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For the ribs: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Lay each slab of ribs, meaty side up, on a piece of aluminum foil that is long enough to wrap it up completely. Rub the ribs on both sides with the spice mixture, using it all up. Wrap the ribs well, sealing all the edges of the foil to make an airtight packet. Place the packets in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake until the meat is so tender you can pull it off the bone, about 3 hours.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (including the remaining 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder) and blend until smooth. (The sauce yields 2 cups.)
After 3 hours, remove the ribs from the oven, open the foil packets, and baste the ribs with the sauce. Return the ribs to the oven, uncovered, and cook for 15 minutes longer. Baste the ribs again and return to the oven until they look glossy, about another 15 minutes.
Remove the ribs from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut the slabs into individual ribs and serve with the remaining sauce.