Chinese Beef Short Ribs- Instant Pot or Crock Pot {Paleo & GAPS}

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From the pickiest of eaters to the most sophisticated, this slightly sweet, rich, delectable sauce and fall apart meat (that come with Chinese Beef Short Ribs!) will have you proud of the 10 minutes labor you enjoyed! Seriously, 10 minutes is all it takes to make this amazing meal- one that will have you licking your fingers and reminding yourself to stop when you’re full…because you’d rather keep eating it. Young kids will love the flavors. Grown-ups will ask you for the recipe. You’ll be able to say it’s a quick Instant Pot or Crock Pot recipe suitable for Paleo and GAPS!

The ingredients…

The Chinese 5-Spice is worth seeking out, if you don’t already have this lovely spice on hand. It makes the dish full of nuances, complex and mildly spicy. (This spice powder combination, by the way, is also excellent for making kraut– one with grated apple, carrot and optional cabbage.)

You can select either coconut amino acids or real fermented soy sauce to make the sauce. Both are good. I have made the recipe both ways. Coconut amino acids is much milder, so you’ll see that reflected in the recipe below: you need more. If you choose the fermented soy sauce, it’s saltier; so that recipe option calls for less. The jar lasts a long time. Use whichever suits your dietary needs best: one is coconut-based and is ideal for the GAPS Diet and most Paleo eaters; the other is soy-based, but the soy is long-fermented as it should be, so it’s a safe condiment for those who don’t need to avoid soy altogether. It’s a Traditional fermented food.

Also, the bones! The bones in the short ribs have some serious value. While the stew cooks, there is essentially a meat stock being made. Beautiful, healing gelatin and collagen come out of those bones infusing our stew with a rich umami flavor and gut-healing benefits.

A word about the leftovers…

Regarding the amazing sauce itself, you will have leftovers. This is good. Here’s how it works: the beef short ribs cook in plenty of sauce. They stay really moist and the bit of meat that sticks up out of the sauce gets a bit caramelized- so yum. After you’ve served the meat and gobbled up all the goodness you’ll have a lot of the cooking sauce leftover.

What to do? Rejoice! You have two more easy meals waiting for you!

Freeze the sauce, or eat Chinese food for two more nights.

Here’s how: the first night you can cube or place whole chicken thighs into the sauce, boneless and skinless. Add chopped broccoli, too. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through. If you left the thighs whole, shred them, using two forks. Serve over riced cauliflower, over white rice, or just so.

The second night, which is really your third meal with this sauce, you can cook up 1-1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef in a large skillet. Add frozen veggies or sauteed onions or mushrooms, whatever else you like. When the meat and veggies are mostly cooked, add the remaining sauce and cook to combine for a 2-3 minutes. This is yummy. It’s goulash-y and super comforting. I put it in my daughter’s thermos for lunch one day and she came home saying, “What was that in my lunch today? That was so good.” Ha! Meal 3 on the same sauce, but it tastes new and different. ๐Ÿ™‚

Super happy food, this- easy, comforting, kids like it, etc. etc. etc.

Eat on, friends! Enjoy, with love.



Chinese Beef Short Ribs
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6
Author: Megan
  • 4-4.5 pounds beef short ribs cut in 4"- 6" lengths (usually this is already done by the butcher)
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 2/3 cup coconut amino acids, or 1/3 cup real fermented soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, freshly grated or minced
  • 10 cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
  1. Place short ribs into crock pot. Top with all remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Serve.
  2. For an easy vegetable side dish, bake winter squash (such as butternut or kabocha) until very tender; add enough of the finished Chinese cooking sauce to create a mashed potato consistency by pureeing in food processor, high powered blender or by mashing and stirring by hand. Excellent. Serve ribs over mashed/pureed squash with a bit of sauce poured over all. Also add a side of quickly sauteed or roasted greens (spinach or collards) to make the plate pretty and complete.
  3. See Recipe notes for Instant Pot instructions.
Recipe Notes

To Cook in Instant Pot

  • Add all ingredients to liner pot. Put on and lock lid.
  • Set Instant Pot onย โ€œStew/Meat.โ€
  • The IP will automatically set itself for 35 minutes on high pressure.
  • Make sure steam valve is closed.
  • The Instant Pot will automatically switch over to warm when the cooking time has elapsed. Let it rest and allow it to release the pressure on its own slowly.
  • After 20 minutes the IP will switch to the โ€œWarmโ€ setting. Open the top.
  • Serve. Or puree sauce with cooked winter squash, to make an easy and delicious side dish.


Comments 18

  1. Wow this sounds amazing!!! I am all about the beautiful sauce. My husband would LOVE this! Can’t wait to make it.

  2. Just gorgeous Megan! I am posting a short rib recipe this week and wishing I had taken a photo of the meat pulled apart to show it’s tenderness! Great job. Pinned, shared etc…

  3. This just sounds SO incredibly tasty, and I love that you get so much extra sauce to stretch out over a few different recipes, too. Thanks for so many ideas in the one post! Pinned ๐Ÿ™‚

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