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Korean-Style Pork Ribs

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Nothing rounds out the end of a long, hot summer like a final backyard cookout with friends and family. Treat everyone with these insanely delicious Korean-Style Pork Ribs. There is just enough kick from the Korean chili paste to leave you begging for another serving.

Platter of Korean-Style Pork Ribs, Kimchee Slaw and kimchi

Time to eat!

Koreans consider it bad manners to lick their fingers during a meal.  Half the enjoyment of eating barbecued pork ribs is picking up those rib bones while munching and slurping all that goodness.  These juicy, spicy glazed pork ribs are finger lick’n good.   Just do it!

Our Korean-style pork ribs are super-moist and ultra-tender but not ‘falling off the bone’ tender.  If the ribs are so tender that they fall off the bone then they are over-cooked and you will need a fork to eat them.

These easy Korean sticky ribs begin with zesty marinated St. Louis-Style pork ribs slow-cooked in the oven. It finishes off on the grill with a spicy glaze that caramelizes into sticky goodness.

This is the way I like to cook my pork ribs.  First in the oven, then on the grill.  If I get a craving for ribs in the dead of winter when the outdoor grill is covered with snow I finish off the ribs in the oven.  These Korean sticky ribs are zesty, meaty and delicious!   If you try our Korean glazed pork ribs we would love to hear what you think.  We have more rib recipes for you, check out our Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Pork Ribs and our Easy Barbecue Pork Ribs.

Key ingredients in making Korean-style pork ribs:

The key to creating great Korean pork ribs is to use lots of garlic and ginger. Koreans eat more garlic than any culture in the world. They love their garlic!  When making the sauce for these ribs we use fresh garlic, not the stuff in the jars.  We also use a generous chunk of grated ginger root.

College of Korean chili paste, glaze in jar, ribs, plate of ribs

Chili paste, glaze for ribs, oven cooked ribs, glazed and grilled ribs.

Another ingredient widely used in Korean cuisine is Gochujang.  Gochujang is a spicy, thick, chili paste. You can find this Korean chili paste in almost any Asian market.  Look for the bright red plastic tub in the Korean section near the kimchi condiments.

This thick, spicy paste will keep for ages sealed in its original container.  We are still working on the supply we purchased to make our kimchee fried rice.  Gochujang is unique and there is no substitute for it.   A little goes a long way to add some kick to soup and marinades.

Note:  When preparing the marinade the spicy flavor was quite pronounced.  At serving, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the heat of the chili had dissipated to a mildly spicy flavor.

Mool Yut:  This is a thick syrup made from barley, corn or other grains.  It is used to add some sweetness and shine to meat dishes.  It can be found in the condiment aisle of Korean markets and sometimes in health food stores. You can substitute corn syrup or honey but use half the quantity called for as the corn syrup and honey are sweeter.

How to make Korean-Style Pork Ribs:

First on our to-do list is to remove the silvery membrane that covers the bones on the underside of the pork rack. Why is this so important?  Because it is a tough plastic-like substance that does not soften and is tasteless and chewy.  It creates a barrier on the ribs that prevent your marinade from penetrating into the meat. 


Pork ribs being brushed with glaze

Glazing the pork ribs

How to remove the membrane from pork ribs: 

Removing the membrane is easy, straight forward and takes just a few minutes.

  • Start at one end of the bony side of the rack and insert a dinner knife between the bone and the membrane.
  • Pry the membrane up, stretching and tugging until it tears loose enough to get a good grip on it.  The membrane will be a little slippery and it helps to hold one end of it with a paper towel.
  • Begin peeling by tugging the membrane off slowly, if it breaks, use the knife again and repeat the process removing all the membrane. 
  • Discard the membrane and place the cleaned ribs in a dish long enough to hold them. 

TIP — A large closable plastic bag works super-great, plus there is no dish to wash.  Just toss the bag when finished with it. 

Make the marinade:

This is a thick marinade, more on the order of a sauce.  If you would like the marinade a little thinner, whisk in a couple of tablespoons of water.  I found thinning it was not necessary.

  • In a dish whisk together the ginger root, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, gochujang, and the toasted sesame oil.
  • Transfer half a cup of the marinade to a small dish or jar and reserve for the glaze.
  • Pour the remaining marinade over the ribs, turning them to coat each side. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for six to eight hours, or longer.  Overnight is perfect.
  • Oven-cook the ribs:
  • Line a baking sheet with a long sheet of aluminum foil letting the foil overhang on each end. Coat the foil with oil spray.
  • Remove the ribs from the marinade and place on the foil-lined baking sheet. 
  • Cover the ribs with a second sheet of oil-sprayed foil, sprayed side down. 
  • Crimp the edges of the foil on all sides, turning the crimped edges up to keep the juices inside.
  • Slide the baking sheet with the ribs into the pre-heated, 250°F oven.   Set your timer for 2 hours.
  • About 15-minutes before the timer buzzes, fill your charcoal chimney about one-half full. The glazed ribs should grill over medium-low heat.  You can also use a gas grill set to medium-low heat.
  • It is important to not get the grill too hot as once the glaze goes on the ribs, the sugar in it will begin to burn if the heat is too hot.
  • When the oven timer sounds, remove the pan with the ribs and lift enough of the foil to check for doneness.   

How to tell when the pork ribs have finished cooking:

As the pork ribs cook, the meat shrinks and exposes the bones at the thinner side of the rack.  When you see about 1/4 to 1/2-inch of exposed bones, the ribs are ready to remove from the oven.
Serving of 3 Korean-style Pork Ribs, Rice, of beer and sides of kimchee slaw and kimchi

Pork ribs with sticky glaze


Grilling the Korean-Style Pork Ribs:

  • Use tongs and a long spatula/pancake turner to lift the ribs from the foil-lined baking sheet and onto a platter.  Cover with foil to stay warm and set them near the grill.
  • When the charcoal is ready and all ashy, pour them into the grill cooker and spread them out. 
  • Give the grill surface a brushing of non-stick oil.
  • Add the barley syrup, honey or corn syrup to the reserved marinade, whisking to combine. 
  • Slather the glaze on the meaty side of the ribs and transfer to the grill.
  • Add more glaze to the exposed boney side of the ribs and after 3 or 4 minutes, flip them over.  Repeat the glazing-flipping until the ribs become caramelized and sticky.
  • Transfer the ribs to a cutting board, slice between the bones and place on a serving platter.

We served these Korean-style pork ribs with our crisp, crunchy Kimchee Slaw, hot jasmine rice and a side dish of homemade kimchee.  These Korean sticky ribs are guaranteed to please your taste buds.  They are one of the best-tasting ribs we have ever prepared.

More Asian-Inspired Recipes we are sure you will love: 

  • Kimchee-Pork Pancakes:   Korean pancake appetizers are made with ground pork, fresh chives, bean sprouts, and kimchee.  
  • Lemongrass-Coconut Steamed Mussels:  These mussels are plump, succulent and delicious. They are steamed in an awesome Asian-style broth of lemongrass, coconut milk, and Thai basil. Serve with lime wedges and crusty, grilled bread.
  • Tiger Prawn Yellow Curry:  Big, fat, tiger prawns in a zesty yellow curry sauce.  This is a savory bounty of textures and tastes in a creamy coconut Thai yellow curry and served with rice noodles. 


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Pork ribs being brushed with glaze

Korean-Style Pork Ribs

Zesty marinated Korean-Style Pork Ribs slow-cooked in the oven and finished on the grill with a spicy glaze that caramelizes into a sticky goodness. Serve with rice and a crunchy Kimchee Slaw.
4.72 from 7 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 761kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger


  • 1 rack St. Louis Style pork ribs about 3-pounds

For the Marinade:

  • 2- oz. chunk fresh ginger root grated
  • 6 cloves garlic grated
  • 1/2 cup sugar brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup gochujang
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

For the Glaze:

  • Reserved marinade
  • 1/4 cup honey corn syrup or 1/2 cup Korean malt syrup
  • Sesame seeds optional
  • Sliced green scallion tops


Prepare the ribs:

  • Remove the silvery membrane from the underside of the ribs by sliding a table knife between the membrane and a rib bone. Pry the membrane up, stretching until it tears. Holding one end of the membrane with a paper towel, peel off the membrane and discard.
  • Place ribs in a dish that is long enough that they fit comfortably.

For the Marinade:

  • Add marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. 
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade in a dish or jar to be used for the glaze. Refrigerate until needed.
  • Pour remaining marinade over the ribs, turning to coat both sides.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.  

Preheat the oven to 250°F

  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with oil spray. 
  • Remove the ribs from the marinade and place on the foil-lined baking sheet.  
  • Cover the ribs with a second sheet of oil-sprayed foil, sprayed side down.
  • Crimp the edges of the foil together on all sides and turn them up to keep the juices from oozing out. 
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the center rack of the oven and bake for 2 hours (more if needed)
  • Remove the sheet pan from the oven and partially unwrap the foil to check for doneness. 
  • As the pork ribs cook, the meat shrinks and exposes the bones at the thinner side of the rack.  When about 1/4 to 1/2-inch of the bones are exposed, the ribs should be done. 

For the Glaze:

  • Add the honey, corn syrup or Korean malt syrup to the reserved marinade, stirring to combine and set aside.


  • Prepare the grill for a medium heat.
  • Remove and discard the top sheet of foil and coat the exposed side with a light brushing of the glaze.  
  • Transfer the ribs to the grill with the glazed side down and coat the exposed side with a light coating of the glaze.
  • Grill for 3-5 minutes and flip the ribs over and grill another 3-5 minutes.
  • Repeat this process once more, glazing and grilling until desired degree of color has been achieved being cautious that they do not burn.


  • Remove the ribs from the grill, cut between the ribs into serving pieces garnish with sliced onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy. 


  • Ribs are meant to be eaten by holding on to the bone. If the ribs are so done they are 'falling of the bone' they are over cooked. 
  • A large closable plastic bag works super-great, plus there is no dish to wash. 1 inch square of fresh ginger root = 1tablespoon of minced ginger
  • Fresh, unpeeled ginger tubers should be wrapped in paper towels, placed in a plastic bag and refrigerated up to three weeks. You may also wrap ginger tubers tightly and freeze them up to two months. 


Serving: 2-Ribs | Calories: 761kcal | Carbohydrates: 118g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 3940mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 100g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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