Make Chinese takeout at home. Sticky, sweet, and tender Crock Pot Boneless Ribs will become your favorite easy home Chinese dish with just common pantry ingredients and your slow cooker.
Let's make some great Chinese food with things in the pantry—no searching for that special sauce just for one dish. Based on a Food.com recipe but simplified and cut down to a more reasonable amount. The original was for 5 pounds, but I'm cooking for two.
This dish could be called by many names: Chinese Boneless Pork Ribs, Chinese Boneless Spare Ribs, Chinese Spare Ribs, Chinese BBQ Ribs, Chinese Ribs, Sticky Ribs, and many more variations of those names. Chinese restaurants vary in both naming and ingredients.
Give it a try today. You get excellent taste for very little work. Top with some sesame seeds and slices of green onion, then serve with rice, then wait for the compliments.
👨🍳How to make this recipe
- Trim off the fat pad off the country-style boneless pork ribs and cut into a rib shape. Alternatively, cut boneless pork chops into strips. Pork loin can be trimmed into "ribs," but be sure to cut across the grain of the loin. No marinade is needed since it is slow-cooked.
- Mix the sauce. Double all the sauce ingredients if you want more sauce for the rice.
- This recipe fits in a smaller crock pot—as small as 2-quarts should work. However, a single recipe in a full-size crock pot may cook faster. A double recipe needs a 4-quart or larger slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 4 hours. The internal temperature of the pork should be 145° minimum. On high, it will take 2-3 hours to cook. If you are using a large crock pot for a small recipe, it may cook faster.
Some versions of Chinese Ribs will be bone-in and use St. Louis spare ribs. They will have lots of bones and little meat. Boneless is more popular and easier to eat, but the "spare rib" term seems to stay.
Commonly to make Chinese boneless spare ribs, boneless pork shoulder is cut into thin strips to make the boneless "ribs."
Pork loin cuts are commonly used, and country-style boneless pork ribs are perfect. If you don't have country-style boneless ribs, just cut pork loin or pork chops into "ribs."
What Are Country-Style Boneless Pork Ribs?
Country-style boneless pork ribs are the tail end of a pork loin cut in half lengthways and scored into little "ribs."
These are not the same as bone-in country-style ribs. If you don't find the boneless variety, strips of pork chops or pork loin cut across the grain will work fine.
Most of the flavors come from soy sauce and ketchup. We are not big ginger lovers in this house, so some may find it a little low on ginger, so increase if you love ginger. It is about half of the original recipe.
Vinegar is overdone in many Chinese recipes. The vinegar is decreased to about ⅓ of the original recipe and is just right now. Add more if that is your taste.
There is a lot of salt in various ingredients, so additional salt is unnecessary during cooking. You can add a bit later if needed.
This sauce uses no special sauces. It uses common pantry ingredients to get some of the same tastes. Special ingredients like Hoisin sauce, five-spice powder, star anise, oyster sauce, or hoisin sauce are unnecessary.
That intense red you see in Chinese restaurants comes from food coloring. While you can do this at home, I suggest skipping it.
Yes, I have included an option for red pepper flakes. Adjust that up or down for the heat level you want.
Yes. Near the end of cooking, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl—then whisk until smooth. Pour into the crock pot and mix in well. Finish cooking until thickened and cooking is complete.
❄️Serving and Storage
Serve Chinese boneless pork ribs with a garnish of toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onion.
Serve with rice. If using white rice, use the leftover sauce to add flavor. You can also use fried rice.
How to Cook Rice in the Oven
Fried Rice in 10 Minute
To store leftover Chinese boneless ribs, seal them airtight, and they are good refrigerated for 3-4 days and frozen for 3-4 months.
Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Breast
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Start with everyday ingredients. No special sauces are needed.
Trim one slab of country-style boneless pork ribs. Remove the fat cap and cut it into pieces following the cuts. You can use pork chops or pork loin—you need about 1 ½ pounds of meat.
Mix in a smaller crock pot (2-quart minimum) the brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, vinegar, one clove of garlic minced, ground ginger, crushed red pepper (optional), and ½ small onion diced.
Mix in the pieces of pork. Cook on low for 4 hours. Remove meat and reserve the liquid for "gravy" over the meat and rice. The minimum internal temperature for pork is 145°.
Serve topped with toasted Sesame seed and sliced green onion.
Crock Pot Chinese Boneless Ribs
- 1 slab boneless country style pork ribs - about 1 ½ pounds
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce - low sodium
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vinegar - Apple cider or white
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper - optional
- ½ onion - small diced
- toasted sesame seeds
- green onions-sliced
- Trim one slab of country-style boneless pork ribs. Remove the fat cap and cut it into pieces following the cuts. You can use pork chops or pork loin—you need about 1 ½ pounds of meat.
- Mix in a smaller crock pot (2-quart minimum) the brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, vinegar, one clove garlic minced, ground ginger, crushed red pepper (optional), and ½ small onion diced.
- Mix in the pieces of pork. Cook on low for 4 hours. Remove meat and reserve the liquid for "gravy" over the meat and rice. The minimum internal temperature for pork is 145°.
- Serve topped with toasted Sesame seed and sliced green onion.
Your Own Private Notes
- This is a smaller crock pot recipe. 2-quart is the minimum size. A double recipe needs 3 ½ quart size and a triple recipe needs larger than 5 quarts.
- Cooking a small recipe in a large crock pot may cook faster, so watch the endpoint.
- I suggest doubling the sauce to flavor the rice.
- If you don't have boneless pork ribs, strips of pork chop or pork loin would be fine.
- I cut down the ginger and vinegar for our taste. Adjust if you wish.
- Serve on rice or noodles.
- The crushed red pepper only adds a little heat. Adjust up or down for your taste.
- The salt level can easily get out of hand on a recipe like this. I suggested lower-sodium soy sauce and did not add any more salt unless you are sure you need it near the end of cooking.
- I like roasted sesame seeds and some slices of green onion.
- Good refrigerated 3-4 days. Good frozen for 3-4 months.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally Published February 16, 2014. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.
I made this exactly to the recipe & we loved it. It is a little too sweet for our taste, so I will adjust next time. We have added this to our rotation. Thanks!
I thought when I adjusted the serving size that the ingredients would update but on my Pro Max 12 the meat required did not update🥴
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
The serving adjustment only changes the amounts in the ingredient list, not in the text of the instructions. There is a warning in the recipe card about this.
I know what happened the ingredients did double like I wanted but your note of “about 1 ½ pounds” is greyed out and did not correctly update to the slab amount.
I get it about the instructions 😉
Very good! Made several times
Thank you for putting a link on the top of the page so you can go directly to the recipe! So much better than having to navigate things that are not of interest. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
Glad you found it useful. It is very easy to do but it seems less than half of the food bloggers do it. I immediately leave sites without it. They are more interested in ad views than helping the visitors.
I hope you found the recipe useful. Please look around and fell free to ask any questions.
Thanks for the note and have a good day.
I like ribs on the bone. Would this recipe work for them? Ribs will bones are more tender and flavorful
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
I have never done bone-in ribs this way. But as long as you are cooking to a final internal temperature, you should be good. Most bone-in ribs need to cook to 185° minimum but better in the 195°- 205° range.
Hope that helps.
My husband just loves this! He kept saying how very good it was. I will definitely make this again. I cooked on Low for 4 hours and it was done, but I set it for another hour to get the meat more tender which worked. Thanks so much for an easy, delicious recipe.
Absolutely delicious! I followed the ingredients exactly as listed, and my husband and I loved it! I neither increased or decreased amounts, nor did I add anything extra.
Since I planned on using my casserole crockpot, I mixed all ingredients in a bowl, and then added to the ceramic dish. It seemed a surer way of getting everything blended appropriately and smeared around.
After cooking for 6 hours, we sat down and were wonderfully impressed with the mix of flavors. I will definitely do this dish again.
I didn't have the boneless ribs on hand,but did have a small pork tenderloin, trimmed the fat, cut it into medallions, and there it sits in the crockpot...should work. Right??😬
The pork tenderloin will cook faster, maybe only 3 hours on low plus or minus (I don't know). It is much more tender and this recipe does "over cook" the boneless ribs some to make them more tender with the sauce making up for the moisture loss caused by that. So watch it closely for overcooking.
How much is a "slab"of boneless pork ribs? I have a pack that is about 2 lbs. Is that enough?
Hi Christina, Please see the pictures of the meat above. There is a lot of confusion about "country style pork ribs" several different cuts are call country style ribs. These are really the tail end of a pork loin cut in half and scored. They are very lean generally and are sold in a "slab" which is usually about 1.5 pounds. There is what has been called "bone in country style ribs" which are a slice from the pork shoulder and is very fatty. But now some places are removing the bone from this shoulder cut and they are now labeling them "boneless country style ribs" How is that for confusion...
So look at the picture and if not similar, you have the wrong meat for this recipe. So they will be about 3 inches wide, 6 inches long and less than one inch thick. It will all be connected but scored. If you happen to just have a big slab... then go for it.
Could I use. Baby Back ribs?
Totally different meat. It may work or it may not... check other recipes for crockpot baby backs...
I was to lazy to cut the fat off and my ribs were on the bone. I cooked them as directed, delicious. Since the fat ruined the sauce, I'm making a second batch of it to cook down a little on the stove. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks!
The bone-in country style ribs are a totally different cut and will always have too much fat for this recipe. The bone-in are a shoulder cut. The boneless are the tail end of a pork loin and very lean. In some areas of the country the boneless are hard to find.
Hope that helps
I added the last 20 minutes sliced 1 red pepper and 1/2 green pepper also the last 5 minutes cooked broccoli tops. This was so easy and good. I am going to add small can of diced pineapple and see how that turns out.
i have a ton of fresh mushrooms I need to use up, would mushrooms be good in this?
I really don't know. We don't do mushrooms due to family food allergies. I don't know how they do in a crock pot. If you try it, please past a comment on how it went.
Thanks for the comment and the rating.
These were really tasty. I got confused by the ingredient list....didn't have white vinegar so I substituted Apple Cider vinegar, which is what you have pictured.
These had a little kick that I didn't expect (probably from the red pepper). Delicious!
Thanks for the recipe!
I did actually make it with apple cider but one of the recipes I was modelling used white and I did the write up a few days later and didn't change it. Either should be fine.
Thanks for the note.
This looks great. I'm a big ginger fan myself but usually keep it scaled down since my husband is not... haven't been able to sway him yet :)
It's easy at my house. Neither of us are ginger fans, especially fresh. Just not fans.
Thanks for commenting
This sounds great. Could it be made stove top or in the oven? My crock pot is too big for five small boneless ribs. Thanks, Sher
Stove top I don't think so. I would think covered in an over about 325-350 for a couple of hours would work... Have not tired it. If you do please post results.