Anyone else love Asian sticky ribs? Juicy and fall of the bone sweetness that is balanced out with spice and beautiful aromatics! However, some of the traditional ingredients are just not keto friendly. Of course you can make exceptions here and there. So choose as you desire. And I based this recipe on what I had handy in my kitchen!
I started cooking them in the pan on the stove top in olive oil because I wanted to achieve a beautiful and crispy sear on the meat. As they began to get some color, I added in my flavors.
Instead of soy sauce, I used tamari which has a similar flavor profile, and contains little to no wheat. If you are celiac sub that for coconut amino acids which are 100% gluten free. For the sweetness you can use a little drizzle of honey or maple syrup (if paleo), yacon syrup, or sugar free maple syrup (if keto) instead of hoisin sauce. Ginger and red pepper flakes give spice and heat. Rice vinegar adds some tang to the mixture of flavors to balance them out. And finally star anise just makes your sticky ribs lightly aromatic and even more pleasurable.
2 lbs of separated pork ribs
olive oil (for searing)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup tamari
3 tbsp freshly grated ginger
3 cloves grated garlic
1 tbs onion powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsbp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar free maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener for glazing)
1 cup of any broth (I had vegetable broth on hand)
3 pieces of star anise
1 bunch of chopped scallions
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Drizzle olive oil into your pan and heat it up right on your stove top burner. Season your ribs with salt, pepper & onion powder. Pat the seasoning into the meat. You are going to sear the ribs in the pan before placing them into the oven. This will caramelize them and crisp up the outer edges so that your ribs do not get that unattractive boiled look. You want to acquire some gorgeous color on them. It will also enhance their flavor. I seared them on high heat. Then lowered the flame to medium.
As you are cooking them stove top, then start adding in the rest of the flavors. Ginger, tamari, pepper flakes, sesame oil, the honey or sugar free maple syrup, star anise and finally the broth. You basically want the liquid to come up to around half of the height of your ribs. This way meat absorbs that liquid and remains moist and juicy.
Be sure to taste the cooking liquid to be sure it is flavored to your liking. I find this to be very important as I may prefer my food spicier, saltier or sweeter than you do. And if you are trying out this recipe, then most definitely adjust to your preferences.
Pop that in the oven and cook for 40 minutes. Flip the ribs and cook for another 40 minutes. Then bring it back to the stove top, add the scallions and reduce the liquid right in the pan on medium-high to further caramelize your sticky ribs. That should take about 15 minutes or so. The longer these cook, the better they become!
Garnish them with the cooked scallions from the pan, fresh lime and sesame seeds if you have them.