is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

These Soy Ginger Glazed BBQ Ribs Will Knock Your Socks Off

Saucing ribs with soy-ginger glaze

Smoked pork ribs take amazingly well to the flavors of soy sauce, ginger, and five-spice powder.

As a seasoned BBQ cook living in Memphis, I am expected to produce nothing but the best when it comes to smoked pork ribs. The challenge for me, however, is finding a way to set my ribs apart from those available at countless BBQ joints throughout the city.

When it came time to host our kids’ friends for an end-of-school-year pool party, I set out to create a rib recipe that was traditionally “southern” in technique but with flavors less common to this part of the world.

Hungry for more ribs recipes, tips, and techniques? Click here to download our ebook “Amazing Ribs Made Easy” $3.99 on Amazon (free Kindle app runs on all computers and devices). Or, get this book and others FREE as a member of the Pitmaster Club. Click here to join.

Smoked soy ginger ribs with other Chinese seasonings fit the bill. The flavor base comes from a dry rub of paprika mixed with five spice powder, including cinnamon, cloves, anise, fennel, and Szechuan pepper (see our five spice powder recipe here or use store-bought). These Asian inspired ribs are smoked low and slow until moist and tender then glazed with sticky sweet soy and ginger BBQ sauce. When I set out these ribs, the kids devoured them as soon as they hit the serving platter!

Note: this sauce has dozens of other uses so make an extra batch to slather on wings, burgers, pork chops, and more. For more traditional smoked BBQ ribs, be sure to check out our last meal ribs recipe! 

BBQ Ribs with Soy Ginger BBQ Sauce Recipe

Soy-ginger glazed BBQ ribs
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
4.22 from 60 votes
Tired of the same old savory barbecued ribs? Try this recipe for Asian style ribs with a touch of sweetness and the flavors of soy, ginger, and sesame. Any cut of ribs will do.

Serve with: Sapporo or Kirin beer.

Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian
Difficulty: Easy


1 slab St. Louis cut spare ribs
Servings: 3


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes


  • heavy duty foil
  • four chunks smoking wood


Five Spice Rub

The Ribs

  • 1 slab ribs
  • ¾ teaspoon Morton coarse kosher salt (¼ teaspoon per pound of meat)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons apple juice

Soy Ginger BBQ Sauce

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
About the mayonnaise. The use of mayonnaise is completely optional but is something that I have done for years. As with the more popular yellow mustard, the mayonnaise serves as a binding agent for the dry rub without drastically altering the flavor of the finished meat. Unlike mustard, mayonnaise is high in fat, which benefits the ribs.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • Prep. To create the five-spice dry rub, combine the sweet paprika and five spice powder in a small bowl and blend well (now it's a six-spice rub!).
  • Remove the membrane from the slab of ribs (read more on removing the membrane here).
  • Season the slab of ribs with kosher salt. If you can, give the salt 1 to 2 hours to be absorbed. The process of salting in advance is called dry brining. The rule of thumb is ½ teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat, but ribs consist of only about 50% meat, so use about ¼ teaspoon per pound. You can simply eyeball it by sprinkling on the same amount of salt you would sprinkle on the ribs if they were served to you unseasoned. 
  • Fire up. Prepare a smoker for indirect cooking. Alternatively, you can set up a charcoal grill for 2-zone cooking by placing a chimney full of lit charcoal briquets on one side of the grill's charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the smoker or grill vents to bring the temperature to about 225°F and add three to four chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 225°F on the indirect side.
  • Once the smoker or grill is ready, brush both sides of ribs with mayonnaise and lightly season with the five-spice dry rub.
  • Cook. Place the slab of ribs meat side up on the main cooking grate as far away from the heat source as possible. Cover the smoker or grill. Allow the ribs to smoke until the meat just begins to shrink back from the ends of the bones, about 3 ½ hours.
  • Lay out two double layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil approximately eight inches longer than the ribs. Lay the slab of ribs on the foil meat side down. Fold up the sides of the foil to create a boat, pour in the apple juice, and loosely seal the foil.
  • Place the foiled ribs sealed side up on the smoker or grill and cook until the meat shrinks back from the ends of the bones by ¼ to ½ inch, about 1 hour.
  • Make the sauce. While the ribs smoke, make the soy ginger BBQ sauce by combining the ketchup, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic powder, and sesame oil in a small saucepan. Simmer the sauce over medium-high heat while stirring frequently until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • Cook. Remove the ribs from the smoker or grill and cautiously open the foil packet to allow the steam to escape. Gently remove the ribs from the foil and set them back on the smoker or grill meat side up. Cover the smoker or grill and allow the ribs to cook until tender but not falling off the bone, about 20 minutes. We prefer to use the "bend test." Use tongs to pick up one end of the slab of ribs, then bend them slightly. If they are ready, the slab will bow until the meat starts to crack on the surface.
  • When they are ready, brush sauce on both sides of the ribs and turn them meat side up on the smoker or grill. Cover the smoker or grill and cook until the sauce sets and becomes tacky, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Serve. Remove the ribs from the smoker or grill, then slice and serve.


Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 2093mg | Potassium: 389mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 2517IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3mg

Related articles

Published On: 6/18/2018 Last Modified: 4/8/2021

  • Clint Cantwell - Clint Cantwell is's Senior Vice President of Whatever, charged with creating recipes, writing articles, shooting photos, and a little bit of everything else. He was named one of the "10 Faces of Memphis Barbecue" by Memphis Magazine and was the winner of Travel Channel's "American Grilled: Memphis".

If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.

Post comments and questions below


1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.



Click for comments...


These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys:

GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order directly and get an exclusive deal

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review

Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One

The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

kamado grill
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

Click here for our article on this exciting cooker