Slow Cooker Hoisin Ribs
with rice / marinated green beans
The secret to tender ribs is cooking them low and slow which makes the slow cooker the perfect tool. Brush the ribs with homemade Asian-inspired sauce and bake for 15 minutes at the end to infuse them with maximum flavor.
Smarts: No slow cooker? We've included instructions for the oven as well. Since it takes some time to get the ribs tender, cook them in the oven a day or two ahead and just reheat with sauce when you're ready to serve.
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 3/4 cup
- Ginger - 2 tsp , grated
- Water - 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp
- Hoisin sauce - 1/4 cup
- Ketchup - 1/4 cup
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 3 Tbsp
- Sugar, brown - 3 Tbsp
- Chili garlic sauce - 1 tsp
- Cornstarch - 1 Tbsp
- Garlic powder - 2 tsp
- Salt - 2 tsp
- Paprika, smoked - 2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Baby back pork ribs - 2 lbs (2 lbs ~ 1 rack / slab of ribs)
- Stock, any type - 1 cup
- Foil - for cooking
- Green beans - 1 lb , 2” / 5 cm pieces
- Green onions - 1 stalk , chopped, green and white parts combined
- Edamame, shelled - 1 cup
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 tsp
- Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds, white - 1 tsp
Rice - Double if making Wednesday’s meal. For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Green beans / Ginger - Prep as directed. Store green beans in one container. Store ginger in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Pre-cook green beans - Place green beans in a microwave-safe container. Cover with a damp paper towel and microwave on high until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make Hoisin BBQ sauce - Combine ginger, first part of water, hoisin sauce, ketchup, soy sauce (portion for ribs), sugar, and chili garlic sauce in a small saucepan. Heat sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce begins to bubble. Whisk together second part of water and cornstarch. Add cornstarch mixture to sauce while stirring. Continue cooking until sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make dry rub - Combine garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Prepare ribs - Set ribs on a cutting board. Remove and discard membrane. (Check out this link for step-by-step photos.) Rub ribs on all sides with dry rub. If needed, slice ribs into portions that will fit (stacked) in your slow cooker. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Slow cook ribs - Pour stock into the bowl of a slow cooker. Add ribs and cook until tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. (If you prefer to use the oven, place the ribs in a single layer on sheet pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil. Bake at 275F / 135C until tender, 3 to 4 hours.) (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Green onions - Chop green onions. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Edamame - Defrost edamame in the microwave.
Heat oven to 350F / 177C. Spread slow-cooked ribs out, meat side up, on a foil-lined sheet pan.
While oven is heating, combine green beans and edamame with green onions (white and green parts), soy sauce (portion for beans), vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Season with some salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Brush ribs with Hoisin BBQ sauce (if there is any extra, reserve it for serving).
Bake ribs for 15 minutes to let the sauce flavor the meat.
If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave (reserve half if doubled for Wednesday).
Serve ribs over rice with green beans / edamame on the side. Enjoy!