Crock Pot Asian-Style Ribs

fall off the bone tender

Sometimes, when you do freelance work or guest blog posts, people ask you for a headshot. I’m really bad at this. I usually send along vacation photos or some photo from a party. More often than not, I’m wearing sunglasses or something in these photos because they cover part of my face and turn an alright photo into a better photo by hiding any asymmetry or whatever. I am a human woman and I feel insecure half of the time, okay? Don’t we all? I try my best to not succumb to stupid thoughts like these because it is society’s problem if they don’t like the way I look, not mine, but still, I’m usually adjusting the top of my shirt or fixing my hair or making sure my eyeliner is straight. It makes me mad that I even have to bother with this stuff, but you’re indoctrinated with it from the moment you’re old enough to understand that glittery is shiny so, here we are. With the holiday season coming up, I’ve been getting more of these headshot requests. I am a really bad photo subject – I make goofy faces, I don’t look at the camera (in that I look down all the time for some reason) and I decide that ~this photo session is over~ probably 10 shots in. I like to be the photographer, not the one being photographed. However, I asked Kramer over the weekend to just take a few quick shots of me in the kitchen and he obliged, although he is as nervous a photographer as I am a photographee…is that a word? Whatever. I actually really like these photos that we took in 15 minutes while I made us both a drink to quickly consume afterward to quell any stress that may have evolved from Kramer operating the camera and myself standing behind it. Thanks to Kramer for being patient and a pat on the back to me for taking off my sunglasses.


Anyway, enough with that. How about a nice little story? This had never happened to me before, but I found someone’s cell phone in a cab last week. I didn’t want to give it to the cabby, because honestly, he probably gets no fewer than one thousand cell phones handed off to him per week and there is probably a black hole of a cardboard box at the taxi dispatch where many cell phones have entered, but few have ever left. I tried to unlock the phone, but its impenetrable code system could not be broken, so I just waited for someone to call it. Of course, five minutes later, someone did call it. The owner said that he was in from out of the country and we arranged to meet outside of my office so that he could pick up his phone. When I finally went to hand off the device, he was standing there in a handsome grey suit with a friend. He told me that he had just gotten into town and that he and his husband had just gotten married that day! I was so happy that I could give him his phone back and not turn his wedding day into a big ball of stress, having to get a new phone and a new number and find all of his contacts and all of that nonsense. He thanked me and shoved $20 into my hand – obviously I did not return his phones for jewels and riches, but he insisted and hopped into a cab before I could continue to tell him that I didn’t need the money. It was a great way to end my week and I immediately purchased a round of beers with my $20, as I’m sure he would have wanted me to.

Crock Pot Asian-Style Ribs

This is my favorite way to make ribs. Maybe it’s not the most traditional and it’s certainly not barbecue, but I love them all the same. Leaving the ribs in the crock pot with soy sauce, ponzu sauce (which is a citrus-y Japanese soy/vinegar sauce), fresh ginger and garlic, and of course, Sriracha or chili oil, makes for tender, fall-off-the-bone deliciousness, and you hardly have to do any work. I like to reduce the leftover sauce to thicken it a bit, then broil the ribs in the oven for a few minutes for a wonderful caramelization effect, but that is completely optional – you can enjoy these straight out of the crock pot with a little bit of the juices poured over the top, if you like. There’s not really a definite way to describe what kind of Asian cuisine these ribs are. Soy sauce is used almost everywhere, Ponzu sauce is Japanese but other countries have adopted it as well, Sriracha is technically Thai but we all know that it is produced in California…the list goes on. These ribs are just a culmination of the flavors of many different countries, coming together to make sweet, tangy, crowd pleasing ribs that are as easy to make as they are to enjoy.

Crock Pot Asian-Style RibsI’ll have to do a post on how to make a vesper sometime soon, but it’s more of a summer cocktail.

AboutA twist of lemon.

Crock Pot Asian-Style RibsCheers!

Crock Pot Asian-Style RibsGood job, Kramer.

Crock Pot Asian-Style RibsPut everything in your crock pot on high (4-5 hours) or low (7-8 hours), then reduce the sauce and broil the ribs.

Crock Pot Asian-Style RibsServe garnished with sesame seeds and scallions.

Crock Pot Asian-Style Ribs

Crock Pot Asian-Style Ribs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
Tender pork ribs cooked in a sweet and tangy Korean style sauce in the crock pot.
  • 4 pounds pork ribs
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup ponzu sauce (if you do not have ponzu sauce, use an additional ¼ cup of soy sauce + the juice of ½ an orange)
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely grated or minced
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or hot chili oil
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Grease the inside of your crock pot with non-stick spray or oil. Add in the ribs. Whisk together the soy sauce, ponzu sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger, Sriracha and chili flakes, then pour over the ribs. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.
  2. When ready to eat, remove the ribs from the pot (they will be fall-apart tender, so do this gently) and place them on a baking sheet. Preheat your oven to broil.
  3. Pour the sauce into a pot. Whisk together the corn starch and water, and pour it into the sauce. Whisk the sauce over medium-high heat until bubbling, then baste the ribs in the sauce. Broil the ribs for 2 minutes or so, until bubbling and slightly caramelized. Serve garnished with sliced scallions and sesame seeds. You may want to serve this alongside rice or your favorite vegetable.


37 Responses

  1. Anthony says:

    I’m not sure why you’re photo-shy; you’re a great subject. I particularly like the first shot. As for the ribs, these look wonderful. And now I’m starving. Great. 😉

  2. Quinn Cooper says:

    I’m making this tomorrow! Can’t wait.

    Quinn Cooper Style

  3. Kendra says:

    Sydney, you look ridiculously adorable in these photos! I must share a short story: my boyfriend and I were vacationing in a small Connecticut town over the summer and we ended up finding a cell phone under a bench at the town’s old train station. We went to the inbox to message someone (as the phone had very low battery by the time we found it, we feared we wouldn’t have time to call someone) and the most recent message was from a man whose message indicated that he had not heard from the owner in a few days and seemed frantic to find him and make sure he was ok. So we messaged that number and said we had found the phone and gave our location. The man showed up within 10 minutes and frantically told us something along the lines of, “Thank you so much…he didn’t show up to work this morning…I gotta find this kid…” and the guy sped off! He seemed to be some sort of mentor to the phone’s owner…it was a strange situation but we were glad we were able to help him out. Anyway, sorry for such a long comment. My mouth is watering now as I look at the recipe and photos of these ribs! Keep the slow cooker recipes coming!

  4. I love your headshots! I need my husband to help me with some new ones, which will mean — exactly like you said — me feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera, him feeling uncomfortable behind it. Hopefully we can pull it off as well as y’all, I especially love your “cheers” shot! That makes for a good impression when freelancing, right, cocktail in hand?…..

    Great story about the lost-and-found phone, congratulations to those two fellas! And I am so making these ribs, DAMN, yum. I’m thinking perhaps shorter cooking time and lil’ individual riblets for finger-food at one of my holiday parties, no? Woohoooo! Thanks for a great recipe!

  5. Lynna says:

    You`re so pretty!! I don`t think you have to worry a bit! Also, I dislike trying to get a good headshot as well. If I have to be in a photo, I rather be in it with friends… HAHA.

    Also, i wish i lived in NYC just so I could try all your cooking! Loving this. Plus, I feel like I can totally make this because it`s cooked in a slow cooker. LOL

  6. Anna says:

    Mmm, ribs!!! I’m not a meat expert – what kind of cut did you use? Just a rack?
    PS. Your hair looks love-a-ly!

  7. Sasha says:

    Sydney, stop worrying about your top or whatever and start taking more pictures – you’re gorgeous! And that hair, I must say I am jelly (another bad woman trait :/ )

  8. […] Crock pot asian style ribs – definitely have to try this! […]

  9. Dann says:

    Made the ribs yesterday, followed the recipe; the ribs were good but I thought the sauce needed more flavor. I skimmed the fat from the sauce before adding the corn starch slurry, but should have reduced the sauce some first. I thought it needed more sweetness, will add more sugar and ginger next time. Yes, I will do this again.

  10. It’s always tough to be photographed. Those pics look fab! I take a couple every time I’m dressed up and typically have a couple I can give out. These ribs look great too!

  11. Judy says:

    Just wondering…If I double this recipe will it still take the same amount of time in a crock pot?

  12. Gemma says:

    I made these ribs at the weekend and they were everything you promised! The meat fell off the bone, was so juicy and delicious! It didn’t look like a lot of sauce was left when I poured it from the slow cooker into the pan, so I added a little extra Ponzu and rice vinegar. When I added the cornflour it went from milky gravy to silken, treacle-sticky rib sauce in moments! The sauce itself is like an Asian barbeque sauce, so tasty and rich. Thanks for the recipe! Also – I used Chilli oil as Sriracha is rare in Britain and it turned out great. Thanks for subbing it in!

  13. likeinmexico says:

    Oh! Dios mio.
    Just… what I was looking for!! Thank you, for a such a simple yet delicious recipe 😉
    Your pics are not bad at all girl!

  14. Tara says:

    Hi, Sydney!
    These ribs were crazy good. I made them this week & the whole family went nuts.
    Thanks for having a consistently great blog! I really enjoy it. Have a Happy Turkey Day!

  15. Carla says:

    I made this recipe last night and followed the recipe and it came out so yummy! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, very delicious!

  16. Kelly says:

    I made these last night. They were great and everyone loved them.

    I bought 12lbs of ribs (bone in) and then quadrupled the sauce so as to have plenty of sauce. I also didn’t buy the Ponzu sauce and did the soy/fresh orange juice. Maybe it is because I quadrupled the sauce or didn’t use Ponzu, but I found it a bit salty. So, if I were to do it again, to counter balance the soy, I would increase the brown sugar and fresh orange juice by 1/4 or 25 percent. I also used gluten free soy but that typically doesn’t matter.

    All in all, a total win. I put it all in the slower cooker in the AM and returned to feed 12 people for dinner w/ ease. I served it with roasted broccoli and corn bread.

  17. Susan says:

    Mine turndown out awesome! Made extra sauce to set aside for use without adding corn starch etc and drizzled over veggies and served over jasmine rice. Thanks for sharing recipe!

  18. Diana @ASpoonfulOfLuxe says:

    I found this recipe today and we just had it for dinner. FANTASTIC! I did make it a bit less spicy (toned down the red pepper flakes as we are spice wimps!), but the rest was perfection. Thank you so much! :-)

  19. Alana says:

    Made these today/tonight and they turned out PERFECT! Husband and brother were very pleased, and so was I!

  20. […] Fried Rice and Crock Pot Asian Pork […]

  21. Laura says:

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic! I’ve been looking for a recipe for crockpot ribs because I like to eat them on weeknights and the recipes always call for 4-5 hours of cooking. This was so easy and the whole family loved them — even said they were delicious! Thanks much for the great recipe. Just discovered your blog — really like it.

  22. cassidy says:

    I made this and it was a little too salty.. i would suggest using apple juice instead of water, and use low sodium soy.. using apple juice will give it a better flavor too, but whatever works for you is cool.. or if you don’t like it too spicy, use sweet chili sauce, that will help balance it out batter while making it taste more complex…

  23. Sam says:

    Is there any way to do these in the oven? I’m cooking for a big crowd and my crock pot won’t fit enough ribs for everyone.

  24. Liz says:

    this recipe is a keeper! to vamp up the korean flavors i used gochujang instead of sriracha and added korean red pepper powder and toasted sesame oil. I also rubbed the brown sugar into the ribs and let them stand for five minutes before adding the rest of the marinade.

  25. […] Slow Cooker Asian Style Ribs […]

  26. tracy says:

    Great recipe, thanks. Made some tiny adjustments – added 2 tbs of sesame oil, axed the sriracha (we didn’t have) and doubled the chili flakes, and used a sweet, thicker thai soy sauce plus a quarter cup of lemon juice. also didn’t do the last step. we just ate it straight out of the crock pot over rice. i felt like a professional cook. thank you!

  27. Lynda says:

    Made these and they were delish! Definitely would make them again!

  28. […] The ribs are so good and fall off the bone tender. 😛 Make sure you get low-sodium soy sauce or they can be a little salty, even without any extra salt added. You can use any pork rib like spare ribs – I happen to use baby back ribs. The recipe is courtesy of The Crepes of Wrath. […]

  29. Jan C says:

    These were the best ribs I have ever made! Outstanding. The only thing I did different was added some crushed peanuts on top with the scallions and sesame seeds. Thanks for the recipe!

  30. Rich Neusse says:

    Sidney, you are a pre-Raphaelite painting in the flesh. Beutiful.

  31. Anjeline says:

    made these last night with my boyfriend and they were the! we ate way too much! we made some mashed potatoes with it and used some of the glaze on our potatoes too & it was sooooo very good! thanks for this! we’ll definitely be making it again

  32. Meaghan says:

    This looks delicious! Can I make it with beef ribs? My husband is not a fan of pork. Thanks!

  33. Christine says:

    This was soooo good and amazing flavor very easy. Over rice. I cooked 5 hrs in slow cook then 10 minutes in pressure cooker. Will make again and again love the flavor

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