Monday, January 20, 2014

Slow Cooker Short Ribs - Asian Style

The slightly weird looking vegetable above is a Chinese radish called a daikon.  It is crisp and refreshing and can be eaten raw or cooked.  It is slightly more mild than a regular red radish.  In this recipe, the pickled carrot and daikon salad adds a fresh and crispy crunch to the tender and succulent short ribs.

This recipe is adapted from the Williams Sonoma New Slow Cooker book.  I made this recipe once for just Scott and I without the salad, and it was still very good, so if you are in a hurry, just throw everything in the slow cooker and forget about it.  The second time I made it, my brother and sister-in-law were visiting from L.A, so I thought I should do it right and include the salad.  It was met by rave reviews from all (even though I should have cooked it for a bit longer that time since I had made a bigger batch).

The portions here will serve four people when served over rice.


3 kg beef short ribs (about 8 small ones)
salt and pepper
3/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup organic ketchup
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
5 cloves garlic, smashed

2 carrots
1 daikon
rice wine vinegar
organic canola oil


1. Preheat the broiler on high.

2. Place the ribs bone-side down on a rack over a tray.  Season meat with salt, pepper, and five-spice powder.

3. Broil for 8 minutes.  Turn and broil for another 8 minutes.

4. Mix the hoisin, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, onion, ginger, and garlic in a 6 quart slow cooker.

5. Add the broiled ribs to the slow cooker and turn to coat in the sauce.  Cover with the lid and cook on low for at least 6 hours.  Ribs will be very tender and falling off the bone when done.

6. While the ribs are cooking, finely slice the carrot and daikon in to thin julienned strips.  Toss with a bit of rice vinegar, canola oil, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of sugar.  Let marinate in the fridge until the ribs are done.

7. When the ribs are done, serve them with rice.  Pour the cooking liquid into another container and let sit for five minutes.  Skim off the fat from the top, discard, and then pour the sauce over the ribs and rice.  Top off with the drained carrot/daikon salad. Enjoy!

Shopping Tips:

1. The hoisin and fish sauce can be found in the Asian section of a regular grocery store.

2. Daikon can be found in some grocery stores and in Asian markets (although it may be called lo bok).  If you can't find it, leave it out.  


1. The first time I made this, I didn't make the salad part. It was very good, so if you want an easier recipe, just make the ribs.

2. As with most things, this is even better the next day.  I like to cook it in the slow cooker on Sunday, and then I make another meal for dinner.  That way, I can save the ribs for meals later in the week.  I just separate the meat from the sauce and store them separately in the fridge.  That way the fat rises to the top of the sauce and I can skim it off the next day.  Then I mix them together again when I reheat them.  This meal does not suffer from being reheated in the microwave.  Just make fresh rice.  (Mom, do NOT mix the rice with the sauce and save it for leftovers!). 

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