Asian Inspired Beef Rib Tacos!

Korean Tacos

On Friday we went to this awesome Asian inspired tapas restaurant in Malden called Tornado. They had these steamed buns with pickled vegetables and confit pork belly that were out of this world! I wanted to create something that had a similar flavor combination, so decided on Asian beef rib tacos! I had some left over cilantro that was going to go bad from when I made guacamole, so I decided to incorporate that (as well as pickled onion) into a slaw like topping for the meat. We went with beef back ribs simply because they were half the price of short ribs, and because I was planning on using the crockpot (yes, another selling point for a crockpot- you can make this so easily!) I didn’t need an incredible cut of meat. Once you cook someone for 8 hours, it will get so tender and flavorful that you don’t need to break the bank to get the best cut of meat. Anyways, enough jibber jabbering, I know you all want to get right into the recipe so you can make these! They were as good as they look. The pickled onion slaw combined with the tender, flavorful meat was just perfect. Although I used different flavors and spices than were used in the steamed buns, the end result (from a flavor combo perspective) was similar! You guys are gonna love this one! 

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours (15 minutes inactive)



  • 4 lbs beef ribs (we used back ribs)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)*
  • 2 inches fresh ginger (peeled and minced)*
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • a little under 1 cup brown sugar (we used dark brown)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes


  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 onion (julienned)
  • 1 1/2 large carrots (peeled and julienned)- I used my potato peeler to peel off long strips instead of manually cutting into thin strips.
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 handful cilantro (chopped)
  • drizzle of sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger (minced)*
  • pinch red pepper flakes

*Note: I actually used a food processor to mince the garlic and ginger- it saved a lot of time!


For the ribs

Mix garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Grease the crockpot (I just sprayed it with PAM). Place the ribs in the crockpot then pour the sauce over them. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours. Make sure to move the ribs around a few times during cooking so that all ribs get immersed in the sauce.Cooking Ribs

When the ribs finish cooking and are tender, remove from the crockpot and discard bones. Shred meat with two forks, or wait until it is cool to the touch and shred with your hands.

Meanwhile, skim fat off the top of the sauce then transfer remaining sauce into a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Once thickened, pour some sauce and the meat back into the crockpot and heat until warm. While warming, preheat oven to 350 and warm tortillas.

For the slaw

Mix rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Place sliced onions in bowl and let sit for ~15 minutes to pickle the onions. Transfer the mixture to a medium size bowl and add in the carrots. Stir in the lime juice, cilantro, sesame oil, ginger and red pepper flakes.

Place meat on tortillas, top with slaw and enjoy! You can also use lettuce leaves and create lettuce wraps in lieu of the tortillas!

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 505; Fat: 27 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Carbs: 48 g; Sugars: 35 g; Protein: 25 g

Amanda’s Rating: 9/10

Would’ve been a 10/10 but the meat was still a tiny bit fatty in taste. Thanks to my lovely step-mom, I’ve grown accustomed to as little fat as possible, so I think I would’ve enjoyed this more if the cut of meat was slightly more lean.

Nevin’s Rating: 9/10



3 Comments Add yours

  1. angelnina says:

    I’ve been experimenting with different taco fillings, and this one looks like a winner! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Effing love it! That slaw is off the hook!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lizjones090 says:

    yum! just went to a place called Salvation Taco in NYC on Thursday, very well known for their mini tacos, but I bet these would give them a run for their $$!

    Liked by 1 person


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