Slow cooker lemon grass ribs sandwich

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35 min


1 h 15 min


8 to 10

* PLUS 8 hr cooking time
Slow cooker lemon grass ribs sandwich

Photo, Erik Putz.

Close out the year with small plates that pack big flavours!


  • 2 large stalks lemon grass
  • 3 shallots , peeled and quartered
  • 1 2-in. piece fresh ginger , peeled and sliced
  • 1 head garlic , peeled
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp hot chili-garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 racks pork back ribs , about 2 kg
  • 2 baguettes , cut into 2-in. pieces, or 16 to 20 bao buns


  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots , cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup pickled ginger , (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro sprigs
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts , crushed (optional)


  • CUT off woody ends from lemon grass. Peel off dried outer layers, then pound with the blunt side of a knife to bruise. Thinly slice bottom third of stalks, discarding tops. Pulse lemon grass, shallots, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce and chili-garlic sauce in a food processor until it forms a loose paste.
  • CUT ribs into 3- to 5-rib portions to fit slow cooker insert. Sprinkle ribs with salt, then coat with lemon grass paste. Pour 2/3 cup water into slow cooker, then arrange ribs, meat-side up, overtop. Cook until meat is very tender, flipping ribs halfway, 8 hr on low or 5 hr on high.
  • GARNISHES: Boil vinegar, water, granulated sugar and salt in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 min. Add carrots and let stand, stirring occasionally, 10 min. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
  • PREHEAT oven to 450F, then line a baking sheet with parchment. Transfer ribs to prepared sheet and sauce into a saucepan. Skim any fat, then bring to a boil over medium-high until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 25 to 30 min. Spoon sauce over ribs to coat. Bake until ribs turn dark brown, about 10 min. Cut into 1-rib portions and transfer to a serving platter.
  • SERVE ribs in baguette pieces. Top with carrots, pickled ginger, cilantro, crushed peanuts and any extra sauce on the side to drizzle.

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Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 700,
  • Protein
  • 40 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 85 g,
  • Fat
  • 22 g,
  • Fibre
  • 4 g,
  • Sodium
  • 724 mg.

Make-ahead tip: The night before, cook ribs in the slow cooker on low. Remove ribs, reduce sauce and refrigerate both. Bring ribs to room temperature, then proceed with recipe.