Grilling: Five-Spice Short Ribs Recipe


Fire up your grill and get ready for some serious smoke.

Grilling: Five-Spice Short Ribs Recipe

I tend to put on the Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen show when I want to fall asleep. Don't get me wrong, Raichlen has some great recipes, even if they can be unnecessarily heavy on ingredients, but something about his personality is conducive to slumber. Luckily, I stayed fairly awake through a recipe for five-spice short ribs, and after sweet, meaty dreams all night, I had to make them.

The show said to smoke the ribs for 2 1/2 hours at 250ºF--that seemed a little short for a piece of beef so marbled with fat and connective tissue. At the designated cooking time, it was no surprise the short ribs were still a bit tough and not entirely edible. Luckily I was in no hurry and kept them smoking, eating them as the day went on, getting more tender with each passing hour. After about seven hours, the last of these beefy, sweet short ribs were gone, and they lived up to earlier dreams.

  • Yield:4 to 6


  • 3 to 4 pounds beef short ribs, bone-in
  • For the rub:
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon teaspoon fine grained sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground white pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar, or more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, minced ginger
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts minced
  • 4-5 chunks of cherry wood


  1. 1.

    Combine all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl. Liberally coat the ribs with the rub on all sides. Cover the ribs in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  2. 2.

  3. 3.

    While the ribs are smoking, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

  4. 4.

    When the ribs are done, brush them all over with sauce. Place them on a hot grill for 1-2 minutes per side, or keep them in the smoker for an additional 15 minutes, to caramelize the sauce. Serve with remaining sauce.