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Grilled Thai Ribs Recipe

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This grilled Thai ribs recipe is perfect for your next backyard BBQ. You don’t even need an oven! Give them some time in the delicious ribs marinade and then just grill them over charcoal or cook them in a grilling pan.

Hand dipping grilled Thai ribs in a spicy dipping sauce.

Moo ping and moo yang are some of my favorites in my collection of Thai pork recipes, but these Thai-style ribs are always a hit with everyone.

You can have them as a snack throughout the day, or as a complete meal with jasmine rice and one of my many Thai dipping sauces. And if you’re having a BBQ, just throw them on the grill – there’s really no going wrong with these!

Thai ribs recipe

Many Thai people prefer grilled ribs to be a bit chewy. This is quite different from the very soft, fall-off-the-bone ribs many people love in Western BBQ. I’m actually a fan of both styles!

Back when we ran our Thai restaurant, we stuck to the traditional Thai way of making ribs — a bit on the chewier side. They were a MASSIVE hit.

A few people came in expecting those fall-off-the-bone ribs you’d find at Western restaurants, but it didn’t take long for our authentic Thai ribs to win them over.

Thai ribs with crispy garlic and nam jim jaew dipping sauce.

The ribs marinade is full of traditional Thai flavors, with key ingredients like coriander root, oyster sauce, and light soy sauce. I threw in plenty of garlic and peppercorns, because honestly, what’s a batch of ribs without that garlic kick?

The final dish is full of bold flavors and truly unforgettable.

The best Thai pork ribs

These are the best Thai pork ribs, and they’re perfect for anyone, even if you’re new to Thai cooking. This recipe is super easy with step-by-step instructions, it’s foolproof. You can also change up the marinade to make sweet, tangy, or spicy ribs.

They cook up fast, so there’s no need to wait hours on the slow cooker. They come out with a crispy outside that’s full of smoky flavor.

Thai BBQ ribs with dipping sauce.

You can enjoy these ribs in many ways. Have them as a snack, with other BBQ food, or as a main dish with rice. They’re also great for parties, especially with a cold beer.

Now, let’s go over the marinade ingredients real quick. Once you’ve got your ribs marinating, make sure to look for your favorite dipping sauce after the recipe instructions!

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for Thai ribs: light soy sauce, oyster sauce, white sugar, black peppercorns, coriander root, and garlic.
  • Pork ribs – Baby back ribs are great for their lean meat and ideal for quick grilling. Spare ribs are meatier and absorb the Thai marinade beautifully. This recipe works great with both!
  • Light soy sauce – Light soy sauce is a Thai cuisine essential. It brings a salty flavor to the marinade. You can find this and all other ingredients at Asian markets and Asian grocery stores.
  • Oyster sauce – This rich, savory and slightly sweet sauce is a staple in Southeast Asian cooking. I love using it in stir-fries and marinades.
  • White sugar – Adding some sugar is important for balancing out the salty flavors.
  • Black peppercorns – These bring a sharp, spicy note to the marinade.
  • Coriander root – Gives the marinade a fresh and earthy note.
  • Garlic

How to make Thai-style ribs

Granite mortar and pestle with finely crushed garlic, peppercorns, and coriander root.

Step 1: Start by pounding garlic, black peppercorns, and coriander root in a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, a food processor will work just fine.

Glass bowl on wooden table with marinade mixture ready for meat.

Step 2: In a large bowl, mix together the ground ingredients with oyster sauce, light soy sauce, and white sugar. Stir everything until you have a well-blended marinade.

Raw pork ribs marinating in Thai sauce in glass bowl on wooden table.

Step 3: Add the ribs to the bowl, and make sure each piece is coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate. Let the ribs marinate for at least three hours, or overnight for the best flavors.

Perfectly grilled Thai ribs with char marks in a cast iron pan.

Step 4: Fire up the grill to medium heat. Place the ribs on the grill, cooking each side for about one minute to get a crispy crust. Then, lower the heat and continue to grill, turning the ribs occasionally to avoid burning. The cooking time varies depending on the rib thickness and size, expect about 10–15 minutes.

Oven baking: For oven baking, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a tray with foil, arrange the ribs with space between them, and bake until done.

Kitchen tools

  • Mortar and pestle or food processor
  • Cutting board and a sharp knife
  • Charcoal grill or grilling pan
  • Mixing bowl for marinating
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Tongs for flipping

Dipping sauce for ribs

Nam jim jaew is a spicy dipping sauce that’s the traditional Thai sauce for grilled meats. The smoky, sour, spicy, and slightly sweet flavor is just perfect for mookata (Thai BBQ) and those who prefer spicy Thai ribs.

It’s easy to make at home with just lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, Thai chili flakes, and toasted rice powder. Just mix them together in a bowl, it’s as simple as that!

For other sauces, try Thai sweet chili sauce, mookata sauce, and Thai hot sauce.

What sides to serve with Thai ribs

You can serve Thai ribs with steamed jasmine rice or Thai sticky rice. They’re also great with other Thai food like som tum Thai, kai tod, and hat yai fried chicken.

Top them with crispy fried garlic and garnish with freshly chopped green onions or coriander.

Storing Thai BBQ ribs

Storing after marinating: If you marinate the ribs and can’t grill them yet, keep them in the fridge in a sealed container or wrapped up in cling film. They’re good for 2 days like this, or freeze them for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge when ready to grill.

Storing after grilling: Keep your leftover ribs in a sealed container in the fridge and eat them within 2 days.

Reheating: Warm up the ribs in the oven at 350°F. Cover them with foil on a tray for about 10–15 minutes, or until hot.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make this in advance?

You can easily marinate the ribs and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 days before grilling. This helps the flavors to intensify.

Can I make the dipping sauce in advance?

Yes! Nam jim jaew can easily be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to a week. Stir before serving.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

No, but you can use a gluten-free soy sauce and oyster sauce alternative to make it gluten-free.

Can I grill these ribs on an indoor pan?

Yes, you can simply use an indoor pan if outdoor grilling isn’t an option.

Authentic Thai pork recipes

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Grilled Thai Ribs Recipe

Hand dipping grilled Thai ribs in a spicy dipping sauce.
These grilled Thai ribs are incredibly easy to make and so delicious with rice and nam jim jaew dipping sauce.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 coriander root
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 cups pork ribs see notes
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Instructions

  • MARINATE THE RIBS
  • Start by pounding garlic, black peppercorns, and coriander root in a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, a food processor will work just fine.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the ground ingredients with oyster sauce, light soy sauce, and white sugar. Stir everything until you have a well-blended marinade.
  • Add the ribs to the bowl, and make sure each piece is coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate. Let the ribs marinate for at least three hours, or overnight for the best flavors.
  • GRILL THE RIBS
  • Charcoal grilling: Fire up the grill to medium heat. Place the ribs on the grill, cooking each side for about one minute to get a crispy crust. Then, lower the heat and continue to grill, turning the ribs occasionally to avoid burning. The cooking time varies depending on the rib thickness and size, expect about 10–15 minutes.
  • Oven baking: For oven baking, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a tray with foil, arrange the ribs with space between them, and bake until done.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Pork ribs: Baby back ribs are great for their lean meat and ideal for quick grilling. Spare ribs are meatier and absorb the Thai marinade beautifully. This recipe works great with both!
  • Serve with nam jim jaew, Thailand's go-to for grilled meat.

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