Dinner Main Course Winter

Korean BBQ Slow Cooker Ribs

January 1, 2015

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetFirst of all, Happy New Year! I’ve been swept up in all that comes along with starting a new job (and having retailers for clients in the fourth quarter), the holidays, and of course, some apartment problems c/o New York City. The new job has been all I could have asked for in a job so far. The last few months have been a whirlwind of new experiences and professional growth. Work aside, there was also a pest control issue with my apartment which I will spare you of the finer details of. This has left me “homeless” since before Thanksgiving floating around between a friend’s apartment, Michigan, and Chicago for the last month and a half. It’s still not resolved and it’s been highly stressful but I’m hoping it gets figured out shortly here so I can finally have my apartment back that I pay way too much for.

Anyway, I figured we’d start the New Year off with a recipe. I have a more updates than I have time to post but we’ll start here with Korean BBQ Slow Cooker Ribs! I find it hard to use a crock pot. I don’t know why. The idea of it is so appealing with that “set it and forget it” mentality. But I think I have nailed down a few recipes over the years that actually work, don’t turn out dry if left too long, and most of all, don’t look like you make it in a slow cooker.

There is nothing like puttingย something in your crock pot or slow cooker, setting it on low, leaving for work, and coming home to the whole house (or apartment building in my case) smelling amazing when you get back 8-10 hours later. It’s just one of those things that I associate most with fall and winter. So often though I find that slow cooker meals looks like complete and total garbage. Like something that Charlee puked out at the dog park or something (sorry!). Since you can’t really control what’s going on in there while your at work (e.g. turning or basing things once in a while), sometimes ends of things end up bone dry or shriveled up into a rock hard mass of thatsnotfuckingedible. I’ve been playing around with slow cooker ribs for many years and I think I’ve finally got something that works.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetInstead of your “standard” southern style BBQ, I decided that an Asian twist would be nice (SHOCKING! … NOT!). Step 1 was to get a great Korean BBQ sauce recipe down. To be fair, you can’t really go wrong with any combination of the listed ingredients so just know that measurements are flex for the BBQ sauce.

You can absolutely use a pre-made Korean BBQ sauce too. But, in case you’re feeling up to making your own, instructions are below. Smother your ribs in this sauce along with fresh scallions, cilantro, lemongrass, and garlic and you have dinner.

For crunch, I topped them with an apple and jicama slaw with cilantro and goat cheese.

Korean BBQ Slow Cooker Ribs




Yield 2-4 servings


Korean BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2-3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki or hoisin
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons chili paste/sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced


  • kosher salt/black pepper
  • 1 rack pork ribs, separated into 3-4 sections
  • 2 cups korean BBQ sauce
  • 1 stick lemongrass, halved and scored
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed


Korean BBQ Sauce

  1. Now normally, you'd take most of these ingredients and throw them over some heat, thicken it up with corn starch and store it for later use. But, for our purposes, just throw everything together in a bowl. I would add the water last and depending on the thickness of the sauce, not use any at all.
  2. Set aside when done and prep your ribs.


  1. Reserve some of your cilantro and scallions for garnish and set aside/refrigerate.
  2. Cut ribs apart into sets of 3-4 so you have 3-4 sections.
  3. Season both sides of the ribs with salt and pepper.
  4. Place ribs in the crock pot (crock pot is off) and cover with your fresh cilantro, scallions, onion, and throw in the lemongrass and garlic cloves.
  5. Pour your Korean BBQ sauce over the ribs and turn them to coat. Use any excess sauce, you can't have too much here.
  6. Put your slow cooker on low and leave it for 6-8 hours. This is a great one to throw together before work!
  7. If you are going to be around during the day, you can flip these after 3 hours or so to ensure that they stay coated and moist.
  8. These will be falling off the bone when they're ready. Enjoy!

Courses Main Course

Cuisine Asian

I hope that everyone has a happy and prosperous New Year! Keeping with tradition, I am starting the New Year off with a week sans caffeine. No outrageous work out centric goals for this girl because let’s get serious, that shit never works. I drove to Michigan three weeks ago with a Charlee on Xanax and an NYC rental SUV. We make the trek back on Saturday with some new clothing (can you say, outlet mall?!), a waffle maker, cast iron skillet, and giant Michigan shaped cutting board. Hopefully our apartment is still standing when we get there.

It’s been amazing working remotely the last few weeks, spending much needed time with family and friends, and being home for the first time in over a year. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it until I got here. But even still, I’m ready to go back to the concrete jungle Charlee and I now call home.

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  • Reply
    January 2, 2015 at 7:42 AM

    Hi Emily! Happy New Year ๐Ÿ™‚ so good to hear you are doing great, love to follow your life through this blog! I would like to make this but can I use beef ribs instead? I loved your ramen recipe so much it has become a weekly staple at my house. Thank you!

    • Reply
      January 3, 2015 at 6:12 PM

      Happy New Year to you too! You can totally use beef ribs! Let me know how they turn out ๐Ÿ™‚

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