Hoisin-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

serves 4 to 6

Active time: 25 minutes – Start to finish: 1hr 40min

This recipe is from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Fast and Slow . All I can say is that everyone at the table kept saying “hmmm, this is so good. OMG”. In his book, Christopher described them as “addictive ribs that balance sweet and heat“. The meat was literally falling off the bone.


  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 TBL Chinese five-spice powder
  • 5 TBL gochujang, divided (2 TBL are added first, then 3 TBL are added to sauce that is put aside)
  • 2 TBL minced fresh ginger
  • Two 2½-to-3-pound racks baby back pork ribs, each cut in half
  • 2 TBL finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 TBL sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • serve with rice along and steamed or stir-fried vegetables. I served with baby bok choy sautéed with roasted peanut oil and fresh ginger

note: do not use pork spareribs, they are too big to fit in the pot, they also require a longer cooking time. Also, don’t prep the cilantro and scallions at the same time as you prep the ribs; use the time that the ribs are cooking to finish prep work.

Milk Street Cafe recommends TÂN TÂN VIETNAMESE HOISIN SAUCE. They say that TÂN TÂN yields the perfect balance of sweet, earthy and savory notes. I couldn’t find this on Amazon, so the link takes you to Milk Street’s online store.


    • In a large bowl, whisk together the hoisin, honey, five-spice powder and 2 TBL gochujang.
    • Measure ¾ cup of the mixture into a small bowl and stir in the remaining 3 TBL of gochunjang and the ginger; set aside for now, this is used at the very end
    • Add the 4 rib sections to the remaining hoisin mixture in the large bowl and turn to coast
    • Place the steam rack in a 6-quart Instant Pot, then pour in 1 cup water
    • Arrange the ribs upright in a circle (see pic above), with the meaty sides facing the walls of the pot
  • Lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing (mine does this automatically)
  • Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to HIGH.
  • Set the cooking time for 25 minutes
  • When pressure cooking is complete, allow the pressure to reduce naturally for 15 minutes, then release the remaining steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting (mine has a release valve)
  • Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot
  • Let cool for 5 minutes
    • While the ribs cool, heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the element
    • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil
    • Using tongs, carefully transfer the ribs meat side up to the prepared baking shet
    • Generously brush with half of the reserved hoisin mixture and broil until the glaze begins to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes
    • Remove from broiler, brush with the remaining mixture and continue to broil until bubbling, another 2 to 3 minutes
    • Cool for 5 minutes, then cut between the bones to separate into individual ribs (I did not do this)
    • Transfer to a plater, then sprinkle with the cilantro, sesame seeds and scallions
Recommended products
Here’s a link for ordering Milk Street Fast and Slow on Amazon. I gave the book a complete read through the day it arrived. Christopher does a fantastic job at explaining all the tricks to using an Instant Pot that I have yet to read anywhere else.
I purchased the Instant Pot Duo Plus from Amazon in early December 2020. With all the cooking I’m doing now, I was looking for ways to create yummy meals that didn’t require as much supervision so that I could chill more in the evenings.
I couldn’t find the gochujang paste in my local grocery store, but did find it at Idylwilde, the amazing local farmstand down the street that magically seems to have spices from all over the world! Here’s a link to buying gochujang on Amazon.
I use roasted peanut oil for the bok choy. The brand of roasted peanut oil that I had been using forever, stopped production during COVID. I discovered this brand on Amazon; it has a five star rating from over 900 consumers.
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