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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chinese Spare Ribs with Coca Cola and Soy Sauce

Photos updated from the archives, October 2, 2014:

Chinese Spare Ribs with Coke and Soy Sauce 8

"Honey, I'm home!" I quipped as I walked in the door.

The best sight for a woman to come home to after work?

Not one, but TWO men in her kitchen cooking dinner. Ooh, yeah! :P

Shortly after my Crock Pot Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) dinner, lil' sis's best friend asked if he could make dinner for both of us.

Someone wanting to cook for me?

Like he had to ask!

He said he wanted to make up for all the times I cooked for him. Hey, I don't need any justifications. Lil' sis's other friend joined him in the kitchen too. The boys were cooking us a four-course meal of Chinese spare ribs with Coke and soy sauce, Chinese tomato egg stir-fry, fried rice with Chinese sausage, eggs, and lettuce, and sauteed bok choy with garlic.

The spare ribs with Coke and soy sauce was a quick and easy recipe that lil' sis's best friend got from his mom. The only difficult part was that my stove is so old that it literally doesn't boil water. Poor guy. He got so frustrated waiting for the sauce to reduce. What should've taken 20 minutes took nearly an hour. Meanwhile, the boys were busy slicing and sauteing. Lil' sis eventually joined in to help. I just sat back and snapped lots of photos. :)

Chinese Spare Ribs with Coke and Soy Sauce 9

Chinese Spare Ribs with Coca Cola and Soy Sauce
recipe courtesy of lil' sis's best friend's mom, as prepared by lil' sis's best friend

For four servings, you'll need:
2 lbs pork spare ribs
12-oz Coca Cola
2 tblsp soy sauce

Pork spare ribs are these shorter ones. Wash and cut them into sections.

Bun Rieu Cua Tom Oc (Vietnamese Crab and Shrimp Rice Vermicelli Noodle Soup with Snails) 9

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the spare ribs. Let them boil for about 10 minutes until scum comes to the surface. Dump everything into a colander and wash the impurities from the spare ribs. If you don't mind impurities, then you can skip this step.

Then place the cleaned ribs in a pan on medium heat. Add about 12-oz of Coke and 2 tblsp soy sauce.

Chinese Spare Ribs with Coke and Soy Sauce 3

The sauce will eventually reduce and thicken.

Chinese Spare Ribs with Coke and Soy Sauce 4

This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to about 45 minutes depending on your pan and heat.

Chinese Spare Ribs with Coke and Soy Sauce 5

The ribs are done when the sauce is thickened to your liking. Don't forget or else the ribs will burn. Ack!

Chinese Spare Ribs with Coke and Soy Sauce 6

Don't worry. I turned the burnt spots away from the camera so they weren't so noticeable. The spare ribs were just slightly sweet and perfectly tender.

Chinese Spare Ribs with Coke and Soy Sauce 7

I had mentioned the dinner on my Facebook and one of my childhood friends asked for the recipe. She immediately made it and said it was a hit with her kids. Delicious and quick to make after work. She already planned to make it again.


Thanks to lil' sis's best friend for the dinner and thanks to his mom for the recipe!

And a look at the original photo, with the slightly burned spare ribs, which really didn't do this recipe justice.

Chinese Spare Ribs with Coke and Soy Sauce 2

Other recipes from this dinner:
Chinese Tomato Egg Shrimp Stir-Fry
Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage, Eggs, and Lettuce
Bok Choy Sauteed with Garlic

1 year ago today, Chicago Peace and Peace roses.
2 years ago today, Shortbread Cookies with Lavender.
3 years ago today, Vietnamese Coconut Flan.


  1. Looks amazing! I make almost exactly the same thing with chicken. The difference is I add a bit of red chili paste for kick at the end. Korean cooking uses coke for beef too.

  2. what a luck girl you are, so jealous.
    this dish seems very unusual, to me anyway and i love that it's only 3 ingredients and doesn't require much maintenance. my kind of dish.

  3. first of all, GORGEOUS PICS!
    and...this is the kind of recipe that i love love LOVE!
    btw, glad to know that i don't need to braise for a few hours...

  4. I'd love to make this with chicken drumettes. I wonder what the best way is to precook the chicken, or should it just cook in the sauce?

  5. hmm I wonder if this would taste the same if I used pepsi instead of coke. :/

  6. hi wc - what a great recipe - so simple. i like that it just has 3 ingredients, that way i can have my husband make it and he has no excuse to mess up. ha ha. but seriously, it looks so easy to make.

  7. yum!!! lucky lucky
    i love using coca cola as a marinade ingredient

  8. Coco-Cola with pork is always a great combination! So simple but great :).

    The boys sure know how to cook! Looks like a fantastic dinner.

  9. I made this tonight for company. What an easy yummy recipe. Pretty fool-proof. I am going to try this with mexican coke which doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it but rather just sugar. It'll be interesting to see if there is any different. Thanks to Lil Sis' BF and his Mom! :O)

  10. How come in the recipe it saids 12 oz but in direction it saids 20?

  11. MomGateway,
    I've used Coke and strawberry jam as a marinade for pork ribs. Works well for that too.

    Quick & easy are my kind of dishes too. Especially at the end of a work day.

    Nah. These pics aren't that great. I guess I could've redone it with non-burnt ribs, but I'm not like that.

    I think you can just cook the chicken in the sauce. It'll reduce and flavor just fine. If you boil them first, all the yummy chicken juices will have already gone out.

    Sure. Why not? Might not need as much though. Don't know about you, but Pepsi tastes sweeter than Coke to me.

    That's the way to go. Have someone else cook for you. :P

    Papier Teresa,
    Me too. I also use 7-Up for marinades.

    I'm just happy when I don't have to do any work and someone else does it for me. Ha!

    La Takahashi,
    That was quick! I bet Mexican Coke would be even better. Too much HFCS everywhere these days.

    Mei Yuan,
    Oops. Thanks for pointing it out. I'll have to fix it. Lil' Sis' best friend had a 20-oz bottle of Coke, but we only used about 12-oz of it, or equivalent to 1 Coke can. I just spaced out when I wrote up the recipe.

  12. Riko,
    Yes. Now, what are you gonna do? Haha!

    P.S. Do you do the dishes? :P

  13. Doing the dishes is the worst part, isn't it?
    Oh well, I'll do'em for you ;)
    Your family is very lucky to eat something new and exciting every day... And we are lucky you share recipes with us... Thank You!

  14. Riko,
    Actually, I don't mind doing the dishes, it's the putting it away that I abhor. I so hate putting the dishes away that I just use the dishes from the rack until it's time to wash them again. What can I say? We all hate something about the process? But you're welcome to wash my dishes AND put them away. ;)

    But, but, this post was about someone else cooking for me. I don't cook every day, much less new and exciting dishes every day. Too much work!


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