Succulent Soy Braised Short Ribs

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These Succulent Soy Braised Short Ribs are the ultimate comfort food dinner! Hearty bone-in beef short ribs slowly simmer with garlic, ginger, green onions, and a savory-sweet soy braising sauce. After a long, slow braise, the tender meat falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. Serve over rice for a cozy meal or shred and stuff into bao for dim sum fun!

Stovetop recipe with oven-braised, slow cooker, and Instant Pot instructions provided.

A close-up overhead shot of a soy-braised short rib topped with thickened braising liquid in a dark green bowl atop a bed of white rice and steamed bok choy. The bowl sits atop a beige surface alongside a dish of green onions and a bowl of sesame seeds.
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Fall-Apart Tender Short Ribs Infused with Japanese-Inspired Flavor

Growing up eating my Mom’s Hawaii-Style Kalbi is one of the reasons why beef short ribs are one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Over time, I’ve also come to love fall apart-tender braised short ribs…but the Japanese-influenced flavors of my childhood will always hold a special place in my heart.

So, Mom and I worked together and created a recipe to marry the two!

These Succulent Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs offer all the classic comfort of braised beef, plus the savory-sweet, aromatic flavors that remind me of home.

Succulent soy braised beef short ribs slowly simmered with ginger, scallions, brown sugar, and shoyu until meltingly tender and savory-sweet.

One of the things that makes this recipe so special is the savory-sweet soy braising sauce. The hearty beef ribs gently simmer with fresh aromatics like ginger, garlic, and green onions in a blend of shoyu (Hawaii’s preferred Japanese-style soy sauce), brown sugar, and a little dry sherry for complexity.

After gently cooking for several hours, the soy braised short ribs soak up all of the flavor and become seriously fall-apart tender – all with very minimal effort required.

This is a one-pot, hands-off recipe and the stove does all the work. Nothing not to love! 💜

Why Hearty Beef Short Ribs Are Ideal for Braising

I love cooking short ribs because they’re rich, flavorful, and perfect for braising. It’s a hearty cut of meat that holds up beautifully to a long braise! Cooking short ribs slowly over low heat yields amazingly succulent, fall-apart tender results.

An overhead shot of ingredients displayed on a wooden cutting board and an off-white surface: short ribs, salt and pepper, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic, green onions, brown sugar, shoyu, beef broth, dry sherry, and cornstarch.
This recipe bridges the gap between 2 common preparations of beef short ribs, infusing meaty English-cut short ribs with the aromatic flavor of flanken-cut kalbi.
An overhead shot of six English-cut beef short ribs, generously seasoned with salt and pepper, alongside small bowls of salt and pepper on a sheet pan atop an off-white surface.
Look for meaty short ribs with nice marbling. To prep, bring to room temperature before cooking, seasoning generously with salt and black pepper.

There are 2 common styles of beef short ribs. The first is flanken beef short ribs (long strips cut across the bone), which are often used to prepare Korean kalbi. Then there’s English-cut beef short ribs (hearty pieces cut along the bone) which are perfect for slowly simmered dishes like this soy braised short ribs recipe.

Mom and I designed this recipe to bridge the gap between these 2 styles of short ribs. You’ll prepare meaty English-cut short ribs with the flavors typically used for flanken-cut Korean kalbi. It’s a blend of two of the best things!

How to Make Soy Braised Short Ribs

Slowly braising hard-working cuts of beef is the secret to succulent, fall-apart tender results. And while braising sounds fancy, it couldn’t be easier to do: it’s a completely inactive, one-pot cooking method and the stove does all of the work.

If you’ve made my Seriously Good Red Wine Braised Short Ribs or my popular Slowly Simmered Short Rib Ragu, the process here will feel very familiar!

An overhead shot of six browned short ribs in a white pot atop an off-white surface. A silver two-pronged fork sits in the pot.
Sear the short ribs well, until each side is encased in a beautiful golden-brown crust, which creates deeper, richer flavor by way of a chemical process known as the Maillard reaction.
An overhead shot of six browned short ribs in a white pot with ginger, garlic, and green onions. Braising liquid is being poured into the pot from a liquid glass measuring cup. The pot sits on an off white surface alongside a beige cloth, a wooden cutting board, and extra ginger, green onions, and garlic.
Once browned, add sliced ginger, garlic, and scallions to the pot, along with a savory-sweet braising liquid made of shoyu, beef broth, and dry sherry.
1

Prep and brown the short ribs. For super tender braised short ribs, be sure to allow the beef short ribs to come up to room temperature before you begin cooking. This, along with patting the meat dry, helps promote a beautiful sear. Generously season with salt, then work in batches to sear them in a heavy-bottomed pot until a beautiful golden crust forms. Why? ⇢ Browning is a result of the magical flavor-boosting process known as the Maillard reaction. It helps give the beef a deeper, richer flavor – exactly what we’re after!

2

Braise. Add sliced ginger, garlic, and green onions to the pot. Then make the savory-sweet braising liquid by combining brown sugar, shoyu, beef broth, and dry sherry and pour that in too. Let it all simmer with the short ribs for 3 – 3 ½ hours, until the meat is fall-apart tender. Why so long? ⇢ Low and slow heat transforms the hard-working connective tissues in the hearty short ribs, making the meat meltingly tender instead.

A low and slow braise melts away the hard-working connective tissues in the short ribs, making the meat succulent and tender instead. The short ribs are ready as soon as they shred easily, about 3 – 3 ½ hours.
An overhead shot of a woman's hands mixing a cornstarch slurry in a beige stoneware bowl atop a textured beige surface. A strainer with strained aromatics and the pot of braising liquid sit alongside the bowl.
To create a luxe and glossy sauce for serving, strain the soy braising liquid to remove the spent aromatics, then stir a simple cornstarch slurry into the remaining liquid.
3

Thicken the soy braising liquid. Remove the tender short ribs from the pot and pass the braising liquid through a fine mesh strainer to capture the spent aromatics. This will leave you with a deliciously savory-sweet beef stock. Combine 2 tablespoons of the braising liquid with cornstarch and slowly whisk it back into the pot. Why? ⇢ This simple cornstarch slurry thickens the braising liquid into a luxe, glossy sauce.

4

Finishing touches. Nestle the tender short ribs back into the pot with the prepared braising liquid. Let it all simmer for a few minutes until the liquid thickens and everything warms through.

An overhead shot of soy-braised short ribs in a thickened braising liquid in a white pot atop a beige surface. A plate of sliced green onions, a bowl of bok choy and a bowl of rice sit alongside the pot.
Nestle the tender beef short ribs in the thickened soy braising sauce. Once warmed through, they’re ready to serve.

Alternate Cooking Methods

I love making these soy braised short ribs with a low and slow stovetop simmer, but you can also prepare this recipe in the oven, a slow cooker or Crockpot, or an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for step-by-step guidance!

Serving Suggestions

A close-up overhead shot of a soy-braised short rib topped with thickened braising liquid in a dark green bowl atop a bed of white rice and steamed bok choy. The bowl sits atop a beige surface alongside a dish of green onions and a bowl of sesame seeds.
Serve the bone-in short ribs over fluffy white rice alongside sautéed greens for the ultimate comfort food meal, or shred the beef and stuff it into bao for a hearty addition to a dim sum spread.

My favorite way to enjoy soy braised short ribs is over a warm, fluffy pile of white rice. It’s the coziest way to soak up all the savory-sweet richness of the sauce. Add a side of sautéed cabbage or boy choy to complete the comfort food meal!

Soy braised short ribs are also fantastic for dim sum. Once the meat is tender, shred it up to stuff into steamed bao rolls or toss it into stir-fried noodles. A hearty addition to your dim sum spread!

A close-up shot of a two-pronged serving fork shredding a soy-braised short rib in a white pot full of braised ribs and thickened braising liquid garnished with green onions and sesame seeds.
This cozy recipe is easy enough for a lazy Sunday dinner and delicious enough for any special occasion – date night, Valentine’s Day, or even Lunar New Year! 🧧🐉

I can’t wait for you to try this Succulent Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs recipe! It’s an elegant, hearty, and comforting meal that reminds me of family. I hope you can taste the love in it too!

If you do give it a try, be sure to let us know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo and tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!

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A close-up overhead shot of a soy-braised short rib topped with thickened braising liquid in a dark green bowl atop a bed of white rice and steamed bok choy.

Succulent Soy Braised Short Ribs

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  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop, Braise
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired

Description

My mom and I worked together to create this Succulent Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs recipe with a goal of bridging the gap between two of our all-time favorite comfort foods: meaty, fall apart-tender braised short ribs and the Hawaii-Style Kalbi that reminds us both of home.

These hearty bone-in beef short ribs slowly simmer with garlic, ginger, green onions, and a savory-sweet soy braising sauce. After a long, slow braise, the tender meat falls off the bone and melts in your mouth.

They’re perfect for a cozy meal, a fun addition to a dim sum spread, or a super-luxe Lunar New Year Celebration. ♡ Happy cooking!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 pounds English-cut beef short ribs (approx. 6 short ribs, see Recipe Notes)
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper, to season
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • one 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced into 1 ½ inch pieces
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar (can substitute light brown sugar)
  • ¾ cup shoyu (can substitute low-sodium soy sauce or tamari)
  • ¾ cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry (can substitute rice wine such as mirin or Chinese shaoxing wine)
  • to thicken: 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • for serving, as desired: steamed rice, sautéed cabbage or bok choy, thinly sliced green onions, etc.

Instructions

  1. Prep: About 30 minutes – 1 hour before you’d like to begin cooking, pull the beef short ribs from the refrigerator and allow them to come up to room temperature. Just before cooking, use a paper towel to pat the ribs as dry as possible. Season liberally with kosher salt and ground black pepper; a good rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon kosher salt per pound of short ribs.An overhead shot of six English-cut beef short ribs, generously seasoned with salt and pepper, alongside small bowls of salt and pepper on a sheet pan atop an off-white surface.
  2. Brown the short ribs: Add the vegetable oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat (I use a 5-qt Dutch oven). Once the oil is hot and shimmering, carefully add in the seasoned short ribs – work in batches, if necessary, to avoid overcrowding the pot. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until browned well. Transfer the browned short ribs to a plate and set aside. Repeat with any remaining short ribs as needed. Once all of the short ribs are browned, carefully drain off the drippings from the pot and discard or reserve for later use.An overhead shot of six browned short ribs in a white pot atop an off-white surface. A silver two-pronged fork sits in the pot.
  3. Braise the beef short ribs: Nestle the browned short ribs in the Dutch oven, topping with the sliced ginger, garlic, and green onions. Prepare the braising liquid by by whisking together the dark brown sugar, shoyu, beef broth, and dry sherry until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the short ribs. Return the pot to medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and braise for 3 – 3 ½ hours, until the short ribs are fall off the bone tender. (See Recipe Notes for alternate cooking methods.)An overhead shot of soy-braised short ribs in a large white pot atop an off-white surface. A large wood-handled spoon rests in the pot.
  4. Strain the soy braising liquid and prepare a cornstarch slurry: Transfer the tender short ribs to a plate or cutting board and set aside. Carefully strain the soy braising liquid – I set a fine mesh strainer over a large liquid measuring cup then pour the braising liquid through; the mesh strainer catches the spent aromatics and the measuring cup captures the fortified stock. Discard the spent aromatics. A good amount of fat will rise to the top of the remaining soy braising liquid; use a spoon to carefully strain as much as you can. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the fat to a small bowl and discard the rest. Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved fat until the mixture is smooth.An overhead shot of a woman's hands mixing a cornstarch slurry in a beige stoneware bowl atop a textured beige surface. A strainer with strained aromatics and the pot of braising liquid sit alongside the bowl.
  5. Finish the soy braised short ribs: If needed, wipe out the inside of the Dutch oven, then return to the stove over medium-high heat. Pour the strained soy braising liquid into the Dutch oven. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the prepared cornstarch slurry. Continue whisking until the sauce is thickened and glossy. Once the sauce comes to a boil, reduce to low heat and return the cooked short ribs to the Dutch oven. Allow everything to simmer together for 2-3 minutes, just until warmed through.An overhead shot of soy-braised short ribs in a thickened braising liquid in a white pot atop a beige surface. A plate of sliced green onions and a bowl of sesame seeds sit alongside the pot.
  6. Serve immediately: We always enjoy these soy braised short ribs over rice (topped with a good spoonful of the glossy soy braising sauce) alongside sautéed cabbage or bok choy. You could also shred the short ribs and stuff it into a bao roll – delicious! Enjoy!A close-up overhead shot of a soy-braised short rib topped with thickened braising liquid in a dark green bowl atop a bed of white rice and steamed bok choy.

Notes

Beef short ribs: There are 2 common cuts of beef short ribs: flanken beef short ribs (long strips cut across the bone, which you may recognize from Korean-style kalbi) and English-cut beef short ribs (hearty pieces cut along the bone). For a slowly simmered dish, like this soy braised short ribs recipe, opt for English-cut. These days, you can find English-cut beef short ribs at most conventional grocery stores with a nice butcher section. For best results, choose meaty ribs with nice marbling. Using bone-in short ribs creates more depth of flavor, though boneless short ribs work just as well in this recipe. If you have trouble finding beef short ribs, feel free to use beef chuck roast instead.

Storage and Freezing:

  • Storage and Reheating: Transfer any leftover soy braised short ribs and sauce to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.
  • Freezer Instructions: These soy braised short ribs are also incredibly freezer-friendly. To freeze, transfer the short ribs and any leftover sauce to a freezer container (or divide it up between multiple freezer containers for smaller portions – Souper Cubes are my fave!). Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or submerge the freezer container in room temperature water for a quicker thaw. Reheat on the stovetop until warmed through and adjust as needed – if the sauce is a little watery at first, simply allow any residual water simmer out; if it is too thick, simply add in a splash of water or stock until your desired consistency is reached. 

Alternate Cooking Methods:

  • Oven-Braised Soy Short Ribs: Prep the recipe according to Steps 1-3, above. Rather than braising on the stovetop, transfer the covered pot to a 325 degree F oven. Braise in the oven for 3 – 3 ½ hours, until the beef short ribs are fall-apart tender, then finish the soy braised beef short ribs as described in Steps 4-6.
  • Crockpot / Slow Cooker Soy Braised Short Ribs: Prep the recipe according to Steps 1-2, above. Transfer the browned short ribs to the slow cooker, along with the aromatics and soy braising liquid as directed in Step 3. Slow cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally. Finish as described in Steps 4-6. (*Note: If your slow cooker has a searing/browning feature, you can use it to cook the entire recipe (Steps 1-5) in the slow cooker.)
  • Instant Pot Soy Braised Short Ribs: Use your Instant Pot’s “Sauté” setting to cook the recipe according to Steps 1-3, above. Cover and seal the pressure cooker and cook on manual high pressure for 50 minutes. Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before carefully flicking the valve to its “venting” position to vent out any residual pressure. Finish as described in Steps 4-6.

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Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Comments

  1. 2.11.24
    Anna said:

    These turned out so succulent and delicious! Jess has never led me wrong on a recipe, and this is no different.






    • 2.12.24
      Emma @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      You tried this one out SO quickly!! Glad you enjoyed the ribs as much as we do, thanks for the review, Anna! 🙂