Salt and Pepper Ribs

Who doesn’t love fried food once in a while? It’s okay to enjoy some guilty pleasures sometimes and one of our favorites is the classic salt and pepper fried pork ribs you get at Chinese restaurants. The smell of fried garlic and green onions and tender crispy crunchy salty ribs is just so delightful to eat. Nowadays with most of us staying home here is a great recipe to make this favorite yourself! It’s so easy to do with just a few pantry ingredients your family will love it I guarantee!

The first step to make great salt and pepper ribs is to get yourself a nice pack of baby back ribs. Here’s a tip, you can usually get it whole at the meat counter and then cut it yourself into individual ribs. It’s a lot cheaper than buying the pre-cut packed ones. The other important step is to soak out the blood in the meat to get rid of the porky smell and clean out any impurities.

Once that prep work is done the rest is super easy, just marinade for at least 2 h or overnight for stronger flavor and then FRY! I don’t like to deep fry as it uses so much oil, so a shallow fry doing them in batches works great. Best of all you can save the oil for cooking other things later on after you are done, just skim off any fried bits before storing. The secret to making it nice and crispy is the added corn starch in the mix so don’t skip on that ingredient.

After frying give it a quick toss in the aromatics to permeate the meat with garlic, chilies, and green onions followed by a dash of salt to coat the crispy shell of the ribs. At this point, your whole house will smell so great everyone will be scurrying over for a bite! Eat it immediately and fresh while it’s still piping hot to savor all the textures and flavors. Try this recipe and let me know in the comments below!

Salt and Pepper Ribs

Prep time: 2 h     
Cook time: 15 min   
Total time: 2 h 15 min   
Servings: 4


  • 1 rack of baby back ribs
  • 3 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 1 green onion sliced
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1.5 cups oil
  • sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Cut the rack of baby back ribs into individual ribs and place them in a bowl of cold water. Soak for about 20 min to remove any residual blood then drain and pat dry.
  2. In another bowl combine the five spice powder, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, egg, salt, black pepper, 2 cloves of garlic minced, corn starch, and flour. Add the dried ribs into the bowl, mix well, and marinade for 2 h at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
  3. In a large wok, heat about 1.5 cups of oil until medium high and test the temperature by placing a small drop of the marinade. If it sizzles immediately it should be ready.
  4. Shallow fry the ribs in batches about 4-5 pieces at a time for about 8 min each and place them on a rack to drain when cooked.
  5. After all the ribs are cooked, in a clean wok on high heat add 3-4 tbsp oil and fry the chopped dried chilies, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and chopped green onions for 1 min until fragrant. Add in the fried ribs and toss constantly to coat with the fried aromatics. Add a 2 tsp of salt to coat and 1 tsp of sesame seeds to garnish.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy immediately!

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