Skip to Content

Instant Pot Ribs | Chinese Takeaway Spare Ribs!

Instant pot ribs are glorious and this recipe gives you all of the flavour of Chinese Spare Ribs at home in the shortest way possible!

Portrait image of a pile of sticky Instant Pot Chinese Spare Ribs served on a board with spring onions and a dipping sauce

Pressure Cooker Chinese Spare Ribs.

For many years Spare Ribs or Chinese chicken and mushrooms were my go-to choice from our local takeaway.

As I grew older I became more adventurous but they still hold a special place in my nostalgic food memories!

Just like my Slow Cooker Char Siu Ribs, these play homage to those memories.

These sticky Instant Pot Chinese ribs are loaded with the sweetness of hoisin sauce helped along with a little ketchup.

Then there is the addition of a little soy sauce and some Chinkiang vinegar to amp up the salty, sweet and sour vibe.

I always strain the sauce that coats the ribs and serve it as a dipping sauce on the side.

You will notice that these instant pot Chinese spare ribs are not a lurid red.

That is because they contain no food colouring, much like Tandoori chicken in India, it is common to load some dishes with colouring.

I don’t do that, feel free to do so if you want that full Chinese Takeaway experience.

Portrait image of sticky Instant Pot Chinese spare ribs being dipped into a sauce

What Ribs to Use.

When choosing your ribs for this recipe Instant Pot Recipe go for something tightly cut to the bone. You do not want too much meat or fat.

This is because you want to optimise the glaze to meat ratio and get your ribs proper sticky!

If you have too much meat on the ribs you can always trim them up and grind the pork. I just so happen to have a great minced pork curry that the trimmings would be perfect for!

Growing up in the UK the ribs were always on the longer side from the centre of the rib.

Although now try and buy them from as far up towards the neck as possible.

You can swap out the spare ribs for baby back ribs if you like, they will take 2-3 minutes less time to cook in the instant pot.

Cooking ribs in the Instant Pot really does lead to the very best and succulent meat as far as I am concerned!

Portrait overhead image of a pile of sticky Instant Pot Chinese Spare Ribs served on a board with spring onions and a dipping sauce

Serving Suggestions.

There are so many options as a side dish for these Instant Pot Ribs!

Now I like to go full-on retro takeaway with these and always serve a bowl of special fried rice with them!

Growing up I would always order them with chips.

Our Chinese takeaways in the UK used to cook great chips that were like chip shop chips but without the salt and vinegar.

Sometimes I opt to serve my instant pot ribs with a salad option and something like this noodle salad would be wonderful!

Square image of a pile of sticky Chinese Spare Ribs served on a board with spring onions and a dipping sauce
Yield: 4 Servings

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Cooking ribs in a pressure cooker helps break down the connective tissue and leads to the most succulent Chinese spare ribs.


For the Spare Ribs:

  • 1.2 Kg (2lb 10oz) Spare Ribs
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 Tsp Crushed Szechuan Pepper Corns
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Onion
  • 10 Cloves Garlic
  • 250 ml (1 Cup) Water

For the Glaze:

  • 125 ml (1/2 Cup) Hoisin Sauce
  • 65 ml (1/4 Cup) Tomato Ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce


  1. If your ribs are not separated begin by removing the membrane on the bottom* and then cut into individual ribs.
  2. Season the ribs with the salt, Szechuan pepper, and the five spice.
  3. Roughly chop the onion and remove the skins from the garlic and place in the base of the instant pot followed by the water.
  4. Add a trivet followed by the ribs and then seal the lid and cook on manual high pressure for 20 minutes.
  5. Whilst the pressure cooker is cooking, heat your oven as high as you can get it.
  6. Add all of the ingredients for the glaze into a pan and bring to a simmer.
  7. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then carefully remove the ribs.
  8. Drain off the cooking liquid and discard leaving behind the onions and garlic.
  9. Add this to a blender along with the glaze and blend to a smooth paste.
  10. Pass through a fine mesh sieve and then coat your ribs.
  11. Drop them in the oven as hot as you can get it and allow them to crisp up and colour, this will take around 10-12 minutes.


*Remove the membrane by picking at a corner with a knife and then pull. If you are lucky it will come off in one piece.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1111Total Fat: 73gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 243mgSodium: 2559mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 3gSugar: 44gProtein: 52g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Portrait overhead image of a roasted fig salad paired with blue cheese, rocket, Prosciutto Ham and hazelnuts served on a black plate
Roasted Fig Salad With Blue Cheese and Hazelnuts
Portrait image of a shredded rabbit stew with pearl barley, carrots and leeks served in a white bowl with a red cooking pot in the background
Rabbit Stew with Pearl Barley
Skip to Recipe