Easy slow cooker Asian-style glazed beef ribs. Salty, sweet and tangy with warm earthy aroma and heat from three sources.
The aroma is courtesy of the star anise and the heat comes from garlic, ginger and chili. There’s heat from peppercorns too but it’s subtle.
So easy to make. Place the beef in the slow cooker. Mix your sauce. Pour over the beef and cook overnight on LOW. Thirty minutes before serving time, strain the sauce, add more sugar to make a syrup and pour over the beef. Voila! Slow cooker Asian-style glazed beef ribs.
I cooked this dish for my family on a cool December day years ago with instructions on how to transform it into a party dish. Just multiply the amount of ingredients and you’ve got a party-perfect dish that can be prepared a day or two ahead. In fact, this braised beef dish with barbecue sauce-style glaze benefits from the early preparation as the beef gets more time to soak up all the goodness of everything in the sauce.
If you’re not using a slow cooker, you’ll have to watch the liquid as the beef cooks. If the sauce dries up before the beef is tender, pour in broth about half a cup at a time. Do not be tempted to start cooking with too much liquid. This is a braised dish so you want to cook the meat in just enough liquid for maximum flavor and to get the proper texture. On a regular pot, cooking should take two to three hours, depending on the quality of the beef.
Pressure cooker? I don’t recommend a pressure cooker for this dish which really requires long, slow cooking. Good things just can’t be hurried up.
A tip if serving for a party: In December and during the monsoon season when the temperature is much cooler, it is very likely that the beef fat will congeal once the beef starts to cool. I suggest serving the beef ribs in a food warmer and make sure that the alcohol burner underneath stays on until the meal is over.
Slow cooker Asian-style glazed beef ribs
- 1 kilogram beef short ribs cut into serving size pieces
- 1/3 cup light soy sauce (I used Kikkoman)
- 4 tablespoons lime juice (or lemon or kalamansi)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 star anise
- 4 finger chilies slit open
- 4 cloves of garlic crushed
- 2 inch piece of ginger peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 bay beaf
- sesame seeds toasted
- scallion sliced
- fresh cilantro
- Parboil the beef in lightly salted boiling water for about 10 minutes (see “What is blanching and how is it different from parboiling?“). This will help the beef pieces retain their shape during the low, slow cooking.
- Scoop out, strain and transfer to the slow cooker.
- Mix together the soy sauce, lime juice and sugar. Throw in the peppercorns, star anise, chilies, garlic, ginger and bay leaf. Taste. If you’re not satisfied with the balance of flavors, make the adjustments now.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the beef.
- Turn the slow cooker on to HIGH. After two hours, set the slow cooker to LOW and cook the beef overnight or for about eight to 10 hours.
- Strain the beef. Keep hot.
- Strain the sauce and measure. Stir in half as much sugar. Boil over medium heat, uncovered, until syrupy.
- Pour the glaze over the beef. Sprinkle with sliced scallions, torn cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. Serve at once.
- If you’re preparing the beef ribs a day or two in advance, transfer the beef and all the contents of the slow cooker to a shallow container so that the beef pieces are in a single layer and all are touching the sauce. A wide baking dish is ideal. Cover tightly with foil and keep in the fridge.
- Thirty minutes before serving time, reheat the beef, still covered, in a 325F oven for about 20 minutes.
- Lift out the meat and move to the food warmer or serving platter. Strain the sauce and make the glaze. Proceed as above.
Updated from a recipe originally published on December 4, 2013.