sweet and sour

Sweet and Sour Ribs


This Asian sweet and sour ribs are quick and easy when you do it in an Instant Pot. On the table in less than an hour start to finish. They are delicious and sticky, just what you’d expect from a Sweet and Sour Rib. I tend to always have the ingredients on hand, however if you don’t they are usually readily available at your nearby grocery store or Asian supermarket. Serve with rice and a veggie for a compete meal or alone for an appetizer for a small crowd. (Double the recipe for bigger crowds…they will get eaten up!)

From the addition of orange juice to the varieties of soy sauce and vinegars, you can taste the complex nature of the sauce even in such a simple recipe. The caramelized sugar also adds a depth of flavor that is unmistakable and delicious. This recipe is not very big and due to the limitations of the size of your instant pot, you may find yourself making this more than once in a week because I can almost guarantee you that there will not be any leftovers. So I suggest if you want to enjoy leftovers, make this a recipe for one or two, or if your instant pot is large, double or triple the recipe. As long as you do not fill your instant pot past the recommended level, you will be fine. When I make a single recipe it is enough for two with rice and veggies, that being said, my son could easily devour the entire plate of ribs, but I won’t let him!

Delicious & Sticky Sweet & Sour Ribs

Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs – Instant Pot version

a quick and delicious Riblets cooked in an Instant Pot
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
natural release 18 minutes
Total Time 41 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Instant Pot or pressure cooker


  • 2.5 lbs pork riblets/cross-cut baby back ribs cut into individual riblets
  • 6 Tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Black Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
  • 3 Tbsp light Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dark Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Orange Juice
  • 2 inch fresh ginger peeled and sliced
  • 4 green onion white part only
  • 1 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds for garnish
  • 2 Green onion, sliced green parts only, for garnish


  • Cut the rib strips into individual riblets if not already done (centered between each bone)
  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil, add riblets and cook for 5 minutes then drain and rinse.
  • While the ribs are boiling, prepare the sauce
  • Add the black vinegar, rice vinegar, shaoxing wine, light Soy Sauce, Dark Soy Sauce and orange juice to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Turn the Instant pot on to sauté and when hot add the 6 Tbsp of white sugar evenly to the bottom and let it melt until it turns the color of maple syrup (dark golden brown), but don't let it scorch or burn. Don't touch it, just let it go.
  • Once the sugar has reached the desired color, add the ribs, sauce, green onions (white part only) and ginger slices to the Instant pot and put the lid on and lock, making sure the vent is set to seal (not vent) and change the cook setting to pressure cook and set for 8 minutes. Once the timer has gone, let the pot natural release for 18 minutes, then open the vent to release the remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid and set aside, remove ginger slices and green onions (discard).
  • Turn the Instant Pot back to the sauté function and reduce the sauce. It will boil, stir occasionally until the sauce is glossy and thick and coats the riblets. Do not let it completely reduce or scorch. This can take up to 15 minutes so don't worry if it seems to be taking some time to thicken, it will get there. There will be some sauce remaining, that's good!
  • Serve the ribs plain or over rice and drizzle with the remaining sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions (green parts only) and Enjoy!


These can be served as a supper or as an appetizer without the rice.    
When making as a meal, I serve with plain white jasmine rice and steamed veggies such as broccoli.  
Easily double this recipe if making as an appetizer for a crowd,  they will disappear very quickly.
Keyword appetizer, Pork, Riblets, special occassion, supper, Sweet and Sour, weeknight
Caramelize the sugar
Par boil ribs then add to Instant Pot
Add Sauce
Reduce Sauce after cooking
Serve and Enjoy!
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