These Korean Beef Short Ribs are ridiculously easy to make – this recipe uses easy-to-find ingredients and only requires 15 minutes of hands-on-preparation since the slow cooker or crock pot does all the hard work! Fall-off-the-bone tender and bursting with sweet and savory flavors, these braised short ribs tastes addictively delicious WITHOUT any fuss! It’s a cozy, satisfying beef dinner you and your family will love!
Recipe testimonial: “Incredible! So easy and so delicious!” – Colleen
Update: This post was originally published in March 2015. I made updates to the post below to include more information about Korean Beef Short Ribs. Plus, I took new photos and added a recipe video to show you how easy these crock pot ribs are to make!
Hi there, friends! I have been on a serious Asian food kick lately! Asian cuisine is just mega flavorful and I legit can’t get enough!
Hopefully you share my love of all things Asian food related, because I have an spectacularly delicious dish for you today! And, have no fears, only our tastebuds are taking a trip to the Orient! This recipe is made with just a few easy to find ingredients and doesn’t require you actually travel any farther than your local grocery store!
Slow Cooker Short Ribs: recipe overview
Staying true to what I love most about Asian cuisine, these Korean Beef Short Ribs are bursting with a harmonious symphony of rich umami flavors!
The short ribs have a golden brown exterior and a melt-in-your-mouth tender, juicy texture. Swimming in a sticky, slightly sweet, savory and umami packed sauce, these ribs are bursting with rich flavor!! Sprinkled with nutty sesame seeds and fresh scallions; then served with fluffy rice, creamy avocado and crisp, shredded carrots, these crockpot Asian Short Ribs will blow your mind!
Honestly, these Korean braised short ribs are so divine, my family was trying to convince me to sell them.
Luckily, the only thing I am charging you is a loving demand to make these. Like now. Or at least this weekend. 🙂
Aside from these short ribs being everything in the taste department, they are also a cinch to prepare – all you have to do is set them and forget them in the slow cooker or crock pot!
Also, you can make the ribs a day in advance, which actually I recommend. Not only do the ribs taste better (if you ask me), it is also produces a healthier sauce, since the fat will naturally separate and rise to the top during refrigeration. The next day you can just scrape the solid fat off of the top of the sauce, discard the fat, quickly reheat the ribs and eat!
Why this recipe works
- Easy preparation – this recipe only requires 15 minutes of hands on preparation!
- Fuss-free and fool-proof – aside from giving the short ribs a quick sear, the slow cooker or crock pot does all the hard work for you! Throw the ingredients into the pot, set it and forget it!
- Simple ingredients – this recipe uses just 8 easy to find ingredients along with a few pantry staples!
- All the flavor – these ribs are bursting with all the flavor – they’re slightly spicy, slightly sweet and ultra delicious!
- Superbly tender texture – slow cooking the ribs makes them fall-off-the-bone tender!
- Perfect for any occasion – fancy enough for special occasions, yet easy enough for a weeknight dinner!
What are Korean short ribs?
There are a few different styles of Korean short ribs – Galbi-Jjim (garijjim), Kalbi (galbi) and Korean-style short ribs. This recipe is an easy and hands-off approach to Galbi-jjim.
Galbi Jjim, sometimes known as kalbijjim, is a traditional Korean dish made by braising beef short ribs in a rich sauce. The braising cooking method yields ribs that are super tender and coated in a sticky, savory, slightly sweet and salty sauce. Korean braised short ribs, or galbi jjim, are typically reserved for festive or special occasions, such as the Korean lunar new year’s day, birthdays or weddings, because the traditional cooking method is labor and time intensive.
The traditional Korean braising process involves first soaking then boiling the meat before braising. This easy, modernized version offers the same umami-rich flavor while being totally fuss-free, so you can enjoy Korean braised short ribs any or every day of the week!
Other styles of Korean short ribs
- Kalbi, also known as Galbi or Korean barbecue short ribs, is a dish customarily made by grilling or broiling flanken-style short ribs. Flanken-style ribs are thin and the cut goes across the bone so that each slice contains a thin piece of meat and a few pieces of bone.
- Korean-style ribs are typically prepared using English style short ribs. Bone-in English-style ribs are cut between the bones, so that each short rib has a thick bone with a generous portion of meat. Boneless English-style short ribs are cut so there is no bone, just a huge portion of rib meat.
Are Korean ribs beef or pork?
Korean braised short ribs, or Galbi-Jjim, are generally made with beef. If you braise pork short ribs the dish is called Dweji Galbijjim.
What does it mean to braise ribs?
Braising is a cooking method in which ribs are first browned on the stovetop in fat, such as oil or butter, then covered and cooked on low heat for a long amount of time with a small amount of liquid. Braising can take place entirely on the stovetop, or the ribs can be transferred to the oven, slow cooker or crock pot.
What ingredients are in Korean beef ribs?
This easy Asian rib recipe only requires 8 easy to find ingredients, plus a few pantry staples to create a dish that is rich and robust in flavor!
(Scroll down for the detailed measurements in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.)
What you need to make short ribs
- Beef Short Ribs: Traditionally, this dish is made with bone-in short ribs; however, I prefer boneless short ribs for ease and convenience. You can use either bone-in or boneless ribs for this recipe. Regardless, look for short ribs with more meat than fat ratio. Trim off any thick layers of fat before using the ribs.
- Seasonings: A combination of kosher salt and ground black pepper provide flavor while red pepper flakes add a spicy kick!
- Oil: You need a neutral oil to sear the ribs before braising. Searing the ribs provides more depth and flavor! You can use any neutral oil you have on hand, such as canola or vegetable oil.
- Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is an integral ingredient! It provides the base of flavor for the sauce. Make sure you use reduced-sodium soy sauce so you can control the level of saltiness!
- Apple Juice: Apple juice is the secret ingredient! The sugars in the juice seep into the beef, helping keep the ribs moist and tender!
- Sugar: 1/3 cup of rich brown sugar adds just enough sweetness and depth to balance out the sauce.
- Mirin: Mirin is a cooking wine that adds a touch of sweet, bold umami flavor. You can find it in the international aisle near soy and teriyaki sauces.
- Sesame Oil: One tablespoon of sesame oil provides an intense nutty taste and a little goes a long way!
- Onions: The white and light parts of green onions offer a mild onion flavor, while the dark green tops are perfect for adding color as a garnish!
- Garlic and Ginger: Both of these aromatics are integral to Asian cuisine. Garlic provides a distinctive pungent flavor while garlic adds a unique tang.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch serves as a thickener for the flavorful sauce. You will need to mix the cornstarch with water to form a smooth paste, known as a slurry.
How to braise short ribs in the crock pot or slow cooker?
These Korean ribs are so simple and fool-proof to make at home! This recipe only requires 15 minutes of preparation and six easy steps!
- Dry and season ribs: Pat the beef ribs dry using a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Sear ribs: Heat olive oil in a heavy pot or large cast iron skillet until shimmering. Add the ribs and sear until brown on all sides (don’t disturb or move ribs while browning each side). Use tongs to remove the ribs and transfer them to a slow cooker.
- Make the sauce: In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. Pour the sauce mixture over the ribs in the slow cooker.
- Slow cook: Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is extremely tender.
- Add the thickening agent: Add the cornstarch slurry to the slow cooker and stir well to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.
- Serve: Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for success
- Room temperature ribs: It’s important for the ribs be as close to room temperature as possible before searing. Cold ribs will brown unevenly, while room temperature ribs will become an even, beautiful brown after searing.
- Pat ribs dry: Make sure you pat the ribs as dry as possible before seasoning and searing. Drying the ribs helps a crust to develop while tempering the heat – this helps the meat cook evenly and prevents it from steaming.
- Don’t crowd the pan: If you are using a smaller pan, sear the ribs in batches if necessary as to not overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding the pan will result in steaming the ribs, instead of browning. Also, make sure you add more oil as necessary between batch searing.
- Leave the ribs alone when searing: Once you add the ribs to the hot pan, don’t fuss with them too much. Let them sear, undisturbed, about 2-3 minutes on each side. If you move the meat around too much it won’t get that beautiful golden brown sear.
- To save time: You can sear the ribs a day in advance. Store the ribs in a zip-closure bag in the refrigerator until ready to use. Make sure you allow the ribs to come to room temperature on the counter before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
How to make cook short ribs at home step-by-step photos
(Don’t forget to scroll down for the in-depth measurements and instructions in the complete printable recipe card at the bottom of the post!)
Short ribs recipe: FAQ
Can you overcook short ribs?
Braising beef short ribs should always result in meat that is well done. As the moist, low heat permeates the beef for a long amount of time, the meat becomes fall-apart tender and flavorful. Beef short ribs are done cooking when their internal temperature reaches around 200-210 degrees Fahrenheit.
While it is very difficult to overcook short ribs when braising, it is possible. If you continue to cook the beef ribs for an extreme length of time (let’s say 24 hours), all the liquid in the pot or slow cooker will completely evaporate, causing the meat to burn.
How many short ribs in a pound?
Short ribs are typically sold in rectangular pieces 2-4’’ long. While it greatly depends on the size of the ribs, there are approximately 3 boneless short ribs or 2 bone-in short ribs in a pound (English-style). As for flanken-style short ribs, 1 individual rib is roughly ¾ of a pound.
How many Korean short ribs per person?
Hosting a party or entertaining friends and family? Braised beef ribs are the perfect dish to serve a crowd! However, you want to make sure you have enough ribs to go around!
The number of short ribs per person you should serve will greatly depend on a few different factors, such as the appetite of your guests, as well as how many sides you are serving. With that said, you can generally plan on about 2 short ribs per guest (for both boneless and bone-in ribs). This should weigh out to approximately 2/3 a pound of boneless short ribs per person and 1 pound bone-in short ribs per person. As for flanken-style short ribs, you can count on 1 whole rib per person.
Below is an easy guideline to help you determine how many Korean beef ribs per person you will need when feeding a crowd.
How many ribs for a crowd
- 4 people: 4 short ribs (2 2/3 pounds boneless ribs or 4 pounds bone-in)
- 6 people: 12 short ribs (4 pounds boneless ribs or 6 pounds bone-in)
- 10 people: 20 short ribs (6 2/3 pounds boneless ribs or 10 pounds bone-in)
- 12 people: 24 short ribs (8 pounds boneless ribs or 12 pounds bone in)
- 16 people: 32 short ribs (10 2/3 pounds boneless ribs or 16 pounds bone-in)
Tips for serving Korean ribs
These tender braised ribs are so incredibly versatile! You can serve them numerous ways and with various side dishes! Below are a few tips, plus some of the best serving ideas and simple ways to transform your Korean beef short ribs into a full blown meal!
How to serve beef short ribs?
Korean ribs are a cozy, comforting classic that are perfect for busy weeknights, lazy weekends and easy entertaining! Below are a few easy, fun serving ideas for taking your ribs to the next level!
- Short Rib Serving Bar: Throwing a party? A rib bar is a unique idea for your next gathering! Plus, it’s an economical way to stretch the ribs to feed a crowd! Shred the rib meat and set up the ribs and various Korean vegetable side dishes (Banchan) in a bar format complete with disposable bowls and cutlery!
- Lettuce Wraps: Transform your ribs into a quick, easy and healthy dinner! Shred the short ribs and stuff it in fresh bibb or butter lettuce leaves! Top everything off with your favorite fresh toppings, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes or hot sauce!
- Asian Salad: Turn your ribs into a healthy yet hearty salad! Thinly slice your favorite salad ingredients, such as fresh cabbage, bell peppers, carrots and green onions, and serve your ribs on top!
- Rice Bowl: Serve your ribs atop a bed of fluffy white rice and pile on your favorite vegetables, such as carrots and avocado!
- Noodle Bowl: Same idea as above, but use your favorite Asian noodles, such as Lo Mein, Hokkien, ramen or other Asian egg noodles.
What goes with ribs?
If you are serving a crowd or simply feeding a hungry family, you will want a few side dishes to round out these ribs. Below are a few of my family’s favorite side dishes to complement Asian short ribs!
11 of the best side dishes to serve with short ribs
- Edamame: Steamed soybeans are an easy and healthy side dish – plus, they are fun to eat!
- Cucumber Salad: Refreshing Asian Cucumber Salad is one of my favorite dishes to serve with these ribs!
- Kimchi: Tangy, slightly spicy Korean-style fermented cabbage is a staple in Korean cuisine for a good reason!
- Asian Salad or Korean Coleslaw: Light and crisp cabbage or coleslaw is always a delicious pairing choice!
- Pickled Vegetables: Fermented vegetables, such as carrots, daikon, radishes or cucumbers are a wonderful way to add a touch of sour flavor!
- Seasonal Vegetables: Stir-fry your favorite seasonal vegetables, such as broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage or eggplant for an easy, yet always satisfying side!
- Bean Sprouts: Crunchy, slightly sweet Mung bean sprouts balance out the flavors of these ribs perfectly!
- Asian Brussels Sprouts: Crisp brussels sprouts drizzled with a flavorful peanut sauce are another family favorite!
- Rice: Sticky rice is the traditional pairing option, but any rice you love will work great! Try quinoa or cauliflower rice if you are looking to keep things on the healthier side!
- Fried Rice: Need a little more flavor than sticky rice or fluffy white rice? Fried rice is always a family favorite!
- Noodles: Slurp-able noodles are another essential stable in Asian cuisine and they pair fabulously with these ribs! Try garlic noodles, drunken noodles or sesame noodles!
Tips for making ahead, storing and freezing Korean beef short ribs
Food safety is important when it comes to storing leftovers! Follow the simple tips below for properly storing, reheating and freezing your short ribs!
Can I make ribs in advance?
Braised beef short ribs taste even better the next day! As the ribs sit the flavors in the beef intensify, making these ribs the perfect make ahead dish for busy weeknights or easy entertaining!
To make Korean beef ribs in advance
- Braise: Braise the beef ribs until tender according to the recipe instructions.
- Cool: Allow the ribs and the sauce to cool completely to room temperature.
- Store: Transfer the ribs to one airtight storage container and the sauce to a separate airtight storage container. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- To Use: Remove the ribs and sauce from the refrigerator. Scrape off all the solidified fat from the top of the sauce and discard the fat.
- To Heat: Transfer the ribs and sauce to a large pot. Cover the pot and gently reheat over low to medium-low heat on the stove for 20 minutes, or until warm throughout.
How long will short ribs keep?
Allow the ribs and their sauce to cool completely to room temperature before storing. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, the ribs will keep for up to four days. To further extend the shelf life, freeze them (see instructions below).
Can I freeze braised beef ribs?
Korean ribs freeze beautifully! Freezing is the best way to further extend the shelf life of your short ribs, plus it’s a great way to save time and money! Make a double batch of ribs and store the leftovers in your freezer for easy weeknight dinners!
You can store ribs with the sauce or separately, depending on your needs. Freeze the ribs and the sauce in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer gabs. Properly stored, braised short ribs will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Are Korean ribs healthy?
While beef short ribs are rich in protein and nutrients, such as vitamin B-12, they are also high in fat. However, there are a few easy tricks to help decrease the amount of fat when consuming short ribs.
- Use Boneless Ribs: Purchase boneless instead of bone-in short ribs. Boneless cuts of ribs contain less fat than the bone-in variety!
- Trim excess fat: Use a sharp knife to trim and discard all excess fat visible on the surface of the ribs.
- Braise ahead: Braise (slow cook) the short ribs a day before you plan to serve them. Use tongs to remove the ribs from the sauce and allow both to cool before storing. Place the ribs and sauce in two separate storage containers and store both in the refrigerator. Before reheating, remove both containers from the refrigerator. Use a large spoon to remove and discard the fat that has accumulated on the surface of the sauce. Reheat the ribs in the sauce and serve!
Take-away: While Korean beef short ribs are a luxurious, comfort food, there are easy ways to reduce their total fat! However, if you have high blood cholesterol or heart disease, you should limit your intake of fatty meats.
Scroll down, print out this recipe and make these Slow Cooker Korean Beef Short Ribs! Fall-apart tender and crazy delicious, I pinkie-promise you won’t regret it!
Here’s what readers are saying about these incredibly tender short ribs!
- “Loved the short ribs! The combination of carrots, rice and creamy avocado is amazing!” – Suzanne
- “Added 1/2 Asian pear, rice wine vinegar (2 T) and Gochujang paste. Deglazed with apple juice rice wine and soy. With the slaw, was very tasty!” – Joel
- “Super flavorful and so tender! Family loved it!” – Kimberly
The best Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs recipe plus step-by-step video👇
Korean Short Ribs (Slow Cooker or Crockpot!)
- Large Dutch Oven or Cast Iron Skillet (for searing)
- Slow Cooker or Crock Pot
- 3 Pounds Boneless Beef Short Ribs - cut crosswise into 2-3'' pieces & at room temperature (or 4 1/2 pounds bone-in short ribs)
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- 2 TBS Neutral Oil - DIVIDED, or more as needed (Canola or Vegetable Oil)
- ½ Cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
- ½ Cup Apple Juice
- 1/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar - packed
- 2 TBS Mirin
- 1 TBS Sesame Oil
- 2 Green Onion - thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- 3 large Cloves Garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 TBS Ginger - peeled and grated
- ¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 1/2 TBS Cornstarch - Mixed with 3 TBS Water
- Options for serving: Sesame Seeds, White Rice, Shredded Carrots, Sliced Avocado, Sliced Cucumber, Butter Lettuce, Sliced Cucumber, Sriracha
- Dry and season ribs: Pat the beef ribs thoroughly dry using paper towels. Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper.
- Sear ribs: Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy bottomed stock pot or large cast iron skillet until shimmering. Add ribs and sear until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. (Don’t disturb or move ribs while browning on side - leave the ribs alone until ready to flip them to the next side.) Use tongs to remove ribs and transfer them to a slow cooker.
- Make the sauce: In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, apple juice, sugar, mirin, sesame oil, green onion, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes. Pour the sauce mixture over the ribs in the slow cooker.
- Slow cook: Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is extremely tender.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the slow cooker and stir well to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Remove the ribs to a serving plate. (Optional, but recommended: Skim the top of the sauce for fat and discard.)
- Serve: Pour sauce over the ribs and garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions if desired. Serve and enjoy!
- Ribs: It is important the ribs be close to room temperature before searing. Cold ribs will brown unevenly, while room temperature ribs will become an even, beautiful brown.
- Searing: Sear the ribs in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. Add the oil as necessary between batches. Overcrowding the pan will result in steaming the ribs, instead of browning.
- To make in advance: Ribs can be seared a day in advance. Store them in a zip-closure bag in the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature on the counter before proceeding with the recipe.
- To reheat Korean ribs leftovers, remove them from the sauce. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place ribs on an aluminum foil lined sheet pan. Bake, turning over once or twice, until warmed throughout, about 20-30 minutes.
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