Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

You’ve probably heard of the Instant Pot ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But these simple & easy to follow recipes work with any pressure cooker! All pressure cookers work on the same, simple principle: Steam pressure.

Within the sealed pot, the steam builds up therein to a very high pressure, which helps food cook much faster than other traditional methods, such as with crock pots and or ovens!

Hi everyone, Welcome to Souped Up Recipes. Today we are going to use an instant pot to make BBQ spare ribs. I know, it sounds unusual, but I love these beautiful, glossy, fall off bones tender ribs. If you don’t say anything, nobody will ever think it is made out of an instant pot. The most incredible part is that this is an simple recipe. I know I said BBQ ribs but this is not American style. The recipe is actually from a traditional Chinese dish – Hong Shao Pai Gu (红烧排骨)- translate as red braised pork ribs.

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INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4 people)

– 2.5 pound of pork spare ribs
– 8 slices of ginger
– 5 cloves of garlic
– 1 piece of cinnamon stick [Amazon Link:]
– 1 pieces of star anise [Amazon Link:]
– 1 piece of bay leave [Amazon Link:]
– 1 small piece of orange peel [Amazon Link:]
– 3 pieces of dried hot chili [Amazon Link:]
– 8 pieces spring onion
– 3 tbsp of light soy sauce [Amazon Link:]
– 1/3 cup of Chinese cooking wine [Amazon Link:]
– 5 tbsp of sugar
– 2 tsp of cornstarch + 1.5 tbsp of water


– cut the ribs into smaller pieces so it fits into your instant pot.

– Add about 5 tbsp of sugar to your instant pot. Cover the lid. Press the saute button. Adjust the heat to normal. Set the timer immediately and come back to check the sugar in 5 minutes.

– If everything goes perfectly, the sugar should be caramelized well. But sometimes things don’t go perfectly so yours might be caramelized incompletely. Part of the sugar is still solid due to the uneven heat. No matter which situation you acquire, you have to turn off the instant pot immediately and do not try to caramelize the solid sugar anymore or else you will burn the sugar that is already caramelized and that will bring a bitter taste.

– put the scallions at the bottom of the instant pot. Add ginger slices and garlic cloves, 1 piece of star anise, 1 piece of bay leaf, 1 small piece of cinnamon stick, a few pieces of dried red chilies, 1 piece of dried orange peel. If you can’t find dried orange peel, you can use a fresh orange peel instead.

– Simply put the ribs in the pot. Pour in 3 tbsp of soy sauce and 1/3 cup of Shao Xing wine. If you don’t love to cook with alcohol, you can mix 3 tbsp of water and 3 tbsp orange juice instead.

– Cover the lid and put the knob at the sealing position. Press the meat/stew bottom. Adjust the heat to more setting. For the timing, usually, I will put 10 minutes for each pound of meat. I used 2.5 pounds of ribs so I put it on 25 minutes. One thing that is quite time-consuming when using an instant pot or pressure cooker, you have to wait for the valve to be unlocked or else you can’t open the lid.

– When the valve is unlocked, open the lid. There should be some liquid in the pot but it is only reaching the bottom piece of the ribs. The top 2 pieces didn’t acquire any love which means they are kind of bland now. Don’t worry, we gonna fix that.

– Take out the ribs, the aromatics, and the spices. I have about a little bit more than a cup of liquid in the pot. We gonna reduce that down to half. Press the saute button, keep the lid open. Let the liquid boil away. Remember I said that there are 2 pieces of ribs are bland. You can put them into the pot while you are reducing the sauce. That way the ribs will be flavorful.

– Don’t need to measure it exactly. Just eyeball it. Will take about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce. Take out the ribs. Taste the sauce to make sure it is a excellent flavor. Then add some cornstarch water. Keep stirring it until the sauce thickens up love a thick syrup texture.

– Brush the sauce on the surface of the ribs. Enjoy!

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