Chef Lynn Wheeler entertaining,entrees,filipino abodo,ribs Filipino Adobo Inspired Spare Ribs

Filipino Adobo Inspired Spare Ribs

Filipino adobo spare ribs

These Filipino adobo inspired spare ribs are my adaptation of the unofficial national dish of the Philippines. Traditionally it is some type of protein cooked in a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar with crushed garlic cloves, bay leaves, and whole black peppercorns. There are many variations on the dish depending on the region of the Philippines, honestly there are probably as many variations as there are households…..

Adobo is the first Filipino dish I learned to cook. I have made it with chicken wings, spare ribs, pork belly, chicken legs and thighs, and on and on. My first time changing it up was making chicken adobo that I put in tamales for a Filipino Mexican theme party. For these Filipino adobo inspired pork spare ribs I wanted to have all the flavor of adobo combined with the feel of a barbecued rib. Marinating them over night allows the sauce to penetrate the meat and impart a ton of flavor. Then reducing and thickening the sauce creates bbq sauce like texture with bright notes from the vinegar, richness from the soy sauce, background notes of garlic and pepper, and a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar.

These spare ribs are sticky, tangy, and slightly sweet and I am sure you’re gonna love them!!


You can watch the YouTube video here.

Filipino Adobo Spare Ribs

Filipino Adobo Inspired Pork Spare Ribs

These sticky, tangy, spare ribs are inspired by the unofficial national dish of the Philippines.
Prep Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 11 hours 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 6 people


  • Large zip top plastic bag
  • 1 half size sheet pan
  • 1 wire rack for half size sheet pan
  • 1 basting brush


  • 1 rack pork spare ribs
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar for reducing sauce the next day
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch for thickening sauce
  • sliced green onions for garnish


To marinate the ribs

  • Place the ribs in a large zip top plastic bag or a pan large enough to hold them for marinating.
  • Mix together the vinegar, soy sauce, granulated garlic, black pepper, 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, and the bay leaves.
  • Pour the vinegar and soy sauce mixture over the ribs and marinate for at least 4 hours up to over night. If using a zip top bag place it on a large plate or pan in case there are any leaks and flip it over half way through the marinating time to be sure the marinade penetrates both sides.

To cook the ribs

  • Preheat the oven to 374 Fahrenheit
  • Remove the ribs from the marinade allowing any extra to drip off. Pour the marinade into a small sauce pan with the additional 1/4 cup brown sugar and set aside.
  • Place the ribs on a wire rack set on a half size sheet pan and pour about a cup of water into the bottom.
  • Tightly wrap the ribs with a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 3 hours (until the meat starts to pull away from the ends of the bones).
  • While the ribs are cooking, bring the marinade to a boil and allow it to reduce for a couple minutes – be sure to watch it closely as the soy sauce will boil over quickly.
  • Mix the cornstarch with a little water to make a slurry. Remove the bay leaves from the sauce.
  • While whisking the sauce constantly, slowly add in the cornstarch slurry to thicken it. Cook for another minute then remove from the heat and set aside.
  • After 3 hours remove the ribs from the oven and turn the temperature up to 425. Carefully remove the foil and plastic wrap from the pan.
  • Using a basting brush paint the ribs with a layer of the thickened sauce. Place the ribs back in the oven and cook for 15 minutes at 425. Repeat this step one more time.
  • After the second 15 minutes at 425 if the ribs don't have enough color for your liking you can broil them for a short time to get more color.
  • Remove the ribs from the oven and allow them to rest for 10-15 minutes loosely tented with aluminum foil.
  • Cut the ribs into single bone portions and paint with a little more sauce. Place them on a platter and garnish with green onions.


As you are boiling the marinade it is completely safe to eat. If for any reason you feel uneasy about that discard the marinade and make a new batch using the same ingredients. Follow the same instructions for reducing and thickening the new sauce.
Keyword entree, filipino adobo, filipino adobo inspired spare ribs, main course, spare ribs

Related Post