Korean Country Spare Ribs: A savory Asian-inspired marinade gives plain ol’ pork ribs a gigantic flavor boost. You’ll marinate the ribs all day long while you enjoy your summer days out of the kitchen. Toss the ribs on the grill for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Korean Country Spare Ribs

Every summer roles around and we go through the same conversation:

Me: “What should we make for the bbq/party/cook-out?”
Him: “Chicken?”
Me: “Cutlets or on the bone?”
Him: “On the bone with bbq sauce.”
Me: “Ugh.”

There’s almost nothing I dislike more than eating bbq chicken off the bone.

Fried chicken? Sure – love it! But goopy bbq sauce dripping off rubbery chicken legs? Nope.

So I changed things up a few years ago and started making these Korean country spare ribs.  Kyle has the inability to turn down pork in any form so swaying him from his traditional bbq bone-in chicken was like giving candy to a baby. 

To make these ribs, I coated country spare ribs with brown sugar and then marinated them in a mix of soy sauce, mirin (rice wine – not rice wine vinegar), toasted sesame oil, garlic and onions for around 9 hours.

The long marinating time for this recipe leaves the ribs completely soaked through with flavor. So when you grill the Asian marinated ribs, the flavor isn’t running out of them or off of them, like when you baste ribs with a sauce over a hot fire.

These Korean country spare ribs taste a bit like the boneless spare ribs you get from a really good Chinese restaurant except you know exactly what ingredients they’re made with. So there’s that.

There’s definitely a reason why we’ve made these grilled Korean spare ribs no less than 2 or 3 times each summer for the past few years: they are outstanding, insanely easy to make, and now truly one of our favorite summer meals.

It’s an incredibly easy marinade recipe to make and once the ribs are marinating, you’ve got the entire day to not worry about prepping your meat for dinner. That will leave you some time to make your sides!

Needs Sides for These Ribs?

Whether you’re looking for hot or cold side dishes to go with these ribs, I’ve got you covered!

Mac and cheese and grilled corn are obvious choices, as is this bacon ranch potato salad and these baked beans.

More “adventurous” side dishes would be some broccoli slaw, crunchy noodle salad, this amazing avocado cucumber salad, my very favorite Mexican street corn salad, and these twice baked potatoes with bacon and caramelized onions.

How will you ever choose?!

Korean Country Spare Ribs

Korean Country Spare Ribs

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 9 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours 20 minutes

Korean country spare ribs are the answer to ho-hum grilled ribs. A savory Asian-inspired marinade gives plain ol' pork ribs a gigantic flavor boost using basic easy to find Asian ingredients. Are you ready to up your BBQ game this summer?


  • 6 lbs country spare ribs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup mirin (rice wine)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Small bunch of chives, chopped, for serving (optional)


  1. If the ribs are really fatty, trim off some (not all) of the fat before laying them out in two large, deep baking dishes (I use disposable aluminum pans). Rub the ribs with the brown sugar; set aside while you make the marinade.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the soy sauce, water, mirin, onion, garlic, sesame oil, and black pepper together. Pour the marinade over the ribs, evenly dividing it between the two baking dishes/pans. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 12. Allow the ribs to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before grilling.
  3. Preheat a gas grill high for 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium-high and grill the ribs for 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on the size and thickness of the ribs (i.e., large ribs need more time). Transfer the finished ribs to a large platter, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the chopped chives over the ribs as you serve them.


Recommended Products

As a member of the Amazon Associate affiliate program, I earn a small percentage from your qualifying Amazon purchases when you click the Amazon links on this page. I'm not informed of who purchases what, just of what products are purchased.

How much do you love this recipe?

Follow Smells Like Home on Pinterest and click that little Pin button at the top of this recipe card to save this recipe and share with your Pinterest followers!