Slow-cooker Sticky Asian ribs

Delicious, simple slow cooker ribs with fabulous Asian flavors! Garnish with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds, and serve with rice and your favorite veggie for a truly delicious summer dish.

  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


  • 34 pounds baby back ribs (also called back ribs)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons Chinese five-spice
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 6 packed tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Scallions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, combine sauce ingredients, soy sauce through garlic.
  2. Remove the tough membrane from the bottom of the ribs. Cut racks, if needed, to fit into slow cooker. Prop racks up on the thick ends with meaty sides leaning on the sides of the slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. As the cook time comes to an end, preheat the broiler to high. Layer a sheet pan with foil and place a baking rack on top (better airflow = more browning), spraying generously with cooking spray.
  4. The ribs will be falling apart, so lift carefully out of the slow cooker and place them on the rack.
  5. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid. In a measuring cup or small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in a few tablespoons of the liquid.
  6. Pour the rest of the liquid into a saucepan, add brown sugar and cornstarch mix, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until thickened, 2 minutes or less. Remove from heat.
  7. Glaze the ribs on both sides. Broil for about 3 minutes per side, flipping once. Be careful; the high sugar content means a deliciously sticky rib but also makes them prone to burning.
  8. Remove from the oven and celebrate. Serve in 2-4 rib chunks, topped with extra glaze, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds. For a fully Asian meal, serve with sticky white rice.