When you’re going for a mouthwatering BBQ experience done indoors, these Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs are the way to go. Using the Instant Pot creates incredibly succulent ribs with virtually no fuss; you even make your sauce right in the pot. Finishing these honey-soy ribs under the broiler creates a nice, crispy exterior crust, but you can bypass this step if you want to avoid heating the oven at all. And if you’re short on time and looking to make this recipe an even speedier dinner solution, you can skip the dry rub; however, the flavor enhancement this mixture of dry spices and aromatics provides is well worth the extra effort when possible.
1 (2 to 2 1/2 lb.) slab bone-in baby back pork ribs
1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet sake)
5 garlic cloves, chopped
3 medium shallots, halved
1 (2-in.) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 whole star anise
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
How to Make It
Remove the thin outer membrane on back of ribs by loosening with a butter knife and pulling it off; discard. Combine five spice, pepper, garlic powder, and ground ginger in a small bowl; sprinkle both sides of ribs with spice mixture. Place slab in a ring, meat-side facing out, in the circular wire steam rack of an Instant Pot. Place rack in Instant Pot.
Add stock, soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, garlic, shallots, ginger, and star anise in center of rib ring. Close and lock lid, and program cooker to cook on manual on High Pressure for 25 minutes. Turn pressure release valve to venting postion to release steam completely. Carefully remove lid.
Transfer ribs to a wire rack set on a sheet tray; set aside. Pour sauce through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids. Return sauce to Instant Pot. Program cooker to Sauté, and stir in honey and chili-garlic sauce. Whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl until combined; when sauce begins to boil, slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture, and cook, whisking often, until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Brush about 1/4 cup of the sauce over ribs.
Preheat broiler, and place oven rack in middle of oven. Place ribs on a baking sheet, and broil until sauce bubbles and becomes lightly caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and let rest 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and sesame seeds; serve with remaining sauce.
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