When I recently visited the library and sat down to flip through the latest Real Simple, I didn’t expect to be copying a recipe down before returning it to the shelf. I couldn’t resist this recipe’s simplicity and one pot meal potential. Let’s face it we all need more quick, easy meals from a slow cooker.

I changed up the original recipe a bit by halving the amount of meat and doubling the cabbage. I didn’t even notice that there was less meat. The cabbage melts down into the rich, savory broth and becomes almost buttery. The dish is rich and flavorful, but the bright bite of the scallions cuts right through all of this.

Sweet, sour and spicy – this dish is quite the palate pleaser. And because you can throw it together in the morning and have a full meal at the end of the day, it is a schedule-pleaser as well.

Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs with Cabbage & Carrots

adapted from Real Simple magazine

Recipe Notes: This was perfect served alongside caulifried rice (cauliflower chopped until the size of rice and fried as rice). Of course if you are eating grains, brown rice or millet would be the perfect accompaniment.


  • 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (~1/3 cup if using regular soy sauce)
  • 2 T. honey or ~1/8 tsp. stevia
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 – 3 lbs. grass-fed beef short ribs (4-6 ribs)
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 medium green cabbage (~2-3 lbs), cut into eighths
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced


Optional step: In a large skillet, over medium heat brown the ribs on all sides.

In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, combine soy sauce, honey/stevia, vinegar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Add the ribs (browned or not) and the carrots, arranging in a single layer if possible. Lay the cabbage on top of the ribs and carrots.

Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low 7-8 hours. After a few hours of cooking, or 30 minutes before serving, stir the cabbage into the juices in order to distribute the flavor.

Before serving, taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary.

Remove the bones from the ribs and set aside to use for stock.

Serve with a small drizzle of sesame oil and sprinkle with scallions.

this post is a contribution to Fight Back Friday


18 Responses to Asian Inspired Slow Cooker Short Ribs with Cabbage & Carrots

  1. CHEESESLAVE says:

    This looks so yummy — thank you. I love your recipes!


  2. FoodRenegade says:

    Oooh. Thrifty, tasty, and EASY.

    This is my kind of recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    (AKA FoodRenegade)


  3. Kimberly says:

    Just discovered your blog not long ago! My husband would LOVE this dish. There aren’t many things that my whole family will eat, but I think this would pass:)


  4. Sarah says:

    Yum! This looks fantastic! I’ve been looking for more slow cooker recipes that don’t include grains or “fillers” for low-carb cooking. Thanks!



  5. Linds says:

    I made this for dinner tonight (I had to tweak a couple ingredients because we didn’t have a couple items) but it was delicious! My kids (3 and 1) loved it too! Thank you!


  6. Aurelia says:

    I was excited to try this, but I’m saddened to report that we were utterly disappointed. It was watery, insipid and dull. I only got some savoriness into it with the sesame oil at the very end, but it only tasted of sesame oil. Perhaps if the sauce was used to marinate overnight before turning all into the crockpot?

    I’ve had similar problems with other Real Simple recipes, but had hopes for this one based on what I read here.


  7. Bethany says:

    Shannon, I tried this recipe this weekend. We had family in town for my daughter’s ballet recital. I needed an easy dish that I could prepare and forget about.

    This dish was great & pleased everyone. And we had an age span from 2 to 91 years!

    Thanks so much for posting this.


  8. Rayelle says:

    I must admit I was dubious, but I made this today and it was delicious! This is a great idea for beef ribs; they can be almost too fatty but the fat combined with the large amount of cabbage was perfect. It was just enough to bring the dish together and give it a nice buttery feel. My 13 month old hasn’t eaten so voraciously in weeks!


  9. Sarah says:

    I’m making this again today . . . mmm. . . can’t wait!



  10. [...] Asian Inspired Slow Cooker Short Ribs with Cabbage & Carrots [...]

  11. Honeychka says:

    This looks lovely. Would it be possible to cook it in the dutch oven instead? We just recently got rid of our slower cook because of the lead issue. Thanks!


    Shannon Reply:

    Honeychka – I believe it should be fine. You might have to monitor the liquid level and stir as the bottom can become scorched otherwise. Let us know how it turns out!


  12. Shannon – just tried this out tonight and it was a HUGE hit. The best part – my 2 1/2 and 1 year olds LOVED it. We live in Germany right now and I’m still getting my bearings so I wasn’t able to find rice wine vinegar at our little market – I subbed white wine vinegar instead and the flavor was still incredible. I wanted to drink the broth like soup! Thanks again for another great recipe.


  13. [...] I are becoming fast friends with the addition of a second baby in the home! Last week we made the Asian Inspired Slow Cooker Short Ribs from Nourishing Days, and it was SO GOOD. My husband will want this recipe on rotation about every [...]

  14. […] Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs with Cabbage & Carrots :: Nourishing Days […]

  15. Shannon says:

    Aurelia – I’m sorry to hear that. We did not have this experience at all. Did you taste the sauce and season with salt as needed? Were your short ribs well-marbled? Did you brown the meat? All of these could be contributing factors. I am sorry you didn’t enjoy it.


  16. Aurelia says:

    I treated the meat as I always do for the crockpot. That is to say, I brown it in melted suet, having salted it beforehand. My butcher (we have a meat counter with actual butchers at my local market!!) is used to me asking for fatty cuts of meat and suet.

    My rice also turned out badly. My cooking mojo may have just been off yesterday.


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