Madame Wu’s Barbecued Spare Ribs

Madame Wu’s Barbecued Spare Ribs are a perfectly legit Chinese pupu platter or dim sum favorite, and very easy to make.
Madame Wu's Barbecued Spare Ribs

Madame Wu’s Barbecued Spare Ribs

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

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Madame Wu’s Barbecued Spare Ribs is my recipe of the day for the Blogging  Event National Cookbook Month. It comes from the cookbook Madame Wu’s Art of Chinese Cooking, by Sylvia Chen Wu.

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Madame Wu's Barbecued Spare Ribs

Madame Wu was a noted chef and restauranteur who owned Madame Wu’s Garden in Santa Monica California for many years. It first opened in 1959. Her establishment was a favorite of celebrities like Mae West, Gregory Peck and Paul Newman back in the day at her Santa Monica restaurant.

In the 1970’s she penned the cookbook shown below, which is out of print. Madame Wu passed away last week at the grand age of 106. The price for this book on Amazon shot from around $200 upwards to over $600 at this time. I feel fortunate to have a copy as part of my extensive cookbook collection.

So I am very pleased to share one of her recipes with you.

Madame WU's Art of Chinese Cooking Cookbook

The recipe calls for small pork ribs which are cut down the middle into small pieces. You can do this yourself at home with a cleaver but it is a pain.

Easier is to have a butcher cut them for you. Or go to an Asian grocer and see what they have already prepped. Two of my  favorites have these all the time. One cuts them in long strips and the other went further cutting them  into smaller pieces.

The ribs are dead easy to make and definitely legit if you are looking for restaurant quality flavor. My family really enjoyed these. I hope you do as well.

National Cookbook Month

Madame Wu’s Barbecued Spare Ribs

Madame Wu's Barbecued Spare Ribs

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Madame Wu’s Barbecued Spare Ribs

Madame Wu's Barbecued Spare Ribs

Sylvia Chen Wu
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Marinating Time 6 hours
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 136 kcal



  • 1-3/4 pounds pork baby back ribs cut into bite size pieces


  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar


  • Mix marinade and pour over ribs.
  • Marinate 6 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Drain marinade and place ribs in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 350F and bake for 30 minutes more.
  • Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes if you like a touch of char on the ribs. I do.
  • Serve warm with sweet and sour dipping sauce and hot mustard sauce if desired.


From the kitchen of


Calories: 136kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 4gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 524mgPotassium: 89mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 43IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword Madame Wu recipes
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Madame Wu's Barbecued Spare Ribs

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4 responses

  1. I learned to cook Chinese from this cookbook in the early 80’s. I had this all through college up until 10 years ago when I moved to Texas and back and lost some items.

    • Another great Chinese cookbook is Chinerse Cookery by Rose Cheng and Michelle Morris. I’ve made about 90% of those recipes and they are legit.

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