Slow Cooked Asian-Style Short Ribs {Whole30 Optional}

I’ve been making a lot of short ribs lately… it seems like no matter how I make them, they’re a fave around here.  This recipe is a take-off on a recipe I created a couple of years back… it’s simple, flavorful, and made specifically with health in mind.  Nutritious and delicious is my favorite combination :)


I love slow cooked carrots… they become so sweet and soft, I could eat a pot of them alone!  But to add some variety to the textures and flavors (as much as I love carrots), I also threw in some celery, peas, shiitake mushrooms, onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass.  As with most of my recipes, you can adapt this to work for you… if you don’t have something on the list, no worries.  Just use what you do have and keep life simple for yourself (within reason of course… if you have questions, feel free to ask!).  That’s the beauty of the Crock Pot… the flavors will come together and create deliciousness for you.  You really don’t have to do all that much 😉


The longer you let this cook, the more tender the meat will be.  You can let it cook all day on low of you want, or if you’re in the need to expedite things, cook it on high for about 4-5 hours.  The bones will fall right out all on their own, and the meat will be so fall apart tender… it’s slow cooker magic.


I had just gone to the farmer’s market and found all of these beautiful veggies.  Rainbow carrots seem to be everywhere right now… I can’t get enough.  They’re simply gorgeous.  I also found some beautifully colorful rainbow chard, leeks, and bok choy, so I made some sautéed greens to go with this (recipe HERE!).


I also got my meat at the farmer’s market… it’s locally raised and grass-fed.  What more could one ask for?!  I was just making this for two, so I bought a pound (usually 3-4 ribs), but if you’re serving more, you may want to get two pounds of ribs (usually 6-7 ribs).  No matter how many you’re cooking for, you don’t need to adjust the remaining ingredients… the sauce is enough for any amount of meat, as the ribs will release flavors and liquid, as well.


So colorful!  Nature is beautiful…



1-2 lbs short ribs, depending on how many you’re serving (won’t impact the remaining ingredients)

3-4 carrots (1 hefty cup chopped)

3 celery stalks (1 cup chopped)

1/2 yellow onion (1 generous cup chopped)

1 tsp finely grated ginger

3-4 garlic cloves (1 tbsp minced)

1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layers removed

10-15 baby shiitake mushrooms (straw or oyster mushrooms will work, too)

snap peas, a large handful (snow peas work also)

1/3 cup tamari or coconut aminos (good gf soy sauce alternatives)

1/3 cup chicken broth (homemade, or good quality low-sodium store-bought)

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp raw honey (or for Whole30, add 1 diced raw date- or 1 tbsp date syrup)

1 tsp arrowroot starch (a natural thickener, you can omit if preferred)

1/4 tsp crushed red chili pepper

1-2 tbsp olive oil, to brown ribs

salt and pepper, to season the ribs

to garnish: sesame seeds, fresh cilantro leaves, and scallions (optional)

serve over rice, zoodles, cauliflower ‘rice’ (see my simple version here), etc



Roughly chop the onion, celery, and carrots so they are large bite-sized pieces

Finely grate the ginger and mince the garlic

Cut the lemongrass stalk into thirds and then smash each

piece with the flat side of your knife to release the flavors


Add all of the above ingredients to the Crock pot

(save the peas for the very end)


Such a beautiful assortment of colors… love those rainbow carrots :)


When slow cooking ribs, you want to brown them first…

some recipes don’t call for this, and you can certainly skip it if you’d prefer, but doing

so keeps the color attractive and the texture tasty

(the meat will turn almost grey-ish in the pot if it’s not browned first.. not appealing if you ask me)

Generously salt and pepper all sides of the ribs


Heat olive oil in a pan over high heat

Add the ribs, cooking them on each side until browned (a couple mins on each side)


To make the sauce…

Stir together the tamari, chicken broth, honey (or date syrup),

toasted sesame oil, starch, and chile flakes in a bowl


Add the sauce to the pot of veggies


Toss it all together with your hands…


Add the browned ribs, tossing them in the juices to coat them

(make sure they are sitting in some of the sauce and veggies before cooking… this will keep them moist)


Cook it on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8-10


When it’s done, remove the lemongrass stalks from the pot

The bones should fall off easily and the meat should be tender fall-apart perfect

Add snap peas, toss to mix

Plate, top with sesame seeds, cilantro, and scallions if desired, and dig in!


I served this with rice (though you could make cauliflower rice if preferred)

and sautéed rainbow chard (recipe HERE!)


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About Me
Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!
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