Pork Spare Ribs

The holidays are a great time for finger-food. There must be a reason why pigs have ribs: I think it was so that our fingers could hold that fatty rib meat at Christmas.

Our recipe for Pork Spare Ribs is essentially the same as the one for Chicken Wings (Sep 19, 2011) – another great recipe for buffet-style family gatherings. It goes like this.

Preparing the Spare Ribs

A rack of spare ribs looks like this:

Use a pair of kitchen shears or scissors to cut between the rib bones:

Wash the ribs and pat them dry. Just as in the Chicken Wings recipe, put ¼ cup potato starch in a plastic bag with salt and pepper, and shake the dried ribs until they’re evenly coated.

Lay them out in an oven-safe baking dish:

Cook for 20 minutes at 350ºF (177ºC), then turn the ribs over and cook for another 20 minutes. They’ll come out like this:

Preparing the Sauce

Many flavors of sauce are possible. The Chicken Wings post discusses Garlic, Parmesan and Mustard Sauce; Buffalo Style Spicy Sauce; and Pacific Sweet and Sour Sauce. Here’s a fourth sauce, an Asian style sauce.

Heat diced garlic, ginger, and scallions in a bit of beef tallow or other healthy cooking oil. Cook the garlic and ginger first for 2 minutes at medium heat, then add scallions:

Quickly add the premixed wet ingredients: 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp brown rice syrup, 1 tsp gluten-free soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. (Don’t substitute other vinegars for the rice vinegar.) Then mix in the cooked ribs and stir until they’re thoroughly coated.

Set them on a serving plate:

Here are ribs made with Garlic, Parmesan and Mustard sauce:

Here are ribs made with Buffalo Style Spicy Sauce:


Leave a comment ?


  1. Looks awesome, hope to try it soon. Have you guys tried coconut aminos in place of GF soy sauce? I started using it recently and find it very tasty.

  2. I never even knew about potato starch until I was living here in Czech Republic. I was forced to cook with it instead of corn starch way back before I knew anything about Paleo, simply because that was all that was available. Corn is unpopular here. “It’s for feeding animals,” is commonly heard.

    Anyway, looks great, I’d probably go with the classic Buffalo sauce. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

  3. Hi David,

    We haven’t tried coconut aminos. Thanks for the tip, we’ll try it.

    Hi Sean,

    Smart Czechs!

  4. Hi Paul,

    Long time reader, first time poster. I thought I would share some thoughts . . .

    I recently read an article in the WAPF Journal recommending that pork be cured, or marinated in an acidic solution, to increase it’s digestibility and health benefits:


    There is also a similar suggestion in the Food Renegade guide to pork:


    If you agree with their assessments, it might be worth looking into adjusting this recipe to allow for marinating the ribs in the soy-vinegar mixture overnight prior to cooking. You could always use some of the marinade to make the sauce.

    Thanks for all of the great info and excellent blog. Keep the posts coming! Looking forward to the kindle version of the book.

  5. Hi bp,

    I think that’s a great idea. Marinades do improve taste and possibly healthfulness too.

    We’ll experiment with marinades and post again.

    Best, Paul

  6. With regard to pork, what do you think of the idea that it must be marinated to be healthy:


    and what is your take on live blood analysis:


  7. The pork ribs look delicious. I have tried your chicken wings recipe with the 3 sauces and really enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    As to cooking pork, I’ve always marinated them, whatever cut I use for cooking, in coconut wine vinegar and soy sauce for a couple of hours or sometimes overnight. My mom always prepare pork meat this way because she believes marinating it removes whatever parasites or toxins are in the pork and I’ve just always followed her example.

    Raw Coconut Aminos is a very good seasoning for any dishes and great substitute for soy sauce. I started using them over a year ago.

  8. I always wondered why there were no pork recipes in Nourishing Traditions – now I know.

    Paul, are the ribs very tender after 40 minutes of cooking?

  9. That looks delicious. For those who wish to save $$ on electricity bill, instead of oven try using a slow cooker for such recipes. That’s how I make barbecue now. The meat comes out really tender and usually only takes about 2 hours on low-moderate heat setting. Also if you cook on slow setting for over 6 hours, say for soup/ stock, the bones are so soft they literally melt in your mouth. I don’t know what the health implications are for eating whole bones that way, but it tastes pretty good in hearty soups.

    Have to be honest, I stopped eating pork after I spent some time on a farm. There was this little piglet who was really intelligent and friendly. He used to follow me around the farm and also when I took small walks outside the it. When I sat down to take in the scenery or rest, he would sit beside me. I used to love eating pork but I couldn’t bring myself to eat it after meeting that amazing piglet. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t judge people who eat pork and I certainly don’t go around telling friends not to eat pork. I really dislike it when vegans try to guilt trip people into not eating meat. I guess what I’m trying to say is that pigs are smart animals undeserving of their much-maligned reputation for being dirty or stupid. They also contribute to society via heart valves and Heparin for example, I know many former cardiac patients who owe their lives to pig heart valves. So next time you eat pork, say a little thank you!

    Maybe one of these days I will bring myself to eat pork again. I do fantasize about sausage omelets sometimes.

  10. Hello Perfecthealthdiet,
    This might be off topic, however, Believe me, there are many, many ways to cook ribs. Some recipes call for the ribs to be grilled directly over a hot fire, others cooked by indirect heat on the grill, but the ribs that taste the best by far are cooked “low and slow” on a smoker.
    Keep up the posts!

  11. The Paleo Rodeo | My Blog - pingback on December 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm
  12. Pork Spare Ribs » Safe Weight Loss - pingback on June 28, 2012 at 11:40 pm
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