Five Spice BBQ Beef Ribs - Dr. Mark Hyman

Five Spice BBQ Beef Ribs

With Memorial Day coming up, so is the unofficial start of summer. That means lots of gatherings with friends and family to enjoy warmer weather and good food. This recipe is great if you plan to host a barbeque and want to share something a bit more exciting than the usual burgers and hotdogs. 

These beef ribs are coated with a Chinese Five Spice dry rub and slathered with a subtly sweet no-sugar-added sauce. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the warming spices in this dish are believed to encourage strong digestion and metabolism. 

When you’re shopping, be sure to look for pasture-raised or grass-fed ribs to get maximum health benefits from your protein, like higher amounts of certain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory fats. You can bake them in the oven for a slower, more hands-off meal, or grill them outside for a quicker turnaround—both versions are delicious!

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD



  • 3 pounds bone-in pasture-raised beef short ribs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Chinese Five Spice
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or melted ghee (for greasing baking sheet)

BBQ Sauce

  • ½ cup tomato paste, unsweetened and unsalted
  • ¼ teaspoon all-natural liquid smoke (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated monk fruit sweetener (optional)

1. Remove ribs from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking to allow them to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 275°F.

2. Combine all of the spices in a bowl. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels. Coat the ribs with the spice rub on both sides.

3. Brush a parchment paper lined baking tray with some of the oil. Space the ribs out evenly on the tray then drizzle with the remaining oil. Bake for one hour.

4. Make the BBQ sauce: Add tomato paste, liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, and water to a small saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat and simmer gently while stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes until thickened. Remove heat and set aside while the ribs finish cooking. If using monk fruit for extra sweetness, stir it into the sauce at the very end.

5. Once the ribs have cooked for one hour, remove them from the oven and flip each strip over using tongs. Return the ribs to the oven and bake for another 55 minutes.

6. After 55 minutes, remove from the oven. Increase oven temperature to 450°F. Coat each side of the ribs with the barbecue sauce using a brush.

7. When the oven is up to temp, place the ribs back in the oven for 3-5 minutes to allow them to crisp up on the edges, keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t burn. Serve immediately.

Option for outdoor grilling: Remove ribs from the refrigerator one hour before cooking to allow them to come to room temperature. Combine all the spices in a bowl. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels, coat both sides with the spice rub. Oil the grill and set to medium-high heat. Grill the ribs on each side for about 3-4 minutes or until done. Remove the ribs from the grill, coat both sides of the ribs with the barbecue sauce using a brush, and transfer back to the grill for one minute on each side to crisp the outer layer.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories: 444, Total Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 134mg, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 44g, Carbohydrates: 9g, Net Carbs: 6g, Sodium: 447mg, Sugars: 9g, Sugar Alcohols: 2g

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