Dads Cook Good Food

For dads who enjoy cooking for their families

Spring Barbecue Flavored Ribs

spring pork barbecue ribs
We’re moving towards the middle of spring (at least for Southern Ontario!) and the temperature has been going up each day. While my family and I enjoyed the cherry blossoms at the city park (a sight that reminded me of Lake Hakone in Japan), I saw a couple of people sun bathing at almost any open space. I guess after experiencing long and dark nights, seeing the sun once again was such a welcome sight! Now I understand why a lot of the Northerners are called sun worshippers!

The warmer weather also meant an abundance of fresh ingredients at the market, which we only see during this time of the year; fiddleheads, bamboo shoots, cantaloupe, and watermelon, to name a few. But spring also means barbecue, barbecue, and more barbecues for obvious reasons! Although I’ve tried (with minimal success) barbecuing in the winter, nothing beats barbecuing in an 18-19 degree, clear and sunny weather!

However, for this column, I thought of sharing with you an “in-a-hurry” barbecue, which you can do even on rainy spring days. This is also Daddy Robert’s recent experiment: using the Crockpot to cook barbecue flavoured ribs! In the absence of an ingredient he used (Robusta salad dressing for marinade), I thought of giving it a different twist and making it more Canadian by adding maple syrup (instead of brown sugar). Surprisingly, the dish was really delicious! Try it out and enjoy it while the patio weather lasts!

1 kg pork spare ribs belly
1 cup maple syrup
½ bottle barbecue sauce (preferably unflavoured or some refer to this as ‘original’)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. cinnamon powder
½ cup light soy sauce
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. salt


1. Wash the spare ribs and cut them into bite sizes.
2. Boil the spare ribs in water, salt and pepper for 8-10 minutes in medium heat. This is done to remove the scum.
3. Drain the water and rinse with warm water. Place the pork in the crock pot and set aside.
4. In a mixing bowl, pour the barbecue sauce and whisk in maple syrup, orange juice and soy sauce. Add the cinnamon and pepper slowly; allowing these spices to blend.
5. Pour the marinade to the spare ribs, ensuring that the marinade is distributed evenly.
6. Set crockpot for slow cooking for 5-6 hours.
7. Serve with steam rice or potatoes and steamed vegetables (corn, carrots and peas). Enjoy.

Note: Be careful not to overcook the ribs lest the pork will be hard and the sauce will be burnt and bitter.


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