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Slow Cooker (or not) Hoisin Ribs
with rice / roasted sesame broccoli

Active: 40 min Total: 7 hr 40 min
We featured these tender Asian-inspired ribs in 2018, but we've completely re-worked the recipe to simplify and shorten the prep time without taking away from the flavor of the ribs.
Smarts: This method for making ribs cooks them low and slow until they're tender and cooked through, but finishes them in the oven with sauce to achieve maximum flavor. The ribs could be cooked in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.


White or Brown Rice:
  • Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 cup
Slow Cooker Hoisin Ribs:
  • Hoisin sauce - 1/4 cup
  • Ketchup - 2 Tbsp
  • Chili garlic sauce - 1 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 2 tsp
  • Salt - 2 tsp
  • Paprika, smoked - 2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Baby back pork ribs - 3 lbs (2 lbs ~ 1 rack / slab of ribs)
  • Stock, any type - 1 cup
  • Foil - for cooking
Roasted Sesame Broccoli:
  • Broccoli - 1 lb , chopped
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , thinly sliced
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Oil, toasted sesame - 1 tsp
  • Sesame seeds, white (opt) - 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp


  1. Rice - (Skip if made ahead for Tuesday.) 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)
  2. Broccoli / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Make sauce - Whisk together hoisin sauce, ketchup, and chili garlic sauce. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Make seasoning - Combine garlic powder, salt, paprika, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  5. Prepare ribs - Set ribs on a cutting board. Remove and discard membrane. (Check out this link for step-by-step photos.) Rub seasoning onto ribs. If needed, slice ribs into portions that will fit in your slow cooker. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  6. Slow cook ribs - Pour stock into the bowl of a slow cooker. Add ribs (stack them if needed) and cook until tender - low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. (If you prefer to use the oven: Line a sheet pan with foil. Place ribs on top and top with another piece of foil. Seal the two pieces of foil on all sides so that the ribs are tightly enclosed. Bake ribs, enclosed in foil, in the oven at 250F / 120C until tender, ~2 hours.) (Can be done 1 day ahead)

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  1. Heat oven to 350F / 177C.
  2. Toss broccoli with garlic and cooking oil. Season with some salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan. Transfer to the oven and roast, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until broccoli is tender and starting to brown on the edges, ~25 minutes.
  3. While broccoli roasts, line a second sheet pan with foil. Spread cooked ribs out on the pan, meat side up.
  4. Brush the top of the ribs generously with sauce. (If there is any extra, you can save it to serve on the side.)
  5. Bake ribs for 15 minutes to let the sauce flavor the meat.
  6. When broccoli is done, toss with toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and lemon juice.
  7. If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
  8. Serve ribs over rice with broccoli on the side. Enjoy!



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