My Braised Korean Short Ribs bring flavor and tenderness to the dinner table with an easy to follow recipe that you can cook in your slow cooker or oven!
When most people think about braised Korean short ribs, if they think of them at all (and they should), they think of Galbi Jjim, which is more of a stew with potatoes and carrots. This version of short ribs is a slow cooker play on the flavors of Korean barbecue. It cooks low and slow in a sweet and savory sauce until the meat quite literally falls apart when you try to pick it up.
My Mom made Korean Braised short ribs from time to time and I remember how much I looked forward to pouring the sauce all over my rice and pulling the meat apart with my fingers. Like most of my Mom’s food, there was never a recipe. If you asked her for one she would just get annoyed and say “you put this much!” like it was the dumbest question she ever heard. I got that a lot. My Mom isn’t around anymore, but I think I did a pretty good job recreating her dish. The recipe is so popular that Hmart asked me to do a video demo for their website, where I talk a little about why Korean food is so important to me.
Let’s get cooking. I measured the ingredients for you 😆
(In case you don’t have a slow cooker, I have included oven braising instructions.)
- 3 lb English cut short ribs, preferably in 2 inch pieces if available (English cut just means a big hunk of meat on one long rib bone, as opposed to flanken cut, which is a thin slice of short rib with 3 thin bones)
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp mirin (Japanese cooking wine, found in the International aisle of your local Mega Market or any Asian food store)
- 4 cloves of garlic, grated or minced very fine
- 1/2 inch of ginger, grated or minced very fine (this equals about 1 tsp of ginger. If you don't have fresh ginger you can use 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chili flakes, found in Asian food stores. You can absolutely substitute regular chili flakes and adjust up or down for heat tolerance. This really isn't very spicy. Trust me 😊)
- 1 tsp MSG. I know, I know, big controversy with MSG, but my Mom always used it and I'm FINE, and recent research, blah, blah, blah, totally up to you. I like the flavor it brings, but you do you 😉)
- 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil for searing the ribs, plus more for seasoning before searing
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold beef broth
- Mix soy sauce, 1/2 cup of beef broth, sesame oil, mirin, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, chili flakes, and MSG (if using) and whisk together well. Set aside while you get your ribs ready.
- Heat a heavy pan over high heat. I like to use my cast iron pan for even cooking and great searing. Drizzle all the short ribs with some oil and salt and pepper. Rub them well with the oil and seasoning to get all the surfaces ready for their big moment. Sear the ribs in batches (so you don't crowd the pan) on all six sides. Don't be afraid to get a really hard sear on them. This is where you're going to get the really slow braised, deep flavor. Remove the seared ribs and start the next batch. If you are using your slow cooker, just put the seared ribs in the bottom of the cooker and start on your next batch of ribs.
- Pour the sauce all over the ribs in the slow cooker, put the lid on and set to low. Cook for 8-9 hours. Go do something. Go to work, go to a movie, sit on the sofa and binge something. Come back later and we'll finish this off. Hey! If you want to make this the night before, like I did, and cook it before you go to work, just put it in the refrigerator. Pull it out before you start getting ready for whatever you do during the day and let it come to room temperature-ish. Then set it and forget it!
- When you're ready to eat, it takes just a few minutes to finish the ribs and get eating. Mix the 2 tbs of cornstarch with the 1/4 cup of cold beef broth and pour into the saucy parts in the slow cooker. Turn the temperature to high and let the sauce thicken. While that is happening, you can put on some rice, or noodles if you want something to spoon all that delicious sauce over. And you will. It’s pretty amazing. That's it! The ribs are fall apart tender and the sauce is rich and dark, and a little smoky from that great sear you gave them. Put the ribs on a plate with whatever accompaniments you like and enjoy. Good job! This dish can also be cooked in the oven, if you like. Because the meat will be cooking for such a long time, you need to have more liquid when oven braising. You’ll need to triple the sauce amount and then put the ribs and sauce into a stove and oven safe covered pot and cook at 325° for 2 1/2 hours. When the time is up, take pot from the oven and place on the stovetop to thicken the sauce with the cornstarch and beef broth. This should only take 2-3 minutes. Then you just have to serve and enjoy!