crispy fried ribs

Crispy fried baby back ribs

Crispy and crunchy with the perfect amount of chew, and ready in just seven minutes. This is your sign to try fried ribs.

When people think of baby back ribs, they usually think of slow smoked barbecue. Or, the annoyingly catchy Chili’s jingle. It seems the default method for rib cookery is always some version of barbecue – even if that means they’re slathered in BBQ sauce and thrown into a slow cooker. But, rib meat doesn’t always have to be cooked to the point where it will be denture friendly. In fact, many people prefer some texture and chew to their meat. After all, it’s meat – not marshmallow!

If you’re a texture fan, this will be your new favorite way to devour ribs. Golden deep fried ribs. Ribs reminiscent of crunchy crackling nuggets. Heaven. A light coating of flour gives just the right crunch, and the quick cook time leaves the baby backs with a slight chew similar to perfectly roasted pork belly.

fried ribs

You can flavor your flour with any number of spices. Try BBQ seasoning, garlic powder or chili powder for some kick. Personally, I like to use five spice powder which is full of fragrant spices like star anise, cloves and szechuan pepper. Pro tip – the ribs pair really well with a sweet n hot sweet chili sauce, too.

As with ANY frying, the key to a crispy finish is ALL about the oil temperature. The biggest mistake people make is putting their food in before the oil is hot enough. That just leads to soggy and greasy ribs which soak up the oil, instead of frying in it. The optimal frying temperature is between 350-375f, and you should use a thermometer to monitor it. It’s also really important to let the oil reheat to that temperature if frying in batches, as adding the meat will immediately bring the temp down. If you’re frying at the golden temps, you’ll get golden results!

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crispy fried ribs

Crispy fried baby back ribs

  • Author: Jess Pryles
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6-8 1x


Units Scale

2 racks of baby back ribs
810 cups of frying oil (peanut is best)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup rice flour (see note 1)
1 tablespoon five spice powder
4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided


  1. Place the oil into a large heavy based pot or deep fryer, and heat to 375f.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut the racks of ribs between the bones, to create individual ribs. Season the ribs with 2 teaspoons of salt.
  3. In a shallow bowl, place the AP and rice flour, along with the five spice and remaining salt.
  4. When the oil is at temperature, drop a rib into the flour to coat on all sides. Shake off excess, then gently lower into the oil. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. Cook ribs for 7 minutes until deep golden brown.  Remove using a spider or tongs, and place on paper towel to drain.
  5. Wait for oil to return to optimal temperature between batches. You can keep the ribs warm on a rack in a 200f oven while cooking remaining batches.
  6. Serve immediately with optional sweet chili dipping sauce.


Note 1: rice flour helps to create a super crisp shell. You can find it in Asian markets or online. If you can’t get your hands on it, you can just use AP flour for the entire coating.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: American