Skip to Content

Slow Cooker Asian Beef Short Ribs

This Slow Cooker Asian Beef Short Ribs Recipe features tender beef ribs in a sweet and savory sticky sauce for a wildly flavorful main dish. Serve them up with your choice of rice, mashed potatoes, or noodles to soak up the delicious sauce for an unforgettable meal.

slow cooker full of Asian braised beef short ribs.

A beef lover to my core, I turn to beef short ribs any time a special occasion arises and I want to prepare something special and impressive.

It all started in 2018 with my Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs, where I used cherry juice as the liquid and was blown away by how tender and flavorful the meat turned out. 

There’s just something about juicy savory fall-off-the-bone tender beef that brings magic to the tastebuds. 

While I used to prepare short ribs primarily in the pressure cooker, I have switched it up to the crock pot after making my Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs.

My family often makes short ribs during the holiday season, and this year I just had to experiment with this all-new Asian beef short ribs recipe for Easter.

The result? The meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and the sauce is that chef’s kiss balance of sweet and savory flavor.

We all agreed it was a major success!

I have included both slow cooker instructions and instructions for braised short ribs using the stove top and oven.

My favorite thing about preparing short ribs is how hands off the slow cooking process is. A long cooking time allows meat softens the connective tissue so that a fall-off-the-bone tender beef results. All the hard work is made easy by slow cooking!

If you enjoy Korean food or classic Asian flavors, you will love this amazing recipe! The best part about this Korean short rib recipe is just how flavorful this easy meal turns out. 

Wooden bowl with brown rice and Asian beef short ribs, sprinkled with sesame seeds, sliced red chilis, and fresh cilantro. with a golden fork and golden napkin to the side.

Let’s chat about the simple ingredients for this Asian beef short ribs recipe. Some of them may not be familiar, but I assure you, most grocery stores carry each and every one. 

Ingredients for Asian Beef Short Ribs:

Bone-In Beef Short Ribs: Pick up 3 to 4 pounds of bone in short ribs from the meat section of the grocery store. If you don’t see any in the beef section, you can ask the butcher behind the meat counter if he/she has any in the back. 

While you can use boneless short ribs to prepare this recipe, I find bone-in pieces always turn out more tender and flavorful.

For this reason, I highly recommend sticking with bone-in meaty short ribs.

Avocado Oil: Used to sear the short ribs, we need a high temperature cooking oil.

I use avocado oil because it doesn’t burn at high temperatures, unlike olive oil. It also contains omega 3 fatty acids, which I prefer over vegetable oil or canola oil.

If you enjoy the flavor of sesame oil, use a combination of sesame oil and avocado oil.

Onion, Fresh Garlic, Fresh Ginger: Adding big, bold flavors to the recipe, we need fresh yellow onion, garlic cloves, and fresh ginger. You can adjust the amount according to your personal taste.

Seasonings: Chinese 5-Spice, Cinnamon Stick and Star Anise. These classic seasonings for Asian short ribs provide a big boost of unique flavor.

These spices are all found in the spice aisle of the grocery store if it carries them.

That said, not every store will have all three, so you may need to source them online or at an Asian supermarket.

Chinese 5-spice is a blend of ground cinnamon, ground star anise, fennel seeds, white pepper, and cloves. If need be, you can make your own blend!

Sauce: Beef Broth (or chicken broth), Hoisin Sauce, Soy Sauce, and Pure Maple Syrup (or brown sugar).

This combination of ingredients makes a sweet and savory sauce that becomes sticky when cooked down. Be sure to use gluten-free hoisin sauce if you follow a gluten-free diet.

Be sure to make a starchy side dish like rice, mashed potatoes, or noodles to soak up some of the delicious sauce. One of the best things about these Korean braised beef short ribs is the sweet and savory flavor of the sauce!

Recipe Adaptations:

  • If you have chili garlic sauce on hand, feel free to add 1 to 2 tablespoons to the braising liquid mixture.
  • You can blend the sauce ingredients in a blender with one peeled and cored Asian pear for a classic Korean short ribs recipe.
  • Swap the fresh garlic for 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
  • Can’t find beef short ribs at your grocery store or don’t feel like spending the extra money? Pick up a 3-pound chuck roast! If you go this route, chop the chuck roast into large chunks and follow the same instructions in the recipe card.
  • If you have oyster sauce on hand, feel free to add 2 tablespoons to the sauce ingredients.
  • Add in 1 to 2 tablespoons of Gochujang for a kick of spice.
  • No worries if you aren’t able to find cinnamon sticks or star anise. You can increase the amount of Chinese 5-spice you use to 2.5 Tbsp, as it contains both cinnamon and star anise.

What to Serve with Short Ribs:

Rice: Prepare steamed white rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice or sticky rice. My Cilantro Lime Rice pairs beautifully with this meal.

Mashed Potatoes: Mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish to go alongside all short rib recipes! My favorite is my Roasted Garlic Caramelized Onion Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan.

As an alternative, The Best Potato Salad is a great match too.

Noodles: Pasta noodles such as egg noodles are great with this Asian short rib recipe. If you enjoy Thai noodles, you can make Pad See Ew or Pad Kee Mao.

Vegetables: Steamed or Stir Fry Vegetables add color, fiber, and micronutrients to the meal. You can keep it simple with sauteed or roasted broccoli or asparagus, or prepare a vegetable medley. 

Now that we’ve covered all of the basics, let’s make slow cooker Asian Beef Short Ribs.

How to Make Asian Beef Short Ribs:

Remove the short ribs from their packaging and place them on a plate. If there is any excess moisture on them, pat them dry using paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of each short rib with sea salt and pepper.

Plate of raw short ribs sprinkled with salt and pepper to make Korean beef short ribs

Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet (I recommend a 12-inch skillet for efficiency) over high heat and wait a few minutes for the oil to become sizzling hot. Place the short ribs on the hot surface in a single layer and sear for 3 minutes.

Flip to the other side and sear for another 2 to 3 minutes or until a golden brown crust forms.

Bone-in beef short ribs searing in a skillet, browned to perfection.

Use tongs to transfer the seared short ribs to the bottom of your slow cooker. You may need to complete this step in two batches depending on the size of your skillet and the size of your short ribs.

Browned short ribs in the bottom of a crock pot.

If you’d like, you can drain the excess fat from the skillet, but I leave it in to promote a lot of flavor.

Place the skillet back on the stove top over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to soften.

Skillet with chopped onion sauteeing.

Stir in the fresh minced garlic, fresh ginger, and Chinese 5-spice and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Fresh ginger and Chinese 5-Spice added into a skillet.

Pour the onion mixture into the slow cooker with the browned short ribs. Add the cinnamon stick and star anise.

Crock pot with seared short ribs and sauteed onions inside, ready to be made into Korean short ribs.

In a large measuring cup or bowl, stir together the beef stock, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and pure maple syrup (or brown sugar). 

Pour the sauce mixture into the crock pot. It’s fine if the short ribs aren’t fully submerged in liquid.

Pouring braising liquid into the slow cooker with the beef and onions.

Secure the lid on the crock pot and cook on High heat for 4 to 5 hours or Low heat for 7 to 9 hours.

Braising liquid, browned beef ribs and cooked onions in a crock pot, ready to start the slow cooking process.

Serve beef short ribs with your choice of steamed white rice or brown rice and spoon the juices from the crock pot over everything. If you’d like to make gravy, follow the steps below.

Serve with your choice of steamed rice, mashed potatoes, noodles, and vegetables. Garnish with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds, green onions, lime wedges, and sliced red chilis. 

Crock pot with finished beef short ribs, ready to serve. Sprinkled with sesame seeds, sliced red chilis, and fresh cilantro.

Store leftover short ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

How to Make Short Rib Gravy:

The braising liquid can be made into gravy if you’d like.

To do so, measure out 2 to 3 cups of the cooking liquid and transfer it to a small saucepan with 2 to 3 tablespoons of gluten-free all-purpose flour or regular all-purpose flour.

Heat over medium high heat and bring the mixture to a full boil, whisking well to get any clumps of flour out.

Continue cooking at a gentle boil, whisking constantly, until the gravy reaches your desired level of consistency.

Dutch Oven Instructions:

If you would prefer to prepare this short ribs recipe in a Dutch oven, here is what you do!

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Move the oven racks such that there is a large gap between racks so that your Dutch oven will fit inside of the oven.

Remove short ribs from their packaging, pat them dry with a paper towel if there is any excess moisture and sprinkle both sides with sea salt and black pepper.

Over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven, heat the avocado oil until sizzling hot. Place the seasoned short ribs on the hot surface in a single layer and sear for 3 minutes.

Flip to the other side and sear for 2 to 3 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Use tongs to transfer the seared short ribs to a plate. You may need to do this in 2-3 batches depending on the size of your Dutch oven and the size of your short ribs.

Place the pot back on the stove top over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to soften.

Stir in the fresh minced garlic, fresh ginger, and Chinese 5-spice and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour the broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and pure maple syrup (or brown sugar) into the Dutch oven, along with the cinnamon stick and star anise (the rest of the ingredients).

Transfer the browned short ribs back into the pot.

Place the Dutch oven on the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 2 to 2.5 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.

Remove the pot from the oven and allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes before serving. Spoon the braising liquid over the meal for the best results.

Note: If you don’t own a Dutch oven but you own a large oven-safe pot (such as a very large cast iron pan or pot), you can use it without a problem. If your pot doesn’t have a lid, you can make one out of aluminum foil.

Make Short Ribs Ahead of Time!

Short ribs taste even better the next day after they have had extra time to sit in the braising liquid. For this reason, feel free to prepare the recipe well in advance! I make short ribs a day or two ahead of time in the crock pot and reheat them for 1 to 2 hours on high heat in the crock pot on the day I’m serving them.

Asian short ribs recipe in a crock pot, sprinkled with sesame seeds, sliced red chilis, and fresh cilantro. Ready to serve.

And that’s it!

The next time you’re in the mood for a home cooked impressive main dish, let these sweet and savory tender short ribs be your guiding light!

If you love beef recipes, also try out these reader favorites!

More Beef Main Dishes:

Short rib, big flavor!

slow cooker full of Asian braised beef short ribs.

Asian Beef Short Ribs Recipe

Fall-off-the-bon tender short ribs in a Korean-inspired sweet and savory sauce! Serve it up with your choice of mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles for a memorable meal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
9 to 12 Servings

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 to 4 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 ½ tsp Chinese 5-Spice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tbsp liquid aminos , or low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar or pure maple syrup

For Serving:

  • Steamed white rice, brown rice, or mashed potatoes
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Remove the short ribs from their packaging and place them on a plate. If there is any excess moisture on them, pat them dry using paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of each short rib with sea salt and pepper.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet (I recommend a 12-inch skillet for efficiency) over high heat and wait a few minutes for the oil to become sizzling hot. Place the short ribs on the hot surface in a single layer and sear for 3 minutes. Flip to the other side and sear for another 2 to 3 minutes or until a golden brown crust forms. Use tongs to transfer the seared short ribs to the bottom of your slow cooker. You may need to complete this step in two batches depending on the size of your skillet and the size of your short ribs. If you’d like, you can drain the excess fat from the skillet, but I leave it in to promote a lot of flavor.
  • Place the skillet back on the stove top over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to soften. Stir in the fresh minced garlic, fresh ginger, and Chinese 5-spice and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour the onion mixture into the slow cooker with the browned short ribs. Add the cinnamon stick and star anise.
  • In a large measuring cup or bowl, stir together the beef stock, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and pure maple syrup (or brown sugar).
  • Pour the sauce mixture into the crock pot. It’s fine if the short ribs aren’t fully submerged in liquid.
  • Secure the lid on the crock pot and cook on High heat for 4 to 5 hours or Low heat for 7 to 9 hours.
  • Serve beef short ribs with your choice of steamed white rice or brown rice and spoon the juices from the crock pot over everything. If you’d like to make gravy, follow the steps below.
  • Serve with your choice of steamed rice, mashed potatoes, noodles, and vegetables. Garnish with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds, green onions, lime wedges, and sliced red chilis.

Notes

See article above for instructions on how to prepare this recipe on the stove top and in the oven.
 
Gravy Instructions:
Measure 2 to 3 cups of the cooking liquid and transfer it to a small saucepan with 2 to 3 tablespoons of gluten-free all-purpose flour or regular all-purpose flour. Heat over medium high heat and bring the mixture to a full boil, whisking well to get any clumps of flour out. Continue cooking at a gentle boil, whisking constantly, until the gravy reaches your desired thickness. Drizzle over the whole meal, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1(6-oz) short ribCalories: 435kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 32gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 333mgSugar: 7g
Course: Beef Main Dishes, Main Dishes
Cuisine: Asian, Korean
Keyword: Asian beef short ribs recipe, beef short ribs, braised beef short ribs, Korean beef short rib recipe, Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs
Servings: 9 to 12 Servings
Calories: 435kcal
Author: Julia

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.