Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Ribs

I decided to make a change to the normal ribs i cook and had a hankering for the taste of the ones you get from a Chinese take-away, without having to go and fetch them.
Char Sui (Chinese BBQ) Ribs
Char Sui Ribs with stir fried vegetables in hoisin sauce 
I started off with a few racks of ribs weighing around 1.4kg (approx 3 lbs) in total.
Half Racks of ribs
These were bought from an online butcher as 4 racks of baby backs that i was going to smoke but when my order arrived i was disappointed to see that in my opinion the 4 racks were actually 2 racks that had been cut in half to make 4.
I wouldn't have been too bothered if I'd have known this and the price reflected it but i paid the same amount for these as i normally do for 4 full racks from Costco and the quality was the same.
The rest of the order was great quality and value so ill not name the retailer but the moral of the story is to double check what your buying, especially if you cant see it with your own eyes before paying for it!

As a result these were thrown in the freezer until i decided to use them for this cook
Racks cut into individual ribs
As i was cutting the ribs into individual riblets the fact i had half racks made no difference.
So i took out a sharp knife and began to cut up the racks by slicing down 1 side of the bone so each riblet had around the same amount of meat on the bone as the next.

I put them all in a sealable bag and coated them the the Chinese 5 spice powder and set the bag aside while i prepared the rest of the marinade
Riblets in a bag

To do this a added hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey and shaoxing rice wine to a bowl and gently whisked until everything was combined.
My char Siu marinade

I then poured the mixture into the bag with the ribs and sealed the bag.
Once sealed i massaged the the marinade into the ribs through the bag then set the bag into a baking pan and put it into the fridge to marinate overnight.
Ribs in a bag in a pan
Ribs in a bag, in a pan.
The pan isn't essential but its a habit i've come to use when using bags to marinate.
Bags are great for the job as you can massage the marinade into the meat etc and simply flip the bag over every hour or so ensuring everything in the bag gets a good coating of whatever marinade it is you're using, but if you marinating overnight or longer and the seal of the bag fails while you in bed asleep it means you've got a big cleanup to do in the morning (and i'm speaking from experience here!)
If you dont have a pan that fits your fridge you could just double or triple bag the food.

I made this on the friday night with every intention of cooking the ribs on the saturday but as is life something came up and they were stuck in the fridge until monday evening before i got around to cooking them.
So at least twice a day i flipped the bag over in the pan and gave the ribs a little massage.

When i finally had the time to get them cooked i got the grill up to temp and took the bag out of the fridge and emptied them into a bowl.
Marinated ribs in a bowl

I removed the ribs and covered the bowl to reserve the marinade to use as a glaze.
Char siu ribs on the grill
Ribs on the grill
I cooked them for 30mins before basting them with the reserved marinade, then cooked for a further 30mins before basting them again.
Once basted for the second time i opened the vents of the bbq to let the temp raise while i stir fry the veg
Stir fry veg with hoisin sauce

It was a simple pre packed bag of stir fry vegetables that i cooked in a pan with some hoisin sauce.

By the time the veg was cooked the ribs were ready!

I plated them up with the stir fried veg to serve and sat down to eat!
Char siu ribs with stir fried veg
All Plated Up
While these ribs were sat in the fridge for days taunting me i think it was well worth the wait, the smell that filled the garden while they were cooking was a-may-zing! my neighbours must have been drooling, i know i was!

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Ribs
Char Sui (Chinese BBQ) Ribs


  • 1.4 kg Ribs
  • 3 tbsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 2 cups / 500ml hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml honey
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml shaoxing rice wine
  • Stir fry vegetables


  1. Slice the ribs along one side of the bone to separate into individual ribs
  2. Add all the ribs to a large sealable bag and add the Chinese 5 spice powder, shake the bag and massage the ribs through the bag to ensure they are all coated then set aside
  3. In a bowl add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey and shaoxing rice wine and gently whisk together until everything is combined
  4. Pour the mixture into the bag with the ribs and seal. Massage the ribs through the bag then place in the fridge to marinate overnight or longer
  5. Once marinated, open the bag and pour the contents into a large bowl with a lid and remove the ribs, reserving the marinade for glazing
  6. Put the ribs on a grill cooking indirect at 160c (325f approx ) for 30mins
  7. Brush the rib with the reserved marinade and cook for a further 30mins
  8. Open vents on BBQ to increase heat, brush ribs with marinade and cook for a further 5 to 10mins whilst stir frying the vegetables
Prep Time: 12 hrs. 00 mins.
Cook time: 01 hrs. 10 mins.
Total time: 13 hrs. 10 mins.

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