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posted August 09, 2021

Smoked Asian Style Ribs

These smoked Asian-style ribs are cooked in a sweet and sticky sauce and are the best ribs you never knew you needed. They’re the perfect combination of Asian flavors and traditional American-style BBQ techniques. Warm aromatic spices pair beautifully with wood smoke to create these sweet and tangy sticky ribs.

Smoked Asian style ribs garnished with sesame seeds over a bed of rice with text overlay - Asian Style Ribs.

Asian Style Pork Ribs

I am so excited to finally bring this recipe to my site! It’s my brother’s favorite rib recipe I’ve ever made and he has been requesting an update for years. These ribs have a fantastic balance of flavors with just enough sweetness and smokiness to balance out the heat.

These ribs are also a great option for family dinner! They’re extremely kid-friendly. My kids love teriyaki anything and the flavor notes are similar enough in these ribs that they devour these sticky ribs every time I make them! Kid-friendly AND awesome flavors for adults? Talk about a major win!

Seasoned Asian style baby back ribs on the grill.

How to Make Asain Style Ribs

These sticky ribs vary a little from a traditional smoked rib because I don’t use a low and slow process throughout the length of the cooking time. Here’s how to make these Asian-style ribs.

  1. Prep. Prepare the ribs for smoking by trimming them and seasoning them well with my Asian-style BBQ rub (ingredients for this rub are in the recipe card below).
  2. Smoke. The first step gives these ribs the benefit of low temperatures and smoke exposure at the beginning and then tenderize in a higher temperature braise. Start your favorite smoker running at 225 degrees F. You’ll increase the temperature twice for this recipe.
  3. Braise. The ribs are tightly foiled in a hoisin and soy-based sauce during the braising period and are simultaneously infused with the flavors from the liquid while the tight connective rib tissue softens. After the braise, it’s time for the ribs to get sticky!
  4. Sauce. Each rib is individually dipped in a sweet BBQ sauce made from the reserved braising liquid, red pepper jelly, and a kiss of tangy vinegar. A final sear on a hot grill takes these ribs from awesome to indescribably delicious.
  5. Enjoy. I like to finish these up with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and scallions. These ribs taste great with extra BBQ sauce on the side as well.

As a last note, don’t let the ingredients list intimidate you. Everything here is available at your regular grocery store.

Asian style pork ribs covered in sticky sauce in a large baking pan.

More Ribs Recipes

Looking for more tasty rib recipes to try out this weekend? Here are a few popular posts for ribs from Hey Grill Hey.

Smoked Asian style ribs garnished with sesame seeds over a bed of rice.

Asian Style Ribs Recipe

Here’s hoping you enjoy these Asian-style ribs! I can guarantee they’ll put a smile on your face and won’t last long. This post was originally published in February 2018. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

If you loved this recipe, make sure to come back and leave us a review! You can also find us on all social media sites @heygrillhey! We love to hear from you.

Smoked Asian style ribs garnished with sesame seeds over a bed of rice.

Smoked Asian Style Ribs

Smoked Asian-style ribs cooked in a sweet and sticky sauce are the best ribs you never knew you needed. They're the perfect combination of Asian flavors and traditional American-style BBQ techniques. Warm aromatic spices pair beautifully with wood smoke to create these sweet and tangy sticky ribs.
4.70 from 10 votes
Prep Time : 25 mins
Cook Time : 5 hrs 15 mins
Total Time : 5 hrs 40 mins
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 588kcal


  • 2 racks baby back ribs

Asian Style BBQ Rub

  • 4 Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Braising Liquid

  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup white grape juice or apple juice
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 3 inch fresh ginger root (peeled and sliced)
  • 6 scallion whites (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder

Sticky BBQ Sauce

  • 10 oz red pepper jelly
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar


  • sesame seeds (to taste)
  • 6 scallion greens (cut on a diagonal)


  • Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F with a fruit wood smoke like apple or cherry wood. 
  • Prep the ribs. Trim the ends of your baby back ribs and remove the membrane from the back. Combine all of the ingredients for the spice rub and sprinkle liberally on all sides of the ribs. 
  • Smoke. Place the ribs on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 2 hours.
  • Make the braising liquid. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Whisk to ensure all of the sugar crystals have dissolved.
  • Increase the temp. Remove the ribs from the smoker, place them in an aluminum pan, and increase the heat in your smoker to 325 degrees F. 
  • Braise. Pour the braising liquid over the ribs and flip the ribs over a couple of times to coat all sides. Flip the ribs so they are meat-side down, cover tightly with foil, and return to the grill. Cook at 325 degrees F for 3 hours, or until you see the bones sticking out of the meat about 1/2 inch. 
  • Increase the temp again. Remove the pan of ribs from the grill and increase the heat again to 400-450 degrees F. 
  • Make the sticky BBQ sauce. Carefully remove the ribs from the pan to a cutting board. Strain 2 cups of the remaining braising liquid into a medium saucepan. Add in the red pepper jelly and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce has reduced by 1/3.
  • Coat the ribs. Slice each rack of ribs into individual ribs. Using tongs, dip each rib into the pan with the BBQ sauce until they are coated on all sides with the BBQ sauce.
  • Finish grilling. Return the ribs to the grill for 3-5 minutes, flipping each rib once to tighten the sauce and add just a little char to the edges of the ribs. 
  • Garnish and enjoy! Remove all of the ribs to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the scallion greens. Serve with additional BBQ sauce, if desired. 


Calories: 588kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 918mg | Potassium: 841mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2822IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 4mg
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