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Sharing a super easy and addictive air fryer ribs recipe that is inspired by Chinese fried garlic ribs. The ribs are juicy, tender, very flavorful, coated with a crispy crust and finished up with crispy garlic bits. If you are looking to enjoy ribs without guilt, you should make this air fryer version for a delicious and healthy meal with wholesome ingredients. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Air Fryer Garlic Ribs (蒜香排骨)

5 from 1 vote
Sharing a super easy and addictive air fryer ribs recipe that is inspired by Chinese fried garlic ribs. The ribs are juicy, tender, very flavorful, coated with a crispy crust and finished up with crispy garlic bits. If you are looking to enjoy ribs without guilt, you should make this air fryer version for a delicious and healthy meal with wholesome ingredients. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}
To make this dish gluten-free, use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine. Make sure to use a gluten-free oyster sauce such as Lee Kum Kee green label.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Marinating time: 1 d
Total Time: 1 d 35 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: restaurant-style
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 1/2 rack (1.5 lb / 680 g) well-marbled pork ribs , cut into single ribs (*Footnote 1)

Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger , grated
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Garlic crust

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • Oil spray
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 head garlic , coarsely minced (*Footnote 3)
  • 2 green onions , sliced (optional, for garnish)

Instructions

  • Add the pork ribs into a big bowl or a large ziplock bag. Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and pour over the ribs. Mix using a spatula (or massage the bag if using) until the ribs are evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge (highly recommended). (*Footnote 2)
  • When you’re ready to cook, drain the ribs and remove the excess marinade. Transfer to a large bowl if you used a ziplock bag. Combine the cornstarch and white pepper in a small bowl and stir to mix well. Then add it to the bowl of ribs, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix to evenly coat the ribs, until all the ribs are covered. Add a bit more cornstarch if needed. Transfer the ribs into the air fryer basket without overlapping, meat side up. Spray with a generous amount of oil on top so there’s no visible dry cornstarch.
  • Cook in the air fryer at 350°F (176°C) for 10 minutes, until the top of the ribs turns golden brown. Remove the air fryer basket, flip the ribs, then cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the ribs turn golden brown throughout. Test a rib by cutting up a piece to make sure it’s cooked through. If not, you can cook them for another 5 to 10 minutes. (*Footnote 4)
  • While the ribs are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic. Stir and cook until you see the edge of garlic turn pale golden. Turn to low heat. Cook and stir fry the garlic until most of them turn golden, 5 minutes or so. (*Footnote 5) Immediately transfer everything to a small bowl to cool.
  • Once the ribs are done, transfer them to a big platter, then cover the ribs with the fried garlic. Garnish with green onions if using. Serve hot as a main dish.

Notes

  1. If you have access to an Asian market, it's best to buy chopped up ribs that are quite small (the length is half that of regular ribs). You can also find packaged single ribs at regular grocery stores, but they are not halved lengthwise. Alternatively, you can also buy half a rack of ribs at the butcher and ask them to cut it in half across the bones. The butcher will use a saw to do it. Then you can easily cut them into single riblets at home with a knife.
  2. I highly recommend marinating the pork overnight. The enzymes from the ginger will tenderize the ribs so you will get a better result when air frying. If you’re short on time, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into the marinade. The baking soda will tenderize the ribs in a shorter amount of time.
  3. You can mince the garlic using a food processor.
  4. I use a Cuisinart Toaster Air Fryer Oven, which is quite powerful and usually requires a bit less time to brown and cook food. Depending on the brand of air fryer you use, you will need to slightly adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  5. It’s very important that you don’t overcook the garlic, which will make it turn bitter. If the garlic starts to brown too fast, you can remove the skillet from the stove to let the oil cool off for a bit, before restarting the cooking again. It’s important to fry the garlic until just golden. When it turns brown, it will taste a bit bitter. And do not worry if some of the garlic is still pale yellow. It will taste great and be nice and crispy once cooled.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 473kcal, Carbohydrates: 13.4g, Protein: 38.5g, Fat: 28.6g, Saturated Fat: 9.6g, Cholesterol: 146mg, Sodium: 545mg, Potassium: 474mg, Fiber: 0.7g, Sugar: 3.2g, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 3mg