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Chinese Style Garlic Ribs topped with fried garlic in a blue and white bowl.
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5 from 4 votes

Air Fryer Ribs (Chinese Style Garlic Ribs)

Delicious finger-licking Chinese-Style Garlic Ribs (Suàn xiāng páigǔ - 蒜香排骨) are super tender pork, air fryer ribs with the perfect little chew.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Marinating Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Appetizers/ Snacks, Mains
Cuisine: Chinese
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 2
Calories: 874kcal
Author: HWC Magazine


  • air fryer


Ribs and Marinating

  • 1.5 pounds pork ribs
    baby back (排骨)
  • 2 egg whites
    beaten (蛋清)
  • 2 teaspoon salt (盐)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    dried ground (大蒜粉)
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
    or sugar alternative (糖)
  • ¼ cup rice wine
    (shao xing wine or a dry sherry) (料酒)
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or other oil of choice (油)
  • oil spray oil air fryer rack lightly to prevent sticking

Fried Garlic Topping

  • 1 tablespoon oil to fry the garlic, ginger and green onion
  • 2 teaspoons ginger freshly grated (姜) in a pinch you can add just ¼ of a teaspoon of dried ginger powder to the fried garlic and green onion dry topping.
  • 7 cloves garlic fresh peeled and minced (大蒜)
  • 5 whole green onion finely minced or leek (大葱)
  • chili peppers garnish- finely chopped chili peppers to taste - optional


  • Remove the tough membrane fascia from the back of the baby back ribs. (Watch our video to learn how to do this)
  • Cut each rib into individual pieces.
  • In a large bowl place ribs, beaten egg whites, salt, garlic powder, sugar, white pepper, sesame oil and rice wine.  Mix well and marinate 1 hour to overnight covered in the refrigerator.
  • If you were marinating your ribs in the refrigerator, take them out and allow them to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat air fryer to 385 degrees F (196 Degrees C). Spray your air fryer tray with a little oil and the ribs to prevent sticking. (If your air fryer has more than one shelf, line the bottom shelf with parchment paper for easy clean up.)
  • Place your marinated Chinese ribs meat side down on the air fryer tray and cook for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, finely mince ginger, garlic and green onions and set aside.
  • In a pan place 1 tablespoon oil and fry ginger, garlic and green onions until just aromatic about 1 minute. Then remove and set aside. (Do not burn garlic as it will turn bitter)
  • At the 20 minute mark, turn your ribs over so that the meat side is up. Baby back ribs have that curve so they like to fall on their side. That is okay as the goal is to get them golden brown on all side. Set the timer for another 10 minutes on the air fryer. (Every air fryer cooks a little differently, so keep and eye on your ribs and turn often as needed)
  • Increase the temperature to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) on the air fryer. Stand by and keep turning the ribs so they get golden on all sides.
    Technically speaking, ribs are safe to eat once they hit 145 degrees F (63 degrees C) but they would be super tough. Cooking your ribs until they hit about 195 to 203 degrees F (90 to 95 degrees C) will give the ribs a chance to let the fat render and the muscle fibers to relax for a tender bite.
  • Remove ribs from the air fryer and place on a plate and top with your fried ginger, garlic and green onion mixture. Garnish with mild chili peppers if desired and enjoy!



Nutrition facts are based on each person eating approximately ½ rack of ribs for a dinner sized portion. 
  • Before you start, line the air fryer baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup and place this under the air fryer rack. We have a Cosori Air Fryer. This may be different for each air fryer brand but ours has three pull out tray options. We place the air fryer basket in the middle tray section and the lined baking tray under that to catch any grease.
  • Spray a little oil on the air fryer tray and on the ribs themselves to prevent the ribs from sticking.
  • Every air fry device cooks a little differently. If you know your air fryer cooks extra hot start out at preheat of 380 degrees F and start checking on your ribs sooner.
  • If you are cooking larger spareribs, they are going to need a longer time to cook. So set the timer and keep your eye on them and add additional time as needed.
If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, they can be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Deep Fry Cooking Method
If you decide to deep fry, you need to marinate your ribs overnight to make sure they get tender.
You will just need enough mild flavored oil so that your ribs can be submerged in the oil in a wok or deep pan. To check the temperature of the oil, place your wooden chopsticks in the oil. If bubbles form, then your oil I ready to deep fry. Carefully fry just a few ribs at a time and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Instant Pot - Oven Method
Pressure cook the marinated garlic ribs for 24 minutes on high pressure and then natural release for 10 minutes. To finish off these Chinese pork ribs, set the oven to 385 degrees F (196 degrees) and allow to brown on all sides.


Serving: 1½ rack ribs | Calories: 874kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 70g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 2572mg | Potassium: 709mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 3mg