Saturday, May 18, 2013

Slow-Cooker Korean Pork Ribs

Every so often, out of laziness, brokeness, or just not wanting to go grocery shopping, I'll take an inventory of the freezers. I've got the regular ol' above-the-fridge freezer, and a 5.0 cu. ft. chest freezer - it has a really small footprint, but holds a LOT. Honestly, I don't know how I ever got by without one!

Anyway, I TRIED to make a list once, taking everything out of the freezer, and even making a super-nerdy Excel spreadsheet. It worked great...for about 2 weeks. Then I quit crossing things off or adding new purchases. So, I rooted around in the freezer and was SURPRISED to find about 5 pounds of country-style pork ribs, bought when Winn-Dixie had a really good sale! 

I decided to try something different instead of regular BBQ ribs or my usual sticky sweet Thai chili ribs. I've been craving Korean food lately (we don't have many Korean restaurants here, and the big 'fancy' one was absolutely HORRIBLE the last time the BF and I ate there), so I decided to try to make galbi (kalbi) style the slow cooker (told you I was lazy)!

I actually like to make the sauce the night before - just combine all of the ingredients in a jar, put the lid on, and shake it up! Then, in the morning, all you have to do is plop the ribs in your slow cooker, pour the sauce on, and turn it on - EASY!

Slow-Cooker Korean Pork Ribs
adapted from Crepes of Wrath

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4-5 lbs pork ribs
3 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp cold water
Toasted sesame seeds
Sliced scallion

Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. 

Place the ribs in a large slow-cooker and pour the sauce on top. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or HIGH for 6 hours. 

I took my ribs out of the freezer the night before, to let them thaw in the fridge. They were still partially frozen when I put them in the slow-cooker. Still worked great!

Remove the ribs from the slow-cooker. Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan and skim off the excess fat. Return the ribs to the slow-cooker to keep warm. 

Whisk the cornstarch and cold water together to make a slurry. Add to the rib "sauce" in the saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. 

Serve the sauce over the ribs and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.

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