Slow Cooker Korean Style Shortribs

Slow cookers can be a wonderful thing when used correctly. Having a hot meal waiting when you get home from work or running errands is such a stress reducer. I’ve had several slow cookers over the years and I haven’t gotten enough use out of any of them. I have a slight fear of leaving things cooking all day when I’m gone plus without a way to control the cooking time, everything I made in them had an over cooked mushy texture. Last year I bought a Hamilton Beach programmable slow cooker and I love it. It has a probe so I can cook a roast or whole chicken to a specific temperature and it will automatically stop cooking.
A couple of months ago, hubby and I went to the really cozy Japanese/Korean restaurant in our neighborhood. It’s our regular sushi “go-to” spot but I was in the mood for red meat so I ordered the Korean short ribs. They must have come directly from broiler to my plate because they were blazing hot. The spicy sweet sauce that coated the ribs was addictive. I could have poured the sauce over some rice and eaten that as my meal. Along with the ribs, we were given a table full of small condiment bowls with kimchi, bean sprouts, steamed veggies, mushrooms, etc. The meal would have been perfect except that the ribs were tough and chewy. Broiling the ribs didn’t give the connective tissue enough time to break down so they were a challenge to eat. I thought about those ribs for weeks and how I could replicate them minus the chewiness. I settled on putting them in slow cooker and letting them cook low and slow. Dump everything in the pot, cover it, and let them cook until tender. If you’re short of time, turn your slow cooker on high and reduce the time to 2 hours.
Notes: Flanken cut ribs are cut horizontally across the bone. If you can’t find these, ask your butcher. Publix was really nice about taking a pack of ribs and cutting them for me. You could also use regular ribs but you may need to cook them a little longer. The package I bought was 2 pounds and they barely fed 2 people. By the time they cooked down and we cut off the fat there wasn’t a ton of meat left. Buy more of them than you think you’ll need.


  1. Lannae
    July 12, 2011

    Hey Janet! OMG! Those look so good! I love Korean style short ribs so much! That is what I get at Tofu House and Manna’s for $20+ per serving. I want to make this at my house! I would love to put them in on Saturday morning and be eating them for dinner. I do love the slow cooker too, it feels like cheating the time and effort it takes to cook somehow, but it is not really cheating! So, for the meat cut across the bone like you have it, I get mine from Fiesta EMart on Nolensville Rd. It is located at the corner of Elysian Field and Nolensville, next to the yellow Mexican Restaurant and down on the corner from the Kroger. Fiesta EMart is actually Korean owned (same owners as K&S), and they sell a lot of beef cut short ribs cut this way. There are other ingredients there that are the same as Kroger but cheaper, like jalapeno peppers, limes and avocados (guacamole on the cheap). Fiesta EMart buys the produce from the same warehouse Kroger does, they just sell it cheaper than Kroger.

  2. Nigel Sanders
    June 29, 2012

    Hey Janet-

    Thanks for the recipe! We make these ribs at least once or twice a month. Simple and delicious!

  3. Mary Ruth Andrews
    April 28, 2013

    This is an excellent recipe.

  4. Karla Moore
    January 9, 2018

    Is a slow cooker the same as a crockpot?

    • jfoster
      March 19, 2018

      Yes. Crockpot is a brand name.

  5. Frances Oliveira
    July 30, 2018

    Just finished making your recipe and it’s very tasty. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be making these again soon. Have anymore tasty recipes you want to share? 🙂


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