabetic
Keywords: Chinese Takeout, Spare ribs, Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, Baked, easy keto dinner recipe