Slow Cooker Asian Ribs
with cauliflower 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.
- Cauliflower florets - 12 oz
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Ginger - 2 tsp , grated
- Water - 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp
- Tomato paste - 1/4 cup
- Bragg's / coconut aminos - 3 Tbsp
- Honey - 1 Tbsp
- Chili garlic sauce - 1 tsp
- Arrowroot powder - 1 1/2 tsp
- 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
- Bragg's / coconut aminos - 1 tsp
- Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds, white - 1 tsp
Cauliflower rice - Double if making Wednesday’s meal. Pulse florets in a food processor until broken up into ‘rice’-sized bits. Cook rice in one of two ways: 1) Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then fold in butter. Season with some salt and pepper; or 2) Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add butter. Saute cauliflower in heated butter for ~5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Watch this video for the full how-to on cauliflower rice. (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 Asian BBQ sauce - Combine ginger, first part of water, tomato paste, aminos (portion for ribs), honey, 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 arrowroot powder. Add arrowroot powder 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)
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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 with green onions (white and green parts), aminos (portion for beans), vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Season with some salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Brush ribs with Asian BBQ sauce (if there is any extra, reserve it for serving).
Bake ribs for 15 minutes to let the sauce flavor the meat.
If cauliflower rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave (reserve half if doubled for Wednesday).
Serve ribs over cauliflower rice with green beans on the side. Enjoy!