Make Instant Pot Asian ribs for a flavorful, hearty and simple dinner. It's a Thai-inspired meal of tender pork ribs in a rich curry sauce.
Whether pork or beef, ribs are a comfort food that is simple to make, and full of flavor.
Using an Instant Pot to do the heavy lifting is perfect during the cool weather season, when you may not feel like grilling or smoking the meat.
Pair those facts with the pressure cookers ability make short work of the cook time, and you've got a winning meal!
Instant Pot Asian Ribs
Cuisine: Asian / Thai
This recipe starts with a simple but flavorful curry dry rub marinade for the pork. After marinating, the pork ribs are braised in an Instant pot with an aromatic coconut milk broth.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- pork loin ribs- Scroll down for more info about the star of this show.
- brown sugar- Light or dark brown sugar will work. If you happen to be out of it, you can easily make your own brown sugar. Simply stir 2 tablespoons of molasses into 1 cup of white sugar.
- curry powder- I use a Japanese curry powder, under the S&B brand. It is sold at most Asian markets. Otherwise, you can purchase it from online retailers like Amazon.
- cooking oil- I use vegetable oil but any high smoke point oil will be fine. Good choices are avocado, canola, and grape seed oil.
- canned coconut milk- If you need a substitute for coconut milk, you can use heavy cream instead. Just know that the flavor of the final dish will be slightly different.
- stock or broth- I prefer chicken stock but beef or vegetable stock/broth will also work.
- cilantro- If you need a substitute, Italian leaf parsley can be used instead.
What are loin ribs?
You may be familiar with the other common names for pork loin ribs, which are back ribs, or baby back ribs.
The are taken from the top of the rib cage, just below the loin muscle. There is meat both between and on top of the bones.
In comparison to spare ribs (also known as country ribs), back ribs are shorter, curved, and the meat is leaner.
Video: Making Instant Pot Asian Ribs
Honestly, the trickiest part of pressure cooking ribs is the prep work.
For a visual, step by step guide to pressure cooking pork ribs, feel free to watch the video located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Recipe notes and tips
- Prepping the ribs
Specifically ask your butcher to remove the thin membrane from the back of the ribs for you. This will save you prep time. Otherwise, there's a post on my other food site, with instructions on how to remove the membrane from baby back ribs.
- Marinating time
After cleaning, you will slice the rack, then make a marinade with sugar and spices. Place everything into a zip top plastic bag to marinate for an hour minimum. If you have time to marinate them overnight, that is even better!
- How long to pressure cook Instant Pot Asian pork loin ribs
The exact cooking can vary depending on the size and thickness of the baby backs, and how tender you like the meat.
For a chewier consistency, manually set the Instant Pot to cook on high for 20. If you want the meat falling off the bone, cook for 25 minutes.
When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
Remove the curry pork ribs from the Instant Pot and set them on a plate to rest for a few minutes
Serve over steamed rice and a garnish of chopped cilantro.
This post, originally published here on Jan. 4, 2021, was last updated on Nov. 26, 2021.
Instant Pot Asian Ribs + Video
- 3 lbs pork loin ribs (See Note 1)
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (See Note 2)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 13 oz coconut milk
- chicken stock
- cilantro for garnish chopped
- In a bowl whisk together the brown sugar, curry powder, cinnamon, kosher salt and both peppers. Dice the onion and set aside.
- If your butcher hasn't already done this, remove the thin, papery membrane from the back of each rack by inserting the tip of a knife under it. The best place to start is on one of the middle bones. Use a paper towel or pliers to secure a grip and peel off and discard the membrane.
- Slice the ribs and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle the dry rub over, tossing to coat each rib all over. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or place in a Ziploc bag. Marinate for at least an hour (overnight is better).
- To the Instant Pot add some vegetable oil and brown the dry rubbed pork ribs on all sides. Do this in batches to brown the ribs, not steam them. You want that browned meat.
- Add a little more vegetable oil to the pressure cooker if needed and brown the onions, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up all the tasty bits.
- Add the ribs, coconut milk and enough chicken stock to cover. Place the lid on, set the Instant Pot vent to "Sealing", and use Manual Pressure function to set timer for 20 minutes for chewier ribs and 25 minutes for fall-off-the-bone tender ribs.After pressure cooking, allow the Instant Pot to go through a Natural Pressure Release for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure. Alternatively, cook the ribs in a slow cooker for 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low.
- Carefully remove ribs from pot and keep warm on platter covered with foil.
- Thicken the remaining sauce by cooking on Saute for 10 minutes using a slurry mixture of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch combined with ¼ cup of water. Alternatively, pour the sauce into a saucepan over medium heat and thicken using a slurry mixture of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with ¼ cup of water. Stir to thicken and cook for 5 minutes.
- Pour sauce over ribs when serving with steamed rice and garnish with chopped cilantro.
- Pork loin ribs are also known as back ribs or baby back ribs. On average, one rack of baby back ribs weighs 1.5 - 2 pounds, which is enough for 2 people. This recipe yields enough for 4 people, so purchase TWO racks of pork loin ribs. If you want to make this recipe using spare ribs or St. Louis style ribs, you will need to increase the pressure cooking time to 30 minutes for chewy ribs and 35 minutes for tender, fall off the bone ribs.
- I like to use a Japanese curry powder, under the S&B brand that's been produced since 1923 by Minejiro Yamazaki. It can be found in most Asian markets or online. It's a well-balanced and sweetly aromatic curry powder.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.