Make traditional Korean braised spicy ribs in the slow cooker

Slow cooker spicy braised pork ribs (Korean Bapsang).
Slow cooker spicy braised pork ribs (Korean Bapsang).PHOTO: THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

(THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Korean braised dishes are so easy to cook in the slow cooker and this spicy braised pork ribs (maeun dweji galbijjim) is no exception. You throw the ingredients in a slow cooker and forget about it until the meat is fork-tender and ready to be served. 

Spicy braised ribs is a popular braised dish in South Korea. I like to use baby back ribs for this recipe as they are tender and meaty. 

This recipe is spicy, but you can make it spicier by adding more gochugaru (Korean red chilli pepper flakes), some dried whole red chilli peppers, or fresh chilli peppers. On the other hand, if you want to make a mild version, you can reduce or omit the gochugaru. 

You can sear the ribs to add that rich browned meat flavour and remove some fat if you like. This recipe skips that process. 

Slow cooker spicy braised pork ribs (Korean Bapsang)

1.4kg pork baby back ribs
1 medium onion, cut into big chunks
1 large potato, cut into big chunks
2 scallions, cut into big chunks
6 to 7 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4cm ginger, thinly sliced 

For the sauce
3 Tbs gochugaru
2 Tbs sugar 
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 Tbs soya sauce
3 Tbs rice wine (or mirin)
2 Tbs honey
2 Tbs gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
1 tsp doenjang (Korean fermented soyabean paste)
1 Tbs sesame oil
1/2 apple, grated


  1. Separate the ribs by cutting through the meat between the bones. Rinse the ribs and let them sit in cold water for about 30 minutes to draw out excess blood. Drain well or pat dry with paper towels. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables.
  2. Place the ribs in a slow cooker. Mix all the sauce ingredients, except the sesame oil, in a small bowl. Add to the ribs and stir well to coat evenly. Add the vegetables. 
  3. Turn the slow cooker on high heat. Cover and cook for three to four hours until the ribs reach the desired tenderness (you can cook on low heat if you will be out for longer, about six to eight hours). Stir in the sesame oil and skim off excess fat before serving, if desired. Serve with a bowl of rice.