Chinese BBQ pork cooked in an Instant Pot or on your stove top, then served in lettuce wraps with purple cabbage, crushed nuts and fresh cilantro. This easy and healthy BBQ pork recipe is perfect for lunch or a light summer dinner. These delicious Instant Pot Sticky Chinese BBQ Pork Lettuce Wraps are great for meal prep, too! Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and paleo recipe options.
Before we begin. I must confess, I had a slight mishap in my schedule. You will understand everything when I update you on life… le sigh. That being said, this recipe was not supposed to be published in July because it’s not “technically” nut free. BUT, we’re going with it! And I am giving NUT FREE OPTIONS before the recipe. NOTED! Mmm k?
Chinese BBQ Pork – the HEALTHY way…
and INSTA…. QUICK WAY. As in instapot pressure cooker option. Oh yes, I just went there!
You see, Chinese BBQ pork ribs from an Asian restaurant are insanely delicious, don’t deny it, they are! But at the same time, that BBQ RIB goodness is typically made with a sticky sauce packed with sugar, MSG, and other unhealthy, un-Cotter-like ingredients. Also, pork spare ribs are loaded with the not so good fat and very little lean meat. So naturally, I was determined to make a Sticky Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs recipe in a Cotter-approved, healthier way!
This is another Instant Pot (pressure cooker) recipe with a stove top option. It’s also a quick and lighter way to make ribs, too! Praise the FOODIE Gods! The sticky sauce makes the pork loin ribs more moist and flavorful, without the need for extra fat.
Are Spare Ribs or Baby Back Ribs Better?
I know you’ve been pondering that question for days! Haha. Kidding. Now, let’s really stick with the program here. 😉
Baby back ribs (also called back ribs or loin ribs) are cut from the top of the rib cage, below the loin muscle. They have meat between the bones and on top of the bones and are usually meatier than spare ribs.
Loin ribs are very tender and much leaner than spare ribs, but they’re in higher demand, so they tend to be more expensive. Trust me… I won’t lead you down the wrong path. The extra cost is worth it! Actually, buy more than the ribs. Buy as much pork loin as you can, because you’ll ALSO want to make my Mediterranean Marinated Balsamic Pork Loin Skillet. Just sayin’…
The sticky Chinese ribs sauce I made for the lettuce wraps recipe is so delicious, nobody will be able to tell it’s healthier. You won’t find any brown sugar, corn starch, or high-sodium soy sauce on these sticky Chinese ribs! To keep this recipe gluten/grain free and paleo friendly, that “special” sticky sauce is made with:
- almond butter (use sunflower seed butter for nut free option)
- Tamari sauce
- Asian chili sauce
- Ginger, garlic, and pepper!
- Gluten free sweet BBQ sauce (So diggin this paleo brand right now).
That sauce alone is worth making and eating alone with spoon.. Which we so gladly did!
That being said, go turn on that Instant Pot of yours and make some sticky Chinese ribs, then meal prep some of these Sticky Chinese Ribs Lettuce Wraps. EVERYONE at the office will be jealous, because you’ll be eating the best healthy Chinese BBQ in town!
Note –> Nut free topping– skip the crushed nuts and just add sesame seeds!
Alright my friends, what’s your latest and greatest BBQ recipe? Live it up while Summer is going strong!
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MORE SLOW COOKER & INSTANT POT RECIPES HERE!
This recipe is part of our Best Slow Cooker Meal Prep and Instant Pot Recipes collection. Check it out!