These sweet and sticky slow-cooked short ribs use my fail-proof method for fall-apart meat, packed full of flavour!
First we cook them slowly in a flavoured stock in the oven, then lightly fry them to crisp the edges, then coat them in a delicious Asian-inspired sticky sauce.

Slow cooked short ribs with chilli glaze on a bed of rice on a dark plate. Kale is also on the plate in the background.
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Slow-cooked until the meat is falling off the bone, then pan fried to crisp up the edges and given a sticky coating right at the last minute. That’s my kind of meal!

It’s a technique I first used for my Chinese pork belly (which is one of our most popular recipes on the blog) and I’ve been using it ever since. It works best for meats that are fatty and/or a little on the tough side, and it turns a cheap piece of meat into something amazing!

The slow cooking process makes the meat melt-in-the-mouth, and most of the fat renders away. Any fat that’s left, is soon crisped up during the second stage.

📋 What do we need for the slow-cooking stage?

Ingredients for slow cooked Short ribs on a wooden table

Those lovely short ribs are going to be cooked gently in a flavoured stock until fall-apart tender.
Once they’re out of the oven, they’re fried for a few minutes to get those edges lovely and golden.

After that we add a flavourful sticky glaze to the pan with the ribs.

Overhead photo of sticky short ribs in a frying pan with sauce bubbling around the short ribs.

📋 What do we need for the sticky glaze?

Ingredients for a sticky chilli glaze on a wooden table
  • The sticky glaze is made with
  • Ginger
  • Honey
  • Light brown sugar
  • Soy sauce
  • Lemongrass paste
  • A chopped up chilli pepper
  • Plus a little salt and pepper.

📺 Watch how to make it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

🍽️ What to serve them with

What will you serve yours with?

Overhead shot of slow cooked sticky short ribs on a bed of boiled rice.

🍲 More fantastic slow-cooked recipes

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5 from 15 votes

Sweet and Sticky Slow-Cooked Short Ribs

These sweet and sticky slow-cooked short ribs use my fail-proof method for fall-apart meat that’s packed full of flavour!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian, British


Slow cooked stage:

  • 4 short ribs
  • 1 ¼ litres (5 1/4 cups) beef stock
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped in half
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

For frying the beef short ribs:

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

For the crispy/sticky coating:

  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and minced
  • 1 red chilli pepper I use Fresno chillies, de-seeded and chopped finely)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon grass paste
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  • Start with the slow-cooked stage – Preheat the oven to 170C/350F (fan). Place all of the ingredients from the slow-cooked stage into a large oven-proof casserole pan.
    4 short ribs, 1 1/4 litres (5 1/4 cups) beef stock, 2 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp white pepper, 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp rice wine, 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • Heat over a high heat until boiling, then place a lid on and place in the oven for 3 hours. Check a couple of times during the last hour of cooking and top up with water if it’s starting to go dry.
  • Take out of the oven and carefully remove the ribs from the pan (the meat will want to fall off the bone, so I find a good set of tongs helps to get them out). Drain any excess liquid off the ribs. Discard the cooking liquor – or use it in soup or Ramen.
  • Heat the oil on a high heat in a large frying pan (skillet). Add the ribs and cook, turning once or twice until the edges are golden and crisp. It takes about 6-7 minutes. Be careful as the oil will spit due to the fat on the meat.
    2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • Mix together the sticky coating ingredients in a small bowl and add to the frying pan. Bubble together, tuning the ribs to coat, until the sauce thickens to a sticky glaze.
    pinch salt and pepper, 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, 1 red chilli pepper, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp light brown sugar, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp lemon grass paste
  • Turn off the heat and serve the ribs with rice and stir-fried vegetables or salad.



Can I make it ahead?
Yes, you can make it up to the end of step 3 (where the short ribs are slow-cooked and then drained). Then quickly cool, cover and refrigerate for up to two days.
You can also make the sauce ahead, then cover and refrigerate it up to a day ahead.
Take the cooked beef out of the refrigerator about an hour before you want to finish cooking it – to take the chill off it.
Then you can complete the recipe – frying the meat first in the oil (fry on a medium heat for a few minutes longer than it says in the recipe, as we want to ensure the short ribs are piping hot in the middle). Then we add the glaze and bubble it all up as per the recipe.
Can I use my slow cooker?
Yes, you can do the first stage in the slow cooker, rather than the oven. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours. Keep an eye on the level of liquid and top up with a little more if needed.
Nutritional Information is per serving of short rib.


Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 928mg | Potassium: 617mg | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 16.8mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 3.8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This recipe was first published February 2017. Updated July 2021 with new photos, video and some housekeeping.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Leroux says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. Will definitely make it again.

    How do I keep the sugar in the sauce from becoming hard when it starts cooling? Or is it the idea to harden like candy?