Five-Spice Braised Short Ribs

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
November 2, 2023 | Updated on December 18, 2023

Braised short ribs are beef simmered in a luscious, five-spice broth and then braised in the oven until they’re fall-off-the-bone tender. Succulent, saucy, and savory, braised beef short ribs are a delicious comfort food that will warm you up on a cold day.

Craving juicy ribs? Then you have to try these Red Wine Short Ribs, Thai-Style Baby Back Ribs, and Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs next. If you’re in the mood for a roast check out How to Cook a Small Prime Rib Roast.

five spice beef short ribs on a plate with mashed potatoes, reduced sauce and chives

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Braised beef short ribs are such a treat! I don’t make it often because of the time it takes but when I have a craving (and especially during the fall and winter months), I whip out my large dutch oven.

As the short ribs and broth cook down, it transforms into a rich sauce that’s as good as liquid gold and the meat becomes so tender, it melts in your mouth. Crispy fried shallots are the perfect finishing touch. It’s worth the wait, every time.

What brings this dish home is the cilantro-mint and shallot salad paired with a sweet and umami-rich dressing. A big bite of flavorful short ribs, rice, and salad will give you a mouthful of flavors that will keep you scooping for more.

Why This Braised Beef Short Ribs Recipe Works

  • Winter Comfort Food – Cooked low and slow, this hearty beef ribs recipe will warm you up from the inside out. It’s savory, aromatic, and the perfect entree for the fall and winter months. Serve it on a special occasion like Christmas dinner.
  • Easy Prep – Aside from a quick sear and simmer, most of this recipe is hands-off. Let the oven do the bulk of the hard work.
  • Customizable – There are so many ways to season your beef short ribs. Most braised short rib recipes use mirepoix, tomato paste, and dry red wine as a flavor base but for this recipe, I lean spices and flavors reminiscent of Chinese braised dishes to make a sweet and savory depth to the flavor profile. You can also enjoy these braised short ribs with mashed potatoes instead of rice!
braised beef short ribs over rice with cilantro-mint salad

What does braised short rib mean?

Braising is a cooking technique that involves browning short ribs at high heat and then simmering them gently in liquid. The beef is then cooked low and slow. This method is great for cooking down tough cuts of meat.

Tools You’ll Need

Ingredients You Will Need for Braised Short Ribs

Most of the ingredients listed can be found at your local market and/or Asian market. As mentioned, this shorts ribs recipe calls for ingredients inspired by Shanghai braised pork belly, but with tweaks, making it uniquely different. I’ve also offered two ways of making the short ribs; paired with mashed potatoes or with a cilantro-mint salad, crispy shallots and rice.

Five-Spice Braised Beef Short Ribs

  • Short ribs – Use a meaty cut of grass-fed beef short ribs.
  • Kosher salt – I always use Diamond Crystal.
  • Avocado oil – To brown the beef.
  • Brown sugar and honey – The sweetness balances the deep savory flavors.
  • Aromatics – Fresh ginger, garlic, and shallot are a delicious foundation of flavor.
  • Shaoxing wine – I swap the typical cabernet sauvignon for this rice wine instead. It has nutty notes that complements the other ingredients.
  • Chicken stock – Why chicken broth in a beef recipe? It adds depth without overpowering the natural flavors of the beef, creating a balanced and well-rounded taste. Use low sodium so you can add salt to taste.
  • Organic orange peel – This adds a distinctive and subtle citrusy flavor and aroma. I use fresh orange rind, but in traditional Chinese recipes that call for this ingredients, dried mandarin orange peels are used.
  • Spices – I use a flavorful medley of freshly grated nutmeg, star anise, and five spice powder.
  • Soy sauce – Use both dark soy sauce and light soy sauce for a mouthwatering umami flavor.
Short ribs seasoned with kosher salt

The cilantro-mint salad and crispy shallots are optional and best paired with white rice. If you decided to pair these short ribs with mashed potatoes, skip the salad and go for the crispy shallots.

Cilantro-Mint Salad

Fresh herbs are a refreshing way to lighten up this dish.

  • Mint
  • Cilantro
  • Shallot
  • Three Crabs fish sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Quality olive oil
  • Garlic cloves
  • Ginger
  • Sugar
  • Serrano pepper

Crispy Shallots

Fried crispy shallots are the perfect garnish.

close up view of browned braised short ribs in dutch oven

How To Make Braised Short Ribs

The first few steps of this braised short ribs recipe build the foundation of flavor. Sear, sauté, simmer, and finally braise in the oven.

  1. Remove short ribs from refrigerator 45 minutes before cooking.
  2. Generously season short ribs on all sides. Heat dutch oven medium-high heat. Add 1½ tablespoons of avocado oil. Add short ribs and brown on all sides, should take about 20 minutes. Transfer ribs to a plate and cover.

3. Preheat oven to 300°F.

4. Remove all but 3 tablespoons of oil. Add ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add garlic and shallot and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.

5. Add five spice and anise, cook for 1 minute to wake up the spices. Add shaoxing wine and bring to a boil then drop to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes.

braised beef short ribs braising liquid in a dutch oven

6. Add chicken stock, both soy sauces, honey, brown sugar, nutmeg, and freshly grated orange peel. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer again then return the browned short ribs to the dutch oven. Bring the mixture to a boil then transfer to the oven.

7. Slow braise in the oven for 2¾ – 3¼ hours or until short ribs are fork tender, checking at the 2½ hour mark. Serve over rice with sauce, crispy shallots, and Cilantro-Mint Salad.

8. Reduce the Sauce (optional) – If you want to reduce the sauce a bit, strain all liquid in the pot. return the strain sauce to the dutch oven and simmer until reduced. Adjust with water to this out the sauce, if necessary.

aromatics sautéing in dutch oven

Cilantro-Mint Salad

Prepare an ice bath for the herbs and shallot. Toss cilantro, mint, and shallot in the ice bath for a few minutes, then transfer to a kitchen towel and dry well. Add remaining ingredients to a bowl, mix, and set aside. Just before serving, toss the herbs and shallot with desired amount of dressing.

Crispy Shallots

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once oil temp registers 325°F add shallots. Fry until lightly golden brown then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and lightly season with salt. Finally, enjoy braised short ribs.

Tips and Tricks

  • Do not cook ribs straight from the fridge. Take them out 45 minutes before you plan to cook so they are at room temperature when you sear them. This allows the meat to cook evenly.
  • Remember to sear the ribs. It adds a caramelized crust–otherwise known as milliard reaction–aiding in flavor, and also locks in moisture.
  • Once the braised short ribs have completely cooled, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.
pulled apart braised beef short ribs on a plate with two forks

Variations

  • Instant Pot – Brown the ribs then remove them and saute the veggies. Once all the ingredients are added to the instant pot, cook on High Pressure for 45 minutes then allow the pressure to release for 15 minutes. Then remove the lid.
  • Broth – You can use beef stock or beef broth instead of chicken.

What to Serve with Braised Short Ribs

Want to serve the ribs with something other than rice and salad? Here are some tasty ideas:

plated braised beef short ribs with white rice and salad

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you braise short ribs too long?

Although this recipe is super forgiving, there is a point where the meat can become mushy. Overcooking can lead to a mushy or stringy consistency in the short ribs. After about 2 hours, start checking on the meat in order to prevent this. I’ve found that at the 3 hour to 3½ hour mark tends to be when the short ribs have the perfect texture.

Should I braise short ribs covered or uncovered?

Braised short ribs should be covered. This ensures even cooking and helps to retain moisture and the sauce, which can later be poured over rice.

What is the best temperature to cook short ribs?

The key to tender braised short ribs is cooking slowly at a low temperature. The best range is between 275°F to 325°F.

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five spice beef short ribs on a plate with mashed potatoes, reduced sauce and chives

Five Spice Braised Short Ribs

Braised short ribs are beef simmered in a luscious, spiced broth and then braised in the oven until they're fall-off-the-bone tender. Succulent, saucy, and savory, braised beef short ribs are a delicious comfort food that will warm you up on a cold day.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings 3 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian

Equipment

  • 4 quart dutch oven

Ingredients

Five-Spice Braised Short Ribs

  • pounds short ribs, grass-fed
  • kosher salt, Diamond Crystal
  • tablespoons avocado oil
  • tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger. peeled and cut into coins
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup shallot, thinly sliced
  • cup shaoxing wine
  • cup chicken stock, low sodium
  • ¾ teaspoon organic orange peel, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, prefereably freshly grated
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 1 tablespoon five spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • potato starch (optional) to thicken the sauce when reducing.

To Serve

  • mashed potatoes
  • white rice, with cilantro-mint salad (see below)

Cilantro-Mint Salad (optional)

  • 3 cups mint, stems removed, roughly torn
  • 3 cups cilantro, roughly torn
  • ½ cup shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Three Crabs fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons quality olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • ¾ teaspoon ginger, grated
  • teaspoons sugar
  • ½ – 1  serrano pepper, thinly sliced

Crispy Shallots (optional)

  • ½ cup shallots, thinly slice
  • 1 cup neutral frying oil
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt

Instructions

  • Remove short ribs from refrigerator 45 minutes before cooking.
  • Generously season short ribs on all sides. Heat dutch oven medium-high heat. Add 1½ tablespoons of avocado oil. Add short ribs and brown on all sides, should take about 20 minutes. Transfer ribs to a plate and cover.
  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Remove all but 3 tablespoons of oil. Add ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add garlic and shallot and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add five spice and anise, cook for 1 minute to wake up the spices. Add shaoxing wine and bring to a boil then drop to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock, both soy sauces, honey, brown sugar, nutmeg, and freshly grated orange peel. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer again then return short ribs to the dutch oven. Bring the mixture to a boil then transfer to the oven.
  • Slow braise in the oven for 2¾ – 3¼ hours or until short ribs are fork tender, checking at the 2½ hour mark. Serve with mashed potatoes of over rice with sauce, crispy shallots, and Cilantro-Mint Salad.
  • Reduce the Sauce (optional) – If you want to reduce the sauce a bit, strain all liquid in the pot. return the strain sauce to the dutch oven and simmer until reduced. Adjust with water or chicken stock to thin out the sauce, if necessary. To speed up reduction, you can also add potato starch, about 1½ teaspoons at a time and whisk until thickened.

Cilantro-Mint Salad

  • Prepare an ice bath for the herbs and shallot. Toss cilantro, mint and shallot in in the ice bath for a few minutes, then transfer to a kitchen towel and dry well. Add remaining ingredients to a bowl, mix and set aside. Just before serving, toss the herbs and shallot with desired amount of dressing.

Crispy Shallots

  • Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once oil temp registers 325°F add shallots. Fry until lightly golden brown then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and lightly season with salt.
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five spice beef short ribs on a plate with mashed potatoes, reduced sauce and chives

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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