Pork Spare Ribs in Gochujang (Korean Chilli Paste) Sauce

ribs_gochujangpI love pork ribs, but they have always been a rare treat, due to their fat content. I usually manage to avoid them in the summertime, but when it gets colder I start dreaming of my beloved sticky Chinese ribs simmered in soy sauce…. This autumn I’ve already made my beloved Chinese sticky pork ribs simmered in soy sauce and recently I thought I’d experiment with gochujang sauce I usually simmer chicken legs in (see the recipe here). I didn’t change anything apart from adding ginger which usually goes well with pork. If you like a mixture of sweet and fiery flavours, you will fall in love with this easy dish, just like I did.

If you don’t like hot flavours, you might be interested in this delicious Chinese dish:

Chinese Spare Ribs Braised in Soy Sauce with Star Anise
Chinese Spare Ribs Braised in Soy Sauce with Star Anise

TIPS: Gochujang is a sticky Korean chilli paste. It has a slightly sweetish taste, it’s really unique and cannot be replaced with anything else. The good news is that it’s sold in “general” Asian shops (I find it in Chinese and Vietnamese shops) and most of all, it’s sold widely on internet, also on Amazon.

You can prepare the same dish with any fatty pork cut (belly for example) and even with tenderloin (adjusting the ingredients’ amounts and the cooking time), but not with loin, which will be too dry.

Apart from the normal soy sauce, you can add also some Chinese dark soy sauce. I find it great with Korean dishes, though I know it’s not Korean…

Preparation: 1h30

Ingredients (serves two-three, depending on how much meat there is on the bones):

1 kg pork ribs (I always trim the fat and cut them in half horizontally if they are long, but neither is necessary)

100 ml (about 3 fl oz) low-sodium Japanese soy sauce (or 70 ml of “normal” soy sauce)

300 ml (about 10 fl oz) water

60 ml (about 2 fl oz) agave syrup or honey

2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or any other vinegar)

2 heaped tablespoons gochujang (Korean chilli paste)

2 big garlic cloves chopped or sliced

3 cm fresh ginger, sliced

toasted sesame seeds

(1-2 tablespoons sesame oil)

Put all the ingredients into a pan (apart from ribs, sesame oil and sesame seeds).

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and put the ribs.

Cover and cook for about 1 hour.

Take off the lid and check if the meat falls off the bone.

If it’s the case, increase the heat to medium (thus the sauce will thicken). (If not, cover and cook until the meat becomes more tender, then increase the heat and uncover to thicken the sauce).

Cook until the sauce is thick enough for you.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and add a splash of sesame oil.

(You may want to remove the ginger slices before serving, unless they were really super thin and edible).

12 Replies to “Pork Spare Ribs in Gochujang (Korean Chilli Paste) Sauce”

    1. Thanks a lot, A_Boleyn. Might be another idea to use gochujang (for those who wonder what to do with it… I never do, I use half a kilo every month 😉 ).

  1. That looks so good! I never had pork spare ribs, can you believe that? I’ve always meant to, but as I have to order them in advance at the butcher’s, it always seemed like such a hassle. Your pictures make me drool, I think I have to order some soon. The chicken version sounds great as well.

    1. Thank you for the compliments. I must say I’m a chicken lover, but pork comes just after chicken, so I’ve already tasted so many cuts… Here it’s also not obvious to buy spare ribs (though in the summer even big shops carry it, I guess it’s in fashion for grilling season). Until I had a nearby fantastic butcher, I always enjoyed ordering “strange” cuts. He always looked at me with respect (butchers like people who order rare cuts, I think…).

  2. You pork ribs always make me want some is a fierce way! I think my friend Barb made one of your poem ribs a couple of years ago and she couldn’t stop raving about them. I will set this on my todo list, it sounds like the perfect fall treat.

    1. Thanks a lot, Eva. Dp you mean the Chinese simmered ribs? They were such a discovery…. (I still remember a Chinese woman I met here – ok I tried to learn Chinese but finally settled for Japanese and she was my teacher – who was furious that outside of China all we kew were stir-fries… she convinced me to look out for simmered dishes). I miss Barb a lot! If you cut off the fatty parts (I know you care about such “details” as I do), actually the gelatinous parts of spare ribs’ meat are apparently healthy and good for the bones!

  3. Oh boy… ginger, soy and gochujang is a dynamite flavour combination and would you look at your photo! Succulent and gorgeously saturated in colour, this dish could not be more appetizing. I have to tell you Sissi that gochujang has become ‘sort of’ mainstream here – when I first discovered the paste through you some 3 years ago, I ordered it from Amazon because I could not find it anywhere. Now my local Safeway (a small and not very expansive store) carries it, which I’m delighted about. I’ve been making a version of gochujang chicken that we adore but I don’t know if I will post it because it is hardly Korean — I add at least as much Thai red curry to the mix so it is at best an Asian fusion 😀

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly, for such kinds words. If you knew what I do with poor gochujang… One of my favourite sauces (I posted it a long time ago) is gochujang+yogurt or sour cream. Nothing more. It’s fantastic with…. Vietnamese-style fresh summer rolls (I bet some purists would be shocked) and with tortilla wraps and with Greek filo pastry rolls too! In short, I’d be delighted to see your experiments with this fantastic ingredient! I’m so proud and happy I made you discover it! Isn’t it addictive???

  4. Looking at that picture makes my mouth start watering and my forehead start to sweat. 🙂 Thanks to you I know what gochujang is and have become addicted to it. So the flavor of these ribs has got to be off the charts! This is a keeper Sissi! Can’t wait to try it.

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