Growing up, Korean BBQ was a dinner reserved for special occasions. Birthdays and family gatherings were pretty much the only time we decided to splurge and have an endless feast of marinated and high-quality meats. That has very much changed over the last couple of decades as more and more restaurants started offering all you can eat menus. Korean BBQ on a Wednesday night? Why not?

One of my favorite restaurants specializes in a special type of Korean BBQ: grilled marinated ribs. With a special Korean marinade, these ribs are smoky, spicy and sweet; however, since they are prepared on the grill, they lack the tenderness that Western-style ribs have. To merge the best of two worlds, I decided to make my own spicy Korean pork ribs prepared in the instant pot for the quickest and best results. The outcome was exactly what I predicted, incredibly delicious and fall off the bone goodness.


Serves 2

Spicy Korean Pork Ribs

1 hr, 45 Total Time

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Ingredients

    Marinade
  • 1 full rack of ribs
  • 5 tbsp Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 1 tbsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp fish sauce
  • 2 ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • Remaining ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients for the marinade except the ribs in a blender and puree until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade and set aside. Pour the remaining marinade over the ribs, turning to coat. Cover and marinate overnight.
  2. Remove pork from the marinade. Pour apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, and water in the instant pot. Place the steam rack in the center and an oven safe Pyrex bowl on top. Place the ribs standing up inside the bowl. The meat side of the ribs should face out. Close the lid and set the instant pot to pressure cook on high for 1 hour. Let sit for 15 minutes and release the steam.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lay the ribs on the baking sheet, the meat side facing up. Brush on the reserved excess marinade and continue to cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and slice. Serve immediately.
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**Helpful tips and common mistakes

The best part of preparing these spicy Korean pork ribs is that the majority of the time is spent waiting. Start by preparing the marinade for the ribs. Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that can be a little sweet, savory and spicy all at the same time. Gochugaru is Korean chili flakes similar to red chili flakes. To keep the recipe true to its form, do not substitute these ingredients for other chili pastes or chili flakes.

Puree all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth and pour over the ribs. Let it sit overnight, turning occasionally to allow both sides of the meat to be covered in the marinade.The following day, set up your instant pot or pressure cooker. Pour the apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, and water into the pot. The liquid smoke is optional but highly recommended to give it that smoky flavor that ribs so desire.

Place the steam rack inside and a heat-safe bowl in the center. Put the ribs in the bowl, standing them upright with the meatier side facing out. I had to cut my rack of ribs in half to help them fit. Close the lid and pressure cook for 1 hour, releasing the steam after 15 minutes of resting time.Now that the ribs are tender, we want to finish them in the oven to give it that final glaze. Brush the reserved excess marinade and continue to cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the ribs are slightly charred and caramelized.Take those bad boys out of the oven and get ready to be amazed. These spicy Korean pork ribs come together in less than 2 hours yet taste like they have been smoking for hours. The meat falls off the bone so easily and the flavor impact from the marinade is just incredible. This may just be my new favorite Korean pork ribs.

 

Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.