These slow cooker Korean Short Ribs are so delicious and easy to make. Tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth savory beef with a little touch of sweetness. They are paleo, gluten-free and low carb, the perfect meal for the whole family to enjoy.
One bite of these falling-off-the-bone Korean slow cooker Short Ribs and you won’t be able to stop.
I’ve really been craving a lot of Asian cuisines lately, and Korean short ribs have always been a favorite of mine.
Although the weather hasn’t quite cooled down as much, I am already ready for all the slow cooker meals, like:
Slow cooker, crockpot meals are always so easy and take minimal prep time.
They also are my favorite way to get tender, flavorful, hearty meat, like these short ribs. They just fall right off the bone.
All you need is about 10-15 minutes for prep and you just toss everything in the slow cooker and let it work its magic.
What Makes these Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs Healthy?
You know me, I always take a classic recipe and give it a healthy twist so that they not only satisfy my palate but also nourish my body.
This recipe is one of them. I only had to make a few simple swaps to make this healthy and paleo-friendly too!
Traditionally, Korean short ribs would cook in a sauce made from soy sauce, brown sugar, and corn starch (for thickening), among a few other ingredients.
To make this recipe paleo-friendly, I swapped coconut aminos in for soy sauce, used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
Additionally, I used arrowroot starch in place of corn starch for a thick sauce that coats every bit of short rib.
A savory, salty sauce made from the fermented sap of coconut palm.
It is soy-free and gluten-free and often used to replace soy sauce in cooking.
Another ingredient derived from coconut – Coconut sap is collected and dehydrated to form granules.
Make sure to read the ingredient labels to be sure you are buying pure coconut sugar.
Some brands may mix other ingredients like cane sugar into their product.
One of my favorite ingredients to use in healthy recipes that require a thickened or sticky type of sauce.
It is a starch that is derived from the arrowroot plant and is also gluten-free.
It works as a great alternative to cornstarch for anyone with a corn allergy or anyone who wishes to avoid corn-products.
Ingredients Needed to Make Healthy Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs
I listed all of the ingredients I used for this recipe below.
However, if you have trouble finding a few of the healthy ingredient swaps or you’re not worried about making this paleo-friendly, you can use the ingredients that are traditionally used in a Korean short rib recipe (marked with a “ * ”).
For this recipe I used:
- Beef short ribs
- Coconut aminos or soy sauce*
- Rice Vinegar
- Sesame Oil
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Salt, to taste
- Coconut Sugar or Brown Sugar*
- Beef Stock
- Arrowroot Flour
- Red Potatoes
For low carb option, you can try this keto-friendly sweetener.
How to Make Healthy Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs
All you need is a little prep work and then you can just set it and forget it!
First, season the short ribs with salt.
Then, pan sear the short ribs until golden brown to give it a nice char.
This will help seal in the moisture of the short ribs, giving them that fall-off-the-bone quality.
Once you have charred the short ribs, place them in the slow cooker or crockpot along with your chopped carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes.
Separately, in a medium bowl mix together coconut aminos, rice vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, salt to taste, and coconut sugar.
Don’t add the arrowroot flour yet!
Then, pour the sauce over the short ribs and then add the beef stock.
Set your crockpot or slow cooker to cook for 8 hours on the low setting.
Towards the end of the cooking time, take about 1 cup of the cooking liquid out of the slow cooker and mix in the arrowroot flour.
Pour the arrowroot/sauce mixture back into the pot.
The sauce will thicken up slightly as the short ribs finish cooking.
How to Serve Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs
Jasmine rice is always one of my favorite ways to serve any Asian-inspired dish with a perfectly sticky sauce.
Cauliflower rice is also a great option here too if you want to keep it paleo-friendly and lower in carbs.
Another way to enjoy this perfectly tender beef coated in a sweet and savory sauce is to pair it with my Asian Cucumber salad.
The acidity from the vinegar cuts through the dense meaty flavors and creates the perfect bite every time.
Additionally, kimchi is a great option to have alongside these Korean short ribs as well.
Kimchi is fermented cabbage made with various seasonings and is considered a staple in Korean cuisine.
It is also great for gut health. Fermented foods contain a lot of that good-for-you bacteria (aka probiotics) that you should be incorporating into your diet every day.
Lastly, but certainly not least, you can throw together a vegetable stir fry to serve with the short ribs and get lots of healthy veggies in for the day.
One of my favorite stir fry combinations to pair with these short ribs is a nice zucchini mushroom stir fry.
The umami flavors of the sauce work really well with the mushrooms and the subtle sweetness of the zucchini just brings everything together.
How to Store Korean Short Ribs
Store these short ribs in the fridge for 3-5 days for best results.
To reheat, place leftovers in a pot on low heat. If sauce becomes too thick or sticky, add a little bit of water or beef stock to thin the sauce.
What’s your favorite way to make Korean short ribs? Leave a comment below!
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You may also like these healthy slow cooker recipes:
- 4 - 4.5 lbs short ribs (bones included)
- 2 - 3 medium carrots (chopped)
- 2 red potatoes (cubed)
- 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 1/4 yellow onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 inch ginger (minced)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups water or beef stock *
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos**
- 3 tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup coconut sugar ***
- 1 heaping tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- When you purchase the beef short ribs, make sure you have the butcher chop them into 3 - 4-inch pieces (it will be impossible to chop those bones at home)
- Prepare all the produce. Place chopped carrots and potatoes on the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Heat 2 - 3 tbsp oil in a big heavy bottom pot until simmering. Pat dry the beef ribs and sear them until browned on all sides. Season generously with salt and pepper. Each side should take 2 - 3 minutes. Transfer the short ribs to the slow cooker once done.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Add minced garlic, chopped onion, ginger, and red pepper flakes on top of the short ribs, then pour the sauce mixture over the ribs.
- Add beef stock then slow cook for 7 - 8 hours on low or until the beef is falling off the bone
- When there is 30 minutes left, Scoop out 1 cup of the broth into a small mixing bowl, mix it with arrowroot flour and pour it back into the pot. The sauce should thicken slightly after 20 - 30 minutes (add additional 1 tbsp arrowroot flour if the sauce is too liquidy for your liking)
- Serve over rice and garnish with green onion or cilantro. Enjoy!
- *If you prefer more brothy and have more sauce at the end, use 2 cups. Otherwise, 1 1/2 cup of liquid is generally enough.
- **A few substitutions you can make under the section "Ingredients Needed..."
- ***For low carb, you can use this keto sweetener. Omit sweetener for Whole30 option.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 483Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 425mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 38g
The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.