Sweet and Sticky Spareribs

I had to call my mom again about this recipe.  It’s hers and I make it every now and then but I always seem to have a question about it!  I wrote it down this time…so I’d remember and since I wanted to share with you, I needed exact measurements!

A few days ago, I decided to make it Chinese night.  I made my chicken fried rice because it’s always a winner here…so much so that I doubled my recipe.  I took a short cut and used store bought egg rolls that Matt bought. (he shouldn’t go to the store hungry…just sayin’)  I wanted to add another element to this meal so I thought my mom’s sweet Chinese spareribs would be perfect.

Here’s a funny story about my experience with Chinese food.  When I was in college I lived with Helen.  She is an actual PRINCESS.  (she’s going to kill me for this)  It’s true she’s polish royalty, the real deal.  Regardless, when we lived together I still made her clean and cook with me!  One night, she said: “why don’t we eat Chinese for dinner?”  I said: “oh, wow! that seems like a lot of work; the rice, spareribs, noodles, and don’t get me started on the egg rolls”.  She looked at me like I was crazy.  You have to understand my mom made Chinese food from scratch when I was a kid.  I had never been to a Chinese take-out restaurant.  NEVER.  (don’t forget I’m the kid who ordered the fish sandwich at McD’s….when we went once a year!)  Anyway she threw the take-out menu at me….that’s when I heard angels sing.  My life, as I knew it, was forever changed!  I went nuts.  I couldn’t decide, I think Helen was getting a bit worried about my new found Atlantis.  Needless to say, I still love to order take-out Chinese.  It’s one of my guilty pleasures.  Although, I have now moved on to take-out Thai….oh my… 😉


2-pounds pork rib tips (you may have to ask you butcher…I have a pics below) ***also called BUTTON BONES***

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

4 tablespoons soy sauce (which by the way we call soya sauce in Canada)

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 green onion thinly sliced (for garnish)

Note: you could also use “pork spareribs chopped” (again you may need to ask your butcher)

How to:

Here are the rib tips from the butcher, I bought two packages to equal 2-pounds:

Hello my little friends….

You will have to cut your rib tips into bite sizes.  See picture, please note that I leave the little bones in.  No worries no one will choke on them.  But lots of flavor you want to keep.  So enough meat on the little bones and bite size…nice and easy!

Bite size it is!

In a large sauce pan place your bite sized pieces and cover with water and 1 tablespoon salt.  Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes until no longer pink.  Drain water and keep ribs in pan.

In a medium bowl mix your brown sugar, water, soy sauce, corn syrup and garlic.  Whisk well and pour over your ribs.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 1- 1 1/2 hours.

Let’s get cookin’

This is absolutely delicious.  The recipe can easily be doubled, tripled… it is great as a side or if you have a buffet or cocktail party; delish (thanks Rachael Ray)…or even over plain white rice with a spoonful of juices….oh my goodness it is good!


Printer friendly: My Mom’s Sweet Spareribs

Peace and Piece!


Find my recipe here:



15 thoughts on “Sweet and Sticky Spareribs

  1. Looks great, Isabelle. I seem to be a lot like your mom; I love to make Chinese at home but I don’t like eating it in restaurants. I’ve never done spareribs; I’ll have to try that. It looks delicious.

  2. This looks good! I think my kids would like this a little better than my hot and sour spareribs that I make…..
    Take out is fun…but it’s hard to find a good place around here. We have a good one in Bloomington we all love. The boys like it because the menu has ‘Sweet and Sour Porky” on it…instead of pork. They love to say it when ordering!

  3. Hmmmm… my hubby has been stuck on one Chinese dish that I make at home (it’s better than the takeout by the way :), General Tao’s Chicken. I’m going to try this one! We also have a party coming up and I think this would be a good in addition to the Drunken Wienies someone else suggested! 😀

    • yes, I believe it is. I never knew that they were also called button bones but after a little internet search I see from photos and description that it would be the same thing! COOL! I learn something new! THANKS 🙂

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