Fried Ribs Recipe

Updated on September 11, 2017
Fried Ribs - four different ways
Fried Ribs - four different ways | Source


I’ve been experimenting with spareribs today by making fried ribs. Yes, I can hear my arteries clogging as I type. Pork ribs were on sale, so I bought two pounds of trimmed spareribs and two pounds of baby back ribs. I always thought it was sort of a sacrilege to cook baby back ribs with any method other than grilling or smoking, but I changed my mind some time back. Still, I’d really rather use pork spare ribs for frying and save the baby backs for something else. Not that deep fried pork ribs aren’t like the most awesome culinary awesomeness ever! I’m serious. Have you heard the old saying that when a food is amazingly tasty, it’s good enough to make you slap your grandma? Well, these recipes for spare ribs that I’m sharing with you here today are spectacular enough to make you want to slap your grandma, her doctor, her mailman, and her dog! If you’ve never experienced the culinary glory of deep-fried pork ribs, you don’t know what you’re missing. This ain’t health food, my friend. This is “heart attack on a plate” that should be a rare treat. That’s okay – it just makes the fried ribs all the more special!

How to cook spare ribs? Think outside the box sometimes!
How to cook spare ribs? Think outside the box sometimes! | Source

How To Cook Spare Ribs

So…you’re wondering how to cook spare ribs. You’ve heard a lot about them, and maybe you’ve eaten them in restaurants, but you haven’t tried cooking them yourself. A slab of park ribs can look pretty intimidating. It’s big, and it’s full of bones. If it hasn’t been trimmed, the bones go in two different directions, and there can be “flaps” of flesh that you’re not sure how to handle. I suggest making it easy on yourself by purchasing rib fingers for your spare ribs recipe. These are individual ribs. The racks have been trimmed and sliced into single rib bones, and they’re ready to marinate, rub, or cook.

How to cook spare ribs depends on what type of results you want and on how fast you want them. It also depends on how much trouble you’re willing to go to. The easiest way to cook spareribs is probably in the oven, and that’s also one of the quickest ways. Pork ribs on the grill can be tricky, and if you don’t what you’re doing, you can ruin a perfectly good slab. Ribs in the crock pot are easy and practically foolproof, but they take hours to get done. What are the quickest recipes for spare ribs? Fried ribs! Fried pork ribs can be done and ready to eat in less than twenty minutes.

I sliced these ribs into individual "fingers."
I sliced these ribs into individual "fingers." | Source

Recipes For Spare Ribs

Below are four recipes for spare ribs. Actually, you can turn these pork recipes into lots more dishes by tweaking them. For example, the last recipe in this article can be used to create some super appetizers, party foods, and snacks. Get creative and have some culinary fun by making your own rib sauces! To me, pork flesh willingly accepts other flavors, and the meat is adaptable enough that it goes well with scores of different ingredients. Perhaps the following table will give you some ideas!

Ingredients for Pork Rib Recipes and Rib Sauces

Dry Seasonings
peach jam
brown sugar
Liquid Smoke
apricot jam
black pepper
bottled BBQ sauce
mango jelly
Worcestershire sauce
orange marmalade
chili powder
pineapple marmalade
hot sauce
guava jelly
chipotle powder
orange juice
apple jelly
pineapple juice
apple butter
apple juice
cherry preserves
lemon juice
pepper jelly
lime juice
onion powder
prepared mustard
maple syrup
garlic powder
Pork Rib Rub
Pork Rib Rub | Source

Pork Rib Rub Recipe

Do you ever use a pork rib rub when grilling or smoking spareribs? You do? Well, a rub for pork ribs that are going to be fried works just as well. I actually experimented with several different rib rubs before I found just the right combination of sweet, salty, hot, and savory. Remember, though, it’s the right blend for me – it might not be for you. I found that if I leaved the rub on the ribs for several hours. The flavors would survive the frying process. All the rib rubs I used were dry rubs, and this one turned out to be my favorite for fried ribs. Here’s the pork rib rub recipe:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Mix everything together and use as a rub for pork ribs, Boston butts, pork chops, or pork loins. Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe, as needed.

Pork Rib Marinade
Pork Rib Marinade | Source

Pork Rib Marinade

Why use a marinade for pork ribs? A pork rib marinade can impart practically any flavor or flavors you choose into the meat. It can also tenderize tough muscle tissue and whip it into juicy, tender submission. Just be sure your marinade includes some acidy liquid. Also, if the meat you’re marinating is lean, you’ll need to add some oil to the marinade. Because ribs are fatty, your pork rib marinade won’t need extra fat. Here’s what you need for the rib marinade:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne


  1. Combine all ingredients, and pour over spareribs or baby back ribs.
  2. Use a plastic bowl or bag or a glass container for marinating.
  3. Leave pork ribs in marinade for at least four hours. I sometimes let my spareribs marinate all night.

Fried Ribs Recipe - basic edition
Fried Ribs Recipe - basic edition | Source

Fried Pork Ribs

These fried pork ribs are sort of like the “plain jane” version. They’re easy to make, as they don’t require a rub or a marinade. This is so simple that it doesn’t need to be written in actual recipe form. I’ll just tell you, instead.

Cut the ribs into individual bone sections. Sprinkle or rub the meat with salt and pepper, along with any other dry seasonings you like. Shake or roll the ribs in plain or self-rising flour. Fry in about one-half inch of oil, over medium heat. For softer, less crispy ribs, place the lid on the pan for part of the cooking time. Turn the ribs frequently to ensure even cooking and browning. Check a rib for doneness after about 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels or racks. Use some of the cooking grease to make pan gravy, if you like. When the gravy has thickened, add the ribs back to the pan. Put the lid back on and simmer until ribs reach desired tenderness.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Apply the rib rub.Dredge in flour. Fry in deep fat.Fried Ribs - awesome!
Apply the rib rub.
Apply the rib rub. | Source
Dredge in flour.
Dredge in flour. | Source
Fry in deep fat.
Fry in deep fat. | Source
Fried Ribs - awesome!
Fried Ribs - awesome! | Source

Deep Fried Pork Ribs

These deep fried pork ribs are rubbed and breaded. Of the four recipes for spare ribs included here, this one is my favorite! Seriously, these deep fried ribs are “off the chain,” as my students liked to say. I mean, really…what more could you ask of a humble food? These succulent fingers are a little sweet, a little hot, a little salty, and a little chewy. They’re crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside – just as fried foods should be!

Rate my fried ribs!

3 stars from 37 ratings of Deep Fried Pork Ribs

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: about 4 servings


  • 2 pounds trimmed spareribs
  • rub for pork ribs (from above)
  • self-rising flour
  • oil for frying


  1. Rinse ribs and pat dry. Remove silver skin from backs of ribs and cut into individual bones or fingers.
  2. Make the rib rub from the recipe I included above. Cover all sides of each pork finger with the rub. Place rubbed ribs in a rectangular glass dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours for the best results. If you don’t have time to wait, you’ll still get some awesome fried ribs!
  3. Pour flour into a bowl or bag. Dredge seasoned ribs in flour and set on a plate or dish, not touching each other.
  4. Pour about two inches of oil in a Dutch oven and heat to 360 degrees.
  5. When ribs begin to look “pasty,” dredge them again and fry in the hot oil. Don’t crowd.
  6. Fry until ribs are brown and crisp, about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Drain on paper towels.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
These spareribs are naked!The rub caramelizes, so you get Sticky Ribs.
These spareribs are naked!
These spareribs are naked! | Source
The rub caramelizes, so you get Sticky Ribs.
The rub caramelizes, so you get Sticky Ribs. | Source

Fried Ribs Recipe

For this fried ribs recipe, the ribs are fried naked – without any type of dredging or breading. I did, however, use the pork rib rub recipe from above. The sugar content resulted in some wonderfully sticky ribs! I cut the ribs into fingers and rubbed them with the seasoning mixture. Okay, I know what you’re thinking here: It would be easier to rub the ribs before slicing them. Easier, yes – but not as tasty. The sliced ribs have four sides, while the ribs in the slab have just two sides. Four sides mean more yummy rub sticks to the rib! I left the rubbed ribs in the fridge for less than an hour.

Heat about one inch of oil in a large iron skillet or Dutch oven. 360 degrees is about the right temperature for frying pork ribs – in my opinion. When the oil is hot, add a few ribs and fry until brown. Drain on wire racks. As I discovered, the sticky ribs will stick to paper towels.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Marinate the ribs.Shake or roll the pork in flour. Fry until golden brown and crisp.
Marinate the ribs.
Marinate the ribs. | Source
Shake or roll the pork in flour.
Shake or roll the pork in flour. | Source
Fry until golden brown and crisp.
Fry until golden brown and crisp. | Source

Marinated and Deep Fried Pork Ribs

This fried ribs recipe is really tasty. It has sort of an Asian flavor, due to the marinade. The longer you leave the ribs in the marinade, the more pronounced the marinade flavor will be. You might want to try leaving the pork in the liquid for just an hour until you find out whether or not you like the flavors. Here’s this spare ribs recipe:

  • 2 pounds spare ribs
  • Pork rib marinade recipe (from above)
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Oil for frying


  1. Slice ribs into fingers and place in a large plastic food bag. Pour rib marinade over meat and leave in fridge for up to six or eight hours.
  2. When you’re ready to fry the ribs, pour about two inches of oil into a large, heavy pot. You want the oil to reach around 360 degrees before adding the ribs.
  3. As the oil heats, remove ribs from marinade and allow excess to drip away. Shake or roll ribs in the flour-cornstarch mixture. Fry until golden brown and crisp, around 15-18 minutes. Drain on paper towels or racks.

For an even yummier version of these fried ribs, toss the fried and drained pork fingers in a sauce. This version is perfect for serving at parties, by the way. You can use regular ketchup-based barbecue sauce, honey mustard, or sweet and sour sauce. The thick type of teriyaki sauce works well, also. You can make your own sauce or glaze, too, if you like. In fact, use the pork rib marinade as the start of a great rib sauce. Just omit the peppercorns and increase the amount of brown sugar. Add the ingredients to a small pot or pan and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute, while stirring. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce reaches desired thickness. Place pork in a bowl or dish and drizzle with sauce. Toss to coat. This works best if your bowl has a tight-fitting lid. When all the pork has a nice coating of the sauce, the fried ribs are ready to serve.

Questions & Answers


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      • J.S.Matthew profile image

        JS Matthew 

        5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

        I have been marinating my pork ribs all day in a thick liquid Ah-So Spare Rib Sauce. (I cheated because I didn't have the time or the ingredients for a rub). I first searched HubPages for a deep fried pork rib recipe and yours came out on top. I went to the store and came back to do a Google search for a "Deep Fried Rib Recipe". Guess what; this Hub was on the first page! That's awesome!

        I am now heating the cast iron dutch oven (using Corn Oil) and I will be dipping the ribs in flour (I don't have corn starch, only tapioca starch and I am scared to ruin this recipe) and will deep fry very soon. Thanks for this! I have never tried this before except on the grill.

        I want deep fried Chinese style spare ribs and this is the best way I have found so far. So glad that after all my research Google led me back here. That is a true testament to this recipe Hub as the best! Up and shared...and soon to enjoy!


      • profile image


        6 years ago

        @habee-I will have to! Sounds too yummy to pass up

      • habee profile imageAUTHOR

        Holle Abee 

        6 years ago from Georgia

        Amber, I think I could eat pork ribs cooked any old way! Give these a try!

      • habee profile imageAUTHOR

        Holle Abee 

        6 years ago from Georgia

        Doc, I still prefer BBQ ribs, but the fried ribs are a nice change.

      • habee profile imageAUTHOR

        Holle Abee 

        6 years ago from Georgia

        View, I hope you like the fried ribs!

      • habee profile imageAUTHOR

        Holle Abee 

        6 years ago from Georgia

        Tireless, I think it's mostly a "southern thang." lol

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        I didn't know abou the fried pork ribs, either! That's an awesome idea! I usually put them in my crock pot, with my own special sauce. That recipe gets old, so I'm always looking for new ones. Thanks!

      • drbj profile image

        drbj and sherry 

        6 years ago from south Florida

        Never knew you could fry pork ribs, Holle. What a fantastic revelation. You know how I love spareribs. Thanks for making my day - and dinner - a delight with these recipes, m'dear.

      • viewfinders profile image


        6 years ago from India

        great recipe,like to make with the help of my mom

      • tirelesstraveler profile image

        Judy Specht 

        6 years ago from California

        Love to cook ribs. Never dreamed you could fry them. Thanks for the enlightenment.

      • habee profile imageAUTHOR

        Holle Abee 

        6 years ago from Georgia

        Carol, fried pork ribs are definitely a splurge, so we have them only rarely. Thanks for stopping by!

      • carol7777 profile image

        carol stanley 

        6 years ago from Arizona

        These are definitely decadent and why not indulge once in a while Not so healthy but so delicious. Thanks for the great mouthwatering photos.

      • habee profile imageAUTHOR

        Holle Abee 

        6 years ago from Georgia

        Hi, SB! So glad you liked the biscuit ideas. Hope you like the fried ribs just as much!

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        I've been making cherry and chocolate turnovers fried from your hub "Things to do with canned biscuits" I actually made them over the holidays for breakfast sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are sooooo good! Now I'm going to try some of your ideas for pork ribs!


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