Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs

16 Reviews / 4.9 Average
For the first time I decided to experiment with 5-spice powder in this Asian short ribs recipe. And what better way to incorporate it than in the crock pot? Serve this on top of brown rice noodles, with some bok choy, then pour the homemade soy sauce glaze for a delicious, tasty dinner.
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Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs from 100 Days of Real Food #slowcooker #shortribs

In case you haven’t heard me say it before—I LOVE making everything from soups to stocks to beans to dinners in my crock pot.

Preparing a delicious and nutritious meal in advance that is ready and waiting for you at dinner time, keeps your house smelling amazing all day long, and usually requires minimal cleanup after eating? I am sold. Especially on those nights when the kids have early evening extracurricular activities. Slow cooker dinners are the way to go in my opinion!

Another great thing about this recipe is that, for those who have an allergy or sensitivity, it does not contain any gluten or dairy (as long as a gluten-free soy sauce is used). You could also just omit (or replace) the soy sauce topping if someone in your family can’t eat soy. Oh, and while we are on the topic, there are no nuts in this recipe either. So there you go…this is officially an allergy-friendly dish that everyone can enjoy together!

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132 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs”

  1. Can you use boneless ribs? Does he cooking time or any liquid need to be added? They are in the crockpot now :-)

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      So sorry. We can rarely reply to recipe questions in real time. How did they turn out?

  2. 5 stars
    My husband’s absolute favorite meal! If you can’t find the 5-spice mix, it’s really good without. I’ve made it both ways. Just do extra paprika.

  3. 5 stars
    These are incredible. I’ve made them a few times – they’re my husbands favorite so I usually cook them as a special meal or date night for us! The flavor is so good especially with the sauce drizzled on top!

  4. 5 stars
    This dish is definitely a winner! I’m not a very experienced cook, but this is the most impressive thing to come out of my kitchen – and it was so easy! I followed instructions exactly, except cut the ingredients in half since I was just feeding two people. The glaze at the end is the icing on the – ribs! I served with white rice, sauteed bok choy (with ginger, garlic, soy sauce), and a cold asian cucumber salad (just googled one). My boyfriend was very impressed, and this will definitely be on rotation for dinner parties! Keep the slow cooker recipes coming… I also really like the pulled pork from this website.

  5. I am allergic to onions – any other alternative? Or will they cook fine on top of garlic?

  6. 5 stars
    Wow Wow Wow! We had these Asian Ribs last night and my husband won’t stop talking about them. They were wonderful! We bought the grass fed beef ribs from Whole Foods. They cost a fortune but it was worth it! I used the recipe for Udon Noodles with Bok Choy that Amy Taylor (comment moderator) put the link on 10/7/14 in the comments. It went perfectly with the Asian ribs. I also quartered 2 onions instead of one to make sure the ribs were elevated off the bottom of the crock pot. This recipe is a keeper. Can’t wait to have my kids over to try this. Thanks!

  7. We made the Asian short ribs for dinner tonight with steamed broccoli. This is dinner party worthy, AND, my 4 and 6 yo devoured it!

  8. Cooking this for a Chinese New Year party. 2 questions. Is this cooked as one layer in the crockpot or can I put a few layers on top of each other. I have 20 ribs to do. Can I freeze these?

  9. 5 stars
    My short ribs are in the crock pot right now. I’m going to have them with soba noodles and whatever organic green looks good at the market today. For those above with absolutely no imagination, literally has thousands of recipes for everything. I’m even providing the website link for all you lazy peeps.

  10. I am new to this and will be doing the ‘ten day clean eating pledge’. I will be using this site a lot for recipes as well as a few others. This is the first meal on my very first ever meal planing journey. Did you list the side dishes? I see in some comments people were asking questions about the book choy and Asian noodles. Do I just have to go to recipes to find side dishes. Thanks so much and I am glad I am here and looking forward to journey.

  11. 4 stars
    Someone earlier in the comments mentioned throwing the bok choy in the crockpot on top of the ribs, so I did that an hour before it was done cooking. Turned out fine. I thought the dish was a tad salty (and one kid wasn’t a huge fan of the bok choy, but ate most of it) overall my family liked it. My husband has been on board with clean eating for a while now and Lisa’s recipes are making him a big fan. Thanks!

  12. So the noodles and bok choy are plain? It would be nice if the recipe included directions for these items as well.

  13. 5 stars
    Another winner! Thank you! I needed this done in about 6 hours, so I started it on high for an hour then switched to low for the remaining time and they were perfect. I took a bite before adding the soy sauce and honey mixture and thought they were equally as tasty without it. This will definitely become a regular in my menu rotation. I love the idea of trying this with chicken, cannot wait!

    Thanks again!

    Portland, OR

    1. For a whole chicken I’d cook it for about 4 to 5 hours on high. For chicken legs I would cook it for 3 to 4 hours on high.

  14. 5 stars
    I invited my parents over and we had this along with the Asian coleslaw and they were both delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  15. Nicole Hartnell

    I can’t find the five spice blend… Can you tell me what spices are in it? Thanks!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Here ya go:
      ground cinnamon
      ground cloves
      fennel seed
      ground star anise
      Szechuan peppercorns

  16. 5 stars
    I made this on Monday, oh my, I was glad I was at work while it was cooking because it smelled so good. It was very tasty and the meat just fell off the bones. We had Jasmine rice and sautéed bok choy with it.

    I have now made 2 of your recipes and I will be trying more. Thank you.

  17. These ribs were fabulous. Thank you for the recipe. However, should the sauce have been thick or thin?

  18. Our store was sold out of short ribs so I bought beef slices with no bones. Do you think this will turn out similar or should I not cook it for so long?

  19. So good. I made this last night, and everyone loved it. The leftovers were fought over by my oldest and husband tonight!

  20. I was going to make this and I thought I have short ribs at home, only to find out it was ribeye and I already defrosted it. Can I use that ? Or do u have any rib eye recipe?


  21. Hi,
    My family loves ribs, I am always looking for a new recipe. However my daughter is highly allergic to honey. Will this taste really different without the honey or is there a substitute I could use? Thank you!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Colleen. We often substitute honey with maple syrup though we’ve not tried it in this recipe. ~Amy

  22. This did not turn out good for me. Short ribs had no taste, and I didn’t know 5-spice powder is the same spice used in Vietnamese pho dish, it wasn’t good to eat pho beef over rice. Most likely will not try this recipe again.

  23. Fantastic! We at Little Green Pouch are taking the 10 day real food pledge, and I made this for breakfast on day one. It was a hit, and my husband asked me to add it to our regular rotation :-)

  24. Hi. Do you have recommendations for doubling the recipe? I actually don’t know what 3-1/2 pounds of short ribs looks like, but know that i’d like to make enough for 6-8 people, so hoping i can fit more in crockpot. Do you think it’s ok to proportionally increase the recipe for additional servings? or is it not recommended? Thanks.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hello. I think the recipe will work fine when doubled. The issue might be your crock pot size. ~Amy

  25. 5 stars
    Outstanding (and ridiculously easy) recipe. We found this googling a crock-pot recipe for some beef spare ribs that didn’t involve BBQ sauce. This was just the ticket. Can’t wait to check out the rest of your site.

  26. I served with broccoli that I steamed over the rice noodles as they boiled, and garnished with a bit of sesame oil, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. So amazing and comforting, especially in the colder months. The meat had a great char on the outside yet stayed tender inside; it fell right off the bone. I am attempting a stock in the slow cooker with the bones and leftover braising liquid- I’m sure it will be delicious as well!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Erin. We’ve not tried this with pork. If you do, you might want to choose a cut with more fat (maybe a shoulder with bone in) or it may come out dry. ~Amy

  27. Quick question- why not coat the ribs in the spices and other things before putting them in the crock pot? Thank you.

  28. I made this the other day. Followed the recipe exactlly. My family really liked it. I don’t even think I would do anything differently were I to make it again. If only short ribs were cheaper, this one would go into regular rotation.

  29. Once again you rock, Lisa, and make my life so much easier!!! Your recipes never fail and always make me look good : ). Made these last night and we loved them — my husband almost couldn’t stop reaching for more! I can’t eat beef (it’s an iron overload disorder) so i used good pork ribs from Whole Foods, and of course, used non-gmo soy sauce and raw honey. Clean and delish!

  30. love you site! I have made sooo many things from here that the entire family will eat (we took the 10 day challenge and are now continuing on with an 80/20 split). Putting these on right now with some grain fed short ribs that I purchased right from an organic/sustainable farm. I think I messed up though, I cut the ribs first. are they going to fall apart when I try to remove them? any suggestions on how to keep the meat on the bone when using a crock??

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Sue. Apologies. We are often unable to answer questions in real time. How did they turn out? ~Amy

  31. 5 stars
    I made this dish today and in the last hour of cooking I threw in bokchoy, mushrooms, ginger, snow peas and carrots on top of the cooking ribs (to steam cook) and it was a fantastic one pot meal! Served over rice and topped with bean sprouts and scallions. A new family favorite~ Thank you!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Brittany. Other readers have suggested this, though it is not something we have done. ~Amy

  32. I made this last night… They only had bone out grass feed short ribs and it was amazing! Because there were no bones the meat just shredded. Thank you so much for the recipe my 6 and 4 year old basically licked their plates clean!

  33. I’m new to using slow cookers. Can I put the ribs frozen into the slow cooker or do I need to thaw the meat first? If I can put it in frozen, does that change the cooking time? Thanks for the help!

  34. I noticed a lot of posts saying they couldn’t find or had a difficult time finding the 5 Spice Powder. I couldn’t find it either (although I only checked at the store I was at) so I made my own! For those who can’t find it, look it up online how to make your own; super easy and quick. Plus if you cook often, like me, you probably already have all the necessary spices at home!

  35. It‘s in the crockpot right now. I use the crockpot all the time, this is the first time not using any liquid to start! The ribs pictured, above, look very browned, almost black, should i expect mine to look the same?

  36. This is a great recipe! I used cilantro instead of bokchoy and it took it over the top!! Keep the slow cooker recipes coming!

    Ps- I finally found the five spice powder in the 4th store I tried. It was called Chinese 5 spice powder.

  37. Hey! I have this in the crock pot right now. Although I used “All Spice” instead of 5 spice because my hubby couldn’t locate it at the store…we will see if it still turns out as good as the original….

  38. Do you have additional slow cooker recipes you can post? I did not see many on your recipe index. Thanks

  39. Made these tonight with boneless short ribs. I made Tahoe wheat biscuits to go along side it. I turned out great. Thanks for both recipes.

    I was wondering what brand soy sauce you use? I read the ingredients of the one I have and almost didn’t use it.

    1. Did you have to adjust the cooking time for boneless? I’m making this tomorrow night and our butcher only sells boneless short rib meat.

  40. I made this for dinner last night and it was SOOOO good! I used pork ribs, since that is what my store had, and they were excellent. Moist juicy and good flavor! Even my picky eater went back for seconds! I also glazed them and baked them of a few minutes as another commentor recommend. Very good! I will definitely make these again!!

  41. The recipe sounds easy enough…but you said there isn’t a need to add water. Wouldn’t the meat burn in the crockpot??

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Angie. That has been a common question. The dish creates its own juices. No need to worry. ~Amy

  42. Yum. Sounds delish! I think a pork or beef roast cooked low and slow with this recipe would be great too. Shred it up and serve over rice.

  43. Cindy, eating organic, grass fed beef ribs is perfectly fine if you don’t have them every day.
    I love the idea of this blog and pretty much everything about, but have to mention that burnt meat is seriously unhealthy. Personally I would throw the ones in the photo in the bin.
    Besides that thanks for all the great tips and inspiration!

  44. Are you kidding me? You’re claiming that eating fatty beef ribs is healthy? Are you going to pay for the drugs that people will need after following your “healthy”diet plan?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Cindy. This site is about giving up processed food and eating real food made from real ingredients. Occasionally, that involves recipes that conflict with some views of what “healthy food” is. You can read on about the Leake’s experience and how they define “healthy eating” here:,, and ~Amy

  45. Fantastic recipe. My 9 and 7 year old boys loved having home made Chinese. Definitely will be on our menu again very soon! Thanks for all you do. I love your site.

  46. 5 stars
    We just tried this recipe tonight and it was delicious! I had recently bought 25 pounds worth of grass-fed local beef in a variety of cuts, and I was so glad to see this short rib recipe as that was one of the cuts I wasn’t sure what to do with. We had it with a side of bok choy was recommended too which was actually the first time my husband and I have ever had it. It was all very tasty.

  47. Pretty excited to try this, and I’m going to be looking for Coconut Aminos ASAP!! So glad to hear there’s a good alternative out there to soy sauce!

  48. I’ve been wanting to try an Asian recipe but haven’t found one I think my husband will like…until now! Can’t wait to try it and widen our horizons a bit. The only thing is that I’ve never worked with bok choy before and have no idea how to prepare it or season it. Any pointers?

      1. Hi Amy — I checked out the link for more info on bok choy, but I still am not sure what to do with the bok choy for this recipe. The link suggests it is good raw… do you just top the brown rice noodles with it raw, and then put the ribs on top of that? Or do you steam it?

        Trying this recipe this weekend for company… I should try it on my family first, but I’m confident in Lisa’s recipes!! :-) Thanks in advance.

  49. You could use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to make it more allergic friendly without compromising the glaze….

      1. Kimberly Kaufman

        5 stars
        I tried it, and it turned out wonderful. I used boneless beef short ribs, and let it cook for approximately 3 hours on high and three on low. The glaze was amazing!

  50. Mary Sue Jaramillo

    I always feel safe with Crock pot, I bake apples, it’s like eating apple pie, Just plain,

  51. You can also replace the Soy Sauce with Coconut Aminos, which is very similar to soy sauce. Personally, I try to avoid soy.

    1. Good to know!! I avoid soy (although, fermented soy, like traditionally brewed soy sauce, in moderation is not a risk, like unfermented GMO soy used in all processed American foods and tofu) and I have been looking for an alternative. I haven’t seen Coconut Aminos, I have seen Soy Aminos (Braggs) but still soy so I didn’t bother. I will have to look for Coconut Aminos. I found a soy sauce alternative recipe online that looks like it would work as well.

  52. This sounds amazing! I’ll try it this week. For those folks who can’t find it in the baking aisle, try the “Ethnic” aisle, where you’d get other Asian inspired items.

  53. Hi Erin, so strange to hear that, as I have had the exact opposite experience! I never cook anything in the over b/c it comes out dry. My slow cooker is a rice cooker as well but I have had a reg one in the past. Maybe try the rice cooker?

  54. Hi,

    I wish I could say I love using a slow cooker. The only success I have had is with soups and chilis….neither of which my kids eat. The meals I have made with meat become dry….with chicken or roasts. Not moist or tender. However, I will try your rib recipe since I love anything with 5 Asian spice.

    Thanks for sharing,

    1. I have the same problem with my slow cooker. My family always says (and they’re correct) that everything I make in it tastes the same. I love the idea of the slow cooker, but dislike the moans when I bring it out.

      1. It is important to choose the right cuts of meat (with a lot of fat). I’ve been told that leaner cuts of meat can come out dry.

    2. Also, cooking on low (as opposed to high) and for a shorter time can help. I’ve had chicken come out dry, but that’s because it had been cooked a little too long. Also, there are better slow cookers than others out there. Lisa is right about fatty cuts of meat as well. Her Pork Carnitas recipe is AMAZING and a family favorite here!!

    3. Your crock pot probably runs hot. Mine does and I can easily take two hours off most recipes on the low setting. So, I would probably only cook this for 7 hrs at most in my crock pot.

  55. I wish I could find good meat. Everything I’ve bought at the grocery is pretty much in edible. Stringy fat. Tasteless. The last ribs I bought went straight in the trash. What should I look for?

    1. I would check a store like Whole Foods. The meat is pricey, but worth it. Pay now or pay later (with bad health) is my philosophy when paying for groceries. Also, check your area for local farmers markets or farmers who sell meat. I’ve always gotten great meat from a farmer close to my home, and at a reasonable price. Hope this helps!

  56. Emily – it’s Anise, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Cloves, Ginger!

    These look amazing. I always need good slow cooker recipes. Thanks Danielle for the tip to crisp them up!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Emily. Not sure you saw Laura’s answer below. She says: “it’s Anise, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Cloves, Ginger! ” ~Amy

  57. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this! I swear, my husband thinks I’m the best, most creative cook because of you! haha. But I made regular barbecue sauce ribs in my slow cooker this week, and I followed a tip I read on another website that really helped. After cooking them in the slow cooker, throw the ribs on a baking sheet and put them in the oven on a high temperature for just a few minutes. (She actually said to use the broiler, but I don’t have a broiler on my oven.) It helps the top layer harden up a bit. In your recipe, I’d put the honey sauce on first, and then put them in the oven. Thanks again!

  58. 5 stars
    Would this work with pork ribs if I do not like beef? Looks amazing and I love all these ingredients!

    1. Christine,
      Did you make this with pork ribs? I’m curious bc I wanted to do the same! Will you let us know if it turned out?

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