Chinese Spareribs with Napa Cabbage

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

Why pick up take-out? The microwave brings these Chinese spareribs to the table in practically no time.


  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder

  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 rack pork spareribs (about 3 pounds), trimmed

  • 1 head napa cabbage, shredded

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce, plus more for dipping

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together five-spice powder, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Rub meaty side of ribs with spice mixture, patting to adhere.

  2. In a shallow 2-quart microwave-safe dish, arrange rack, standing with rib ends upward (the natural curve will keep it upright). Microwave on high, uncovered, until pork is opaque throughout, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from microwave; tent with foil. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, vinegar, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cut rack between bones to separate ribs; brush with hoisin sauce. Garnish with scallions, and serve with napa cabbage and more hoisin sauce for dipping.

Cook's Notes

A staple of Chinese cuisine, five-spice powder is a mix of cloves, fennel, star anise, cassia, and Sichuan pepper, combining sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty tastes. Once you apply the spice rub, cook the pork immediately, or for more flavor, refrigerate it, covered, up to overnight.

Related Articles