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5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs

I don’t know what’s gotten into me this week, but I’ve been on a serious Asian food kick. My poor cumin has been languishing in the spice cabinet as I reach for the Chinese five-spice powder and ginger. We recently got a new delivery of grass-fed beef that just about filled our freezer, so I’ve been working my way through back inventory of frozen meat. Tucked into far left corner of the freezer, I found two packages of pork spare ribs and instantly had a craving for Asian-spiced pig. What I did not have a craving for, however, was spending a buttload of time in the kitchen or tending the grill.

I did zero internet research and didn’t even flip through my favorite go-to cookbooks — I just opened my spice cabinet and starting experimenting. The result was fall-off-the-bone-if-you-look-at-them-askance ribs, infused with the complex but comforting flavors of Chinese five-spice powder.

Our first meal was simply the unadorned ribs with some crudité alongside; our second was a nourishing bowl of broth spiked with lots of ginger, bok choy, and tender morsels of pork I pulled off the bones by winking at them.

You can absolutely use this approach for beef ribs, and I suspect it will also work great on larger beef and pork cuts, like shoulder and stew meat. With good spices and a slow cooker, you really can’t go wrong.

hr_brown1chinese_five_spice_pork_ribs

5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs

Prep 2 min. | Cook 6-12 hours in slow cooker

Ingredients:
3-4 pounds baby back or St. Louis pork ribs
salt and ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse (granulated) garlic powder
1 fresh jalapeño, cut into rings
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut aminos or homemade substitute
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Directions:

1. Cut the ribs into pieces that will fit standing up in the slow cooker. Lay the ribs on a cutting board and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix the Chinese five- spice and garlic powder together, then massage onto the meat to coat the ribs.

2. Toss the jalapeño rings into the bottom of the slow cooker, and add the rice vinegar, coconut aminos, and tomato paste. Stir until the tomato paste is combined with the other liquids. Add the ribs, standing up so they’re not lying in the liquid – or use a roasting rack inside the cooker so the ribs are not lying on the bottom – cover, and cook 6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

3. When the ribs are fall-apart tender, remove them from the cooker. Pour the liquid into a heat-proof container and refrigerate until the fat separates from the juices. Remove the fat and bring the remaining liquid to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. Use as a dipping/drizzle sauce for the meat.

4. Want ‘em crispy? Throw the ribs in a 400F oven for 10 minutes while you boil the sauce.

fauxpho
Gingery Pork & Bok Choy Soup

Serves 2; easy to double, triple, quadruple | Prep 2 min. | Cook 2-8 hours in slow cooker | Assembly 5 min.

Ingredients:
beef, chicken, or pork stock
a big hunk of fresh ginger
a few garlic cloves
leftover 5-Spice Pork Ribs
1 head fresh bok choy or spinach, coarsely chopped
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs (optional)

Directions:

1. Place your stock in the slow cooker. Peel the ginger and cut into 1/2-inch slices; add to crockpot. Peel garlic and lightly smash with the flat side of a knife; add to crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours (or more).

2. When you’re ready to eat, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons water, and when it starts to boil, throw in the bok choy, sautéeing in the steam until it’s just tender. Divide among serving bowls. In the same pan, stir fry your desired amount of pork until it’s hot. Place the pork in the serving bowls, then ladle hot broth into the bowls until the veg and meat are almost covered. Sprinkle the top with sliced scallions and garnish with wedges of hard-boiled egg, if using.

 

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117 Responses to “5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs”

  1. Geri Lynn says:

    Hi!
    For the ribs, is it really just 3 tablespoons of liquid that they’re slow cooked in? Or am I missing something that’s right in front of my face? Just got over a butt-kicking head cold so still a bit fuzzy, so my apologies if I am missing the obvious. Thanks bunches! :)

    • Chris says:

      I was wondering the same thing. Do you mean cover as in put the lid on the slow cooker or cover with water?

      • Mel says:

        Nope, no additional liquid! That 3 tablespoons is all you need. The meat roasts instead of simmers, so it gets some lovely crispy bits.

        • Chris says:

          Thanks Mel. I actually bought some pork ribs on sale from Sam’s just to try this. I know, not grass fed (shudder). Btw I too live in Austin, do you know a good source of grass feed beef? It boggles the mind that grass fed is SO much more expensive when I pass probably 50 grazing cows on my way to work

          • Mel says:

            I just joined a meat delivery club with Bastrop Cattle Company that seems like a pretty good deal. It’s a test program right now for four months… you might contact them to see if you can get in on it. http://www.bastropcattlecompany.com/ I pick out what I want each month, and they deliver it. Pretty reasonable prices.

            Another good option is http://atxmeatshare.tumblr.com/ … I’ve gotten meat from him before — especially the wild boar! So good, great prices, friendly CrossFit dude.

        • Pat says:

          Melissa,

          FYI…loving your blog and the recipes. Not sure if you are aware that the tight side bar (this is me, events, newsletter…) is covering the blog posts making the 2nd half unreadable. Perhaps it is operator error, if so please advise how to see postys. Thanks.

          Pat

          • Mel says:

            Hey, Pat! I’m not having any display issues on my monitor. Perhaps try dragging your browser window wider? Or to full screen width? What platform are you on and what browser are you using?

          • Samantha35 says:

            I see the same thin Meilssa

          • Aaron says:

            I’m seeing the same problem in the comments area using Chrome on OS X. The comments extend very far to the right and are overlapped by the side bar.

            This is fixed by adding the following style:

            div.single-post-wrap ol.commentlist { width: 600px; }

            Cheers.

        • Chris says:

          Love your recipes and your blog but REALLY wish your tags and other stuff didn’t cover up the comments so they could be read in their entirety.

          • Mel says:

            I’m sorry! I don’t know what you mean… when I look at the posts in my browser, they display properly. What browser are you using?

  2. Morten G says:

    I don’t have a slow cooker but I have had great success with slow cooking in my oven. Set it to ~100 celsius and cover the meat/cooking vessel with tin foil. Leave it.
    Safety-wise I have an electric oven and a fire alarm. Never do this with a gas oven.

    The second recipe… is it really necessary to use the slow cooker? Seems like a waste of electricity =(

    • Mel says:

      No, you could totally simmer the broth on the stovetop, if you prefer. I’m being SUPER lazy right now, and it’s easier for me to just pop it in the slow cooker overnight.

  3. Roberta says:

    As a former long time vegetarian, ribs are one thing I have yet to tackle. But you have yet to steer me wrong. In fact, your recipes usually rock. So I might have to give this a try. After all, you’ve got me eating chicken liver!

    Plus, this will give me something to do with my crock pot besides making lard! (Yes, the lard was a huge mental leap for my post veggie brain as well)

    • Mel says:

      I am so loving the idea of a former vegetarian eating chicken livers and lard.

      This recipe is nice because, seriously, the meat falls right off the bones. It’s not even really like eating ribs because you’re not gnawing on the bone — the meal slices right off.

  4. stef says:

    Thanks for sharing these! I love adding hard boiled eggs to my curries as well. Really easy added protein.

  5. Geri Lynn says:

    COOL. I have yet to try cooking ribs. Bought some grass fed bison ribs in our last order from North Star (here check ‘em out, they’re fantastic- http://www.northstarbison.com/) do you think this method would work with such lean meat? I looooove crock pot cooking, and am nervous to cook ribs for the 1st time.
    Thanks Mel! You’re my new Fav! :)

    • Mel says:

      Slow cooking should work great for lean bison ribs — and Morten’s oven method above would be good, too. You might want to check them a little sooner, since they’re leaner — give ‘em a poke with a fork after 2 hours and see how they’re doing.

  6. Autumn says:

    I’m trying to find a good way to cook about 2 lb of venison steak. Do you think this spice combo would be a good option, or should I stick with something like chili?

    • Mel says:

      Oh, Autumn. I wish I could be helpful, but I’m not sure. I’m guessing the seasonings would taste great. I’m assuming the venison is pretty lean, so same instructions for bison: check it after about 2 hours to make sure it’s not overcooking.

  7. Jenifer says:

    This sounds so yummy! Did you place the ribs on top of each other or did you stand them up?

    I have a couple of slabs of pork ribs in my freezer just calling my name!

    • Mel says:

      I just plopped them into the pot on top of each other. The one on top got a little crispier on top than the one on the bottom, but it was nice to have the contrast in the soup. If you want them both crispy-ish, standing them side by side would work great.

  8. deb says:

    My husband is on a self proclaimed “rib cook off” he being his only competition! Maybe I should challenge him with this one!

  9. Janet says:

    I have been using the spice combos from Penzey’s that you recommend in your book – yum! Can’t wait to try this recipe with the Chinese Five Spice. Thanks for broadening my culinary horizons! So glad to have you blogging everyday.

    • Mel says:

      That’s really great, Janet! Thanks for letting me know… and sorry/you’re welcome for introducing you to the constant temptation of Penzeys.

  10. Stephanie says:

    Can you make any suggestions to substitute the chinese spice rub and the coconut aminos?

    • Mel says:

      Stephanie, the way you replace the spices is really dependent on what flavor you’re looking for. This is Asian…

      A good basic would be to skip the coconut aminos, replace the rice vinegar with cider vinegar, and rub the ribs with chili powder and paprika. That will DRAMATICALLY change the flavor from Asian to a more traditional BBQ taste.

      • andy says:

        Hey there… I’ll be trying this recipe sometime this week… but I had a few questions related to this.

        I have all ingredients except for rice vinegar and coconut aminos.

        Could I substitute apple cider vinegar for the rice vinegar?

        What would a good sub be for the aminos? Soy sauce maybe?

        Thanks, this sounds amazing!

  11. Wow those look great! Do you have previous cooking experience or are you just naturally talented in the kitchen?

    • Mel says:

      I’m a very enthusiastic amateur. My dad and grandfather both owned diners when I was growing up, so I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Since switching to paleo, I’ve made it my mission to figure out how to re-work favorite recipes to comply with my new eating habits.

  12. Mom says:

    When I was a young girl my brothers were hunters. Venison, rabbit and pheasant often made its to our dinner table. Venison is very lean and can be dry. Venison steak should be cooked quickly in a hot pan or it will get tough and chewy. My mother always fried it with bacon to add fat along with some sliced onions for flavor. I’ve heard marinating venison in buttermilk will tenderize it but, of course, that would not be recommended if you are eating Paleo.

    Hope this helps!

  13. Mom says:

    I forgot to mention in my previous post, while I am by no means an expert, I would not recommend cooking venison steak in a slow cooker. Venison should be cooked quickly at a high temperature or it will be too dry and chewy.

    • Cathy says:

      My husband is a hunter, so we’ve always got venison in the freezer. I completely concur with your recommendation to cook it hot and fast as a general rule, but would also note that it can make a fabulous slow-cooker stew. I think the stew gravy makes up for any lack of fat, and it’s fall-apart tender. FWIW.

  14. Kelly R. says:

    I’m so excited to try this recipe! And I am even more excited to make soup out of the leftoves!

    I have a quick question about your weekly cookup. My mom challenged me on keeping cooked chicken thighs and ground beef/turkey/insert favorite ground meat here in my fridge for a week. This is coming from a woman that eats dairy products and eggs far beyond their expiration date. So, her challenge really freaked me out. Is it safe to store the cooked meats in the fridge for a week?

    • Mel says:

      I can only speak from my experience because I’m not an expert. I have never had a problem keeping cooked meat in the fridge from Sunday to the following Friday/Saturday. I keep it in the back of the fridge where it’s really cold…

      But if you’re concerned, you might do half batches twice a week.

  15. CJ says:

    Yum… thanks for the 5-spice recipe. Gotta try that one instead of letting the spice sit in the pantry.

  16. Dana Zia says:

    Hey Mel. Left a post here the other day but looks like it got lost in space. Just wanted to let you know how much I love your cookbook and am enjoying it! Made “the best chicken ever” with the Moroccan dipping sauce this week, delish! One bummer is the cookbook is starting to fall apart and I haven’t abused it….yet. Just thought you’d like to know.

    • Mel says:

      Sorry to hear your book is coming apart. Some of the bindings are lemons. But Amazon will replace it for free… just go to your account, start the return process, and use the pulldown to let them know it’s damaged. They’ve been sending replacements overnight with no charge.

  17. Carrie says:

    Hi- well – I am going to try this one. But – I bought the boneless ribs instead. Hoping it will turn out and not be super-tough meat. My kids hate super-tough meat.

  18. michele says:

    i made these.

    they are good.

  19. susan says:

    i love the versatility of this dish. a perfect weeknight meal!

  20. karlene says:

    so… i made this recipe today, included all exact ingredients, and cooked the ribs on low for about 9 hours. this recipe did not turn out very well. maybe its cause i cooked them on low instead of high… but they turned out very fatty, very burned on the outside, nothing caramelized looking like in this photo.

    • Mel says:

      Sorry it didn’t work for you, Karlene. It’s nearly impossible for me to troubleshoot for you, without knowing exactly what kind of ribs you used, what kind of crockpot you have, etc.

      I suspect your ribs may have been extra fatty? But without being in the kitchen with you, I have no idea.

      Better luck next time!

  21. Chris says:

    I cooked them last Friday. They were fantastic!!! They fell off the bone, we’re tasty and tender. In fact, I didn’t get to try the second recipe because I couldn’t keep my hands off the leftovers. I never would have thought to put ribs in the slow cooker. And all for $1.98/lb.

    Btw thanks for the info on the local grass fed options!

  22. MommyD says:

    I cooked these 2 nights ago, Delicious! The only problem was saving enough meat for the soup I planned to make today (I had to take it off the table so my hubby would stop eating them!) So we don’t have tons of meat left. I’m considering throwing the bones in with the broth for the added flavor. Thoughts?

  23. rachael says:

    hi mel – really struggling to find coconut aminos in my neighborhood food stores. i would love to create some of your asian recipes, besides ordering online are there any brands i can be on the hunt for? i see braggs liquid aminos in a lot of stores, could this be a good replacement for soy sauce/coconut aminos? i love your recipes, your cookbook, and the way you write! keep up the awesome work, can’t wait to see what you accomplish with this new job change!!

  24. [...] article: what is trans fat? recipe: 5-spice slow cooker pork ribs [...]

  25. [...] (I say they are awesome because I am eating them right now). Tomorrow I am going to be working on 5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs (although I went to EarthFare with the express purpose of buying some coconut aminos, but walked out [...]

  26. dani says:

    What kind of slow cooker do you use?

    • Mel says:

      I have a somewhat crappy, old school slow cooker that has two settings: low and medium. It’s very basic… sorry I don’t have a good recommendation for you!

  27. John says:

    Both of these recipes were delicious. We used baby bok choy because we bought a huge box at Costco, and jarred ginger because we already had it. My wife suggested that some crushed red pepper flakes would have livened up the soup.

    I also changed the cooking order for the soup. I simmered the stock on the stovetop, then figured that the meat would take longer to heat than the bok choy. So I tossed the meat around in a skillet for a few minutes while slicing the bok choy, then added the bok choy until it was tender.

  28. Molly says:

    OMG. made this this afternoon. Was slightly frighten of the star Anise in the 5 spice.. but it turned out GREAT! made a side of clauflower stir fried “rice” to go along with them.. yum!

  29. [...] get your crock on with this stupid-easy, drool-inducing 5-spice slow-cooker pork ribs (coconut aminos=paleo version of soy sauce. Sub accordingly).  If desired, toss a sweet potato or [...]

  30. Melanie says:

    Just bought your cookbook tonight and this recipe sealed the deal. My mother makes a Thai 5 spice soup for me that is AmAzing, so I’m stoked about this recipe! Thank you for sharing!

  31. Delee D'Arcy says:

    Just tried this last night and while I didn’t get the caramelization that you did, you are SO RIGHT – the meat literally fell off of the bones. And, it was my very first time to ever cook ribs. Never thought about cooking them in a crock pot! Thanks for all of the good recipes – I’ve tried the Chocolate Chili, the sausage (OMG), the cocoa cauliflower – love them all!

  32. Right on! Glad you liked the ribs. Isn’t it AWZSOME that this recipe is zero work and tastes so freakin’ good?!

    Thanks for the compliments on the others, too. Great to know you’re enjoying them!

  33. Carol says:

    The 5 spice ribs sounds great but, why not a recipe we can all make with out special ordering ingredients. Offer us an alternative.

    • Mel says:

      5-Spice powder is available in the spice aisle of most grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, you can make a totally different version by using chili powder. It will be Mexican-ish instead of Asian, but still super simple and very tasty.

  34. Smiley0702 says:

    Just made these ribs tonight, used seasoned rice vinegar( what I had on hand) and 1tbsp olive oil (no coconut aminos on hand)… Really gOod!!! They cooked a little longer than planned (we were out boating with friends…need I say more?) they were Very CarmelizEd- definitely
    need to cook ‘em on high to get that crispy/crunchy outer layer…. But they were Very Tasty…rate ‘em as an “I’ll definitely” Make em again

  35. [...] 5-spice slow cooker ribs with roasted zucchini [...]

  36. Celeste says:

    Oh yes. And I had no idea what in all heck coconut aminos were until like a second ago. The more you know, right?

    Can’t wait to make this during the winter, when I can curl up with some taste of summer.

    Thanks!

  37. Kim says:

    Making these for the third time this summer. They disappear quickly from the fridge, they are so delicious! I may have to try some of the spice alterations sometime for a change of pace!
    thanks!

  38. Alexis says:

    Quick question, I want to keep the Asian feel, but do not want to use Rice Wine Vinegar. I already own coconut aminos, and wanted to see if substituting either a red or white wine vinegar with the c.a.s would have a similar Asian flavor. Thoughts?

    • Mel says:

      Hi, Alexis! The white wine vinegar might be a good choice — or you could use fresh orange juice instead. I bet that would taste great and would still provide the small amount of acidity that makes it taste so good.

  39. Judy C says:

    Man, oh man! I just stuck some of these ribs in the crock pot, and it smells amazing! This is my first time actually cooking with 5-spice, though I’ve eaten plenty of dishes using it. Can’t wait to try them. Thanks for the great recipe!

  40. Sara says:

    Have made these with pork spare ribs before and LOVE them. Tonight tried them with boneless beef short ribs. AMAZING. Still remains one of our favorites!

  41. Joel says:

    Hi Mel!

    Wanted to let you know that I have made this recipe twice for my wife’s Korean family who are visiting from overseas.

    This is an absolute hit!

    I use boneless beef short ribs and Tamari instead of Coconut Aminos. FYI dish goes great when wrapped in lettuce and served with Kimchi

    Thanks!

  42. I made these last night with a few tweaks and they were amazing. I have never had such tender meat! I used minced garlic thrown in with a chopped onion underneath the ribs, then added the ribs and topped with slices of ripe mango. Cooked on high for just over 5 hours. Drool.

    Looking forward to trying Joel’s suggestion above about making lettuce wraps with the leftovers. Thanks Melissa!

  43. Danielle H says:

    Made the ribs yesterday but since hubby wasn’t in the “asian flair” mood, I subbed apple cider vinegar and chili powder/paprika. These were SOOO good! He insisted on slathering Sweet Baby Rays on them, but I was beyond satisfied with with eating them plain and a few bites dipped in Whole30 approved BBQ Sauce. I polished off the rest of the ribs this morning for breakfast. So good!! Maybe hubby will come around some day…just maybe ;)

  44. Rachael says:

    I impulse bought some short ribs this morning at the grocery store and they will soon be in the crock pot! This sounds/looks delicious!

  45. Chris says:

    Is the bok choy baby bok choy or the monstrous 5 lb head of bok choy?

  46. [...] recipe was for 5 Spice Slow-Cooker Pork, which I am sure would be delicious!  However, Matt is not a fan of the 5 Spice.  He requested a [...]

  47. Kel says:

    Dude – this recipe just rocked.my.world.

    I was gnawing on the bones! Thank you!

  48. Mary says:

    This was absolutely awesome, and so easy. I used babyback pork ribs and cooked them in my dutch oven on 325 for 2 1/2 hours. Yum.

  49. Tonja says:

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after going through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me.

    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  50. Tanya Cawley says:

    Hey Melissa

    I don’t think I can get Coconut Aminos in Ireland, can you recommend another alternative?

    • Mel says:

      This recipe will work just fine without them — or you can replace with the same amount of chicken or beef stock… if you use stock, add a splash of fish sauce, if you can find a brand (like Red Boat) without added ingredients. If not, don’t sweat it! Just make as-is without the added liquid. They will still be great.

  51. Sara Towne says:

    I have probably already commented on this post multiple times, but I can not get enough. This is literally one of (if not THE) our favorite Paleo or any recipe. And I made my hubby save some of the ribs so we could finally try the soup tomorrow. :) Thanks again for this and your other yummy recipes!

  52. balj says:

    we dont have coconut aminos in UK can I substitute it?

    • Mel says:

      There’s no paleo substitute — you can use Bragg’s Aminos or soy sauce if you don’t care about soy/gluten. However, I’d recommend that you just leave it out. It won’t change the taste very much, and it’s healthier option than soy. Enjoy!

  53. [...] ribs (I used about 3 pounds of boneless pork sirloin ribs) were from this recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl: Five-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork [...]

  54. Ilissa says:

    I made these the other day. I can’t believe how awesome they came out. I cooked them for 8 hours and then I put them on a baking sheet and put them under the broiler until they were brown and crispy. Those crispy parts were my favorite! I made 2 racks and we happily ate these ribs all week long! Can’t wait to make them again.

  55. Karen Connelly says:

    Making these ribs for the 5th time today – they are so incredibly yummy and I LOVE how it makes the whole house smell so good too!

  56. Chris says:

    Talk about fall off the bone ribs! They were amazingly delicious and tender! A+

  57. [...] The Clothes Make The Girl 5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs Prep 2 min. | Cook 6-12 hours in slow [...]

  58. [...] 2 eggs scrambled with leftover 5 spice pork ribs, mushrooms and kale in ghee (clarified butter). (I would normally have 3 or 4 eggs, but since I had [...]

  59. Jenn says:

    totally loved these! cooked them low for 10 hours and then broiled them at the very end. Totally fell off the bone. Can’t wait to have the leftovers again tomorrow!

  60. [...] man spotted the recipe at the clothes make the girl which is one of the best paleo blogs out there if you ask me. She tells you to get these [...]

  61. [...] Crock-Pot Five Spice Pork Ribs, Brown Rice, Green [...]

  62. [...] Thursday: Gingery pork & bok choy soup from The Clothes Make The Girl [...]

  63. Chocolateroses16 says:

    I had planned to have these for dinner on Tuesday; but since I didn’t get them into the crock pot until late afternoon that didn’t happen. Unfortunately they were accidentally forgotten about and left roasting for 12 hours on High instead of Low. Oops. This slightly over cooked a couple of the bottom pieces and of course dried up any semblance of a sauce at the bottom.
    Never one to waste food I salvaged what I could (meaning everything that wasn’t burned to the crockpot liner). Regardless of this mishap the flavoring throughout the meat was fantastic, and the bones literally fell out as I was transferring the rib meat into a container. It was beautiful. :-)
    Tonight I was not home to make dinner. So I informed DH that the leftover (omitting the ‘overcooked’ description) ribs in the fridge were dinner tonight. He mentioned at bedtime how tender the meat was and that the flavoring on the ribs was amazing. This was music to my ears; he is a hard critic when it comes to new recipes.
    But DH loves ribs and I never have the time or patience to make them. This recipe was so simple and the prep time quick and easy. Of course next time the temp setting will be different, but this is definately being put on the monthly recipe carousel.
    Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      I love cooking disasters with happy endings — glad that all worked out… sorta! :-)

      Good to know this recipe is even more flexible than I thought it was. Enjoy on future cookings!

  64. Kristin D says:

    This recipe is amazing! I’ve made it twice now and had enough leftovers to able to make the soup with the second attempt. OMG- I think the soup is even better than the ribs! Added shitake mushrooms and shredded carrots to the soup for my own twist.

    I also want to thank you for your fantastic cookbook. It helped me get comfortable with the cooking/food prep I had to do while on my Whole 30 and even after. It’s to the point where it’s just second nature to have a big cooking session every Sunday to get me through the week. I also can’t stop making the Chocolate Chili. It’s become a staple in my meal rotation, so much so that I’ve made it every 2 weeks for the last 3 months.

    • Mel says:

      Right on! So glad you like this recipe — your mods sound awesome.

      Thank you for the sweet words about Well Fed. So nice to know it’s helpful. Wait ’til you see Well Fed 2! :-)

  65. Angie says:

    Oh my goodness I made the ribs today. They are SO good and so, so simple! Mel, you are officially my favorite paleo recipe go-to gal! I recommend your recipes to my friends all the time!

  66. [...] Honestly, I could keep this list going for hours. What’s on the menu for this weekend? Chinese five spice pork ribs. What’s my new favorite side dish: winter veggies in spiced coconut milk. Seriously, you wish [...]

  67. [...] walk, clingy) were worth it. I do my ribs either in the oven or crock pot. I'm trying these next 5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs | theclothesmakethegirl Female 51 travel for business monthly Starting wt: 198, Goal: 135, Current with PB: 165 Started [...]

  68. Erin in AK says:

    About how many adults would you estimate this serves?

  69. […] I was inspired to make this recipe after I saw Mel’s Five Spice Slow Cooker Ribs recipe. […]

  70. Amy says:

    We made these for Labor Day and they are DELICIOUS – I’ve not made a bad dish from your cookbook yet (and I’ve made dozens of them). Can’t wait for Well Fed 2! Am pre-ordering!

  71. enya says:

    Hello, i am on the Whole30, day 15. To celebrate i would like to make some ribs with no fuss. I have no coconut aminos, none in the UK that i can find so far. So what do you suggest as a substitute. I have a pretty hefty spice cupboard so if you have any wild suggestions i might be able to try them out. If i cannot use the substitute today it will come in handy for another recipe. Either way it is ribs tonight. I will be trying out your sweet-potato-soup-for-breakfast recipe. My husband thinks i am mad but i have whole ras el hanout spices i bought in Marrakech that i will be grinding for the first time for the recipe. Very excited.

  72. enya says:

    I see you have answered the question before from another of my compatriots. Never mind. Thanks for your recipes. I have another question. I would like to stop eating eggs for every breakfast. Have you got any recipes you can point me towards that are particularly child friendly?

  73. Blue says:

    Hoping to make these today and I’m just wondering how you fit them into your slow cooker. Can they be layered if the rack of ribs is a bit too long? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      I made three racks the other day! This is what I do:
      1. Cut the ribs to fit the length of the slow cooker.
      2. Stand them on their side, like file folders in a filing cabinet.

  74. Danielle Fortini says:

    I just made this recipe for my family today, it was delish, my husband RAVED about these ribs! Simple recipe + gourmet taste=WIN! Shared this recipe with my friends on FB!

  75. Amy Pelzner says:

    Hi,
    Looks good! Is there a specific 5-spice chinese seasoning? I can’t find a recipe on your site for one so I didn’t know if it was store bought?
    Thanks!

  76. […] Asian Five-Spice Pulled Pork Recipe Inspired by The Clothes Make The Girl […]

  77. […] For the past two weeks I’ve followed Melissa Joulwan’s guidelines for Whole30 compliant menu planning, and just like last week I started by roasting my spaghetti squash and the chicken thighs together for 30 minutes. Boom: done. Once they were in the oven, I started on the pork baby back ribs, which will eventually become her 5-Spice Slow Cooker Pork Ribs. […]

  78. […] 5 Spice Slow Cooker Ribs,  Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup, Enchilada Sauce, Chocolate Chili, Savory Breakfast Casserole, Almond Flour Biscuits, Sweet Potato Mash and Bacon because… bacon. […]

  79. Linda says:

    Finally got a chance to make these tonight. They didn’t look as beautiful as yours, but they were delish and that’s what counts. Alas, husband and three kids devoured it all, and there aren’t any leftovers for soup. Next time, I’ll be making a double batch.

  80. Micki says:

    Would this work with boneless chicken breast? Thanks :)

    • Mel says:

      It really won’t. The slow cooker would destroy the chicken breasts, and they’d be super dry. If you want to use chicken, there are two choices: use boneless… just sprinkle the chicken with 5-spice powder, brown in a skillet, then add some coconut aminos and rice vinegar, cover and cook for 10 minutes or so. Or use bone-in chicken and follow the slow cooker instructions, but reduce the cooking time to 4-5 hours on low.

  81. Erin says:

    How much beef stock do you use in the soup?

  82. Christine says:

    Any suggestions on the amount of stock/broth and the leftover ribs to add to the soup? I was hoping for some rough idea based on the other ingredient amounts listed. Thanks!

  83. terri says:

    I made the ribs recipe and now i’m wanting to make the ginger pork and bok choy soup. The recipe says to put the stock in the slow cooker. How much stock?

  84. Renee Humpal says:

    These are amazing! We discovered them on our first whole 30 and now they have become a part of our family…I mean, dishes our family loves. :)

  85. Sophie says:

    We’re in the middle of our first Whole30 and your website has been a go-to for ideas and advice, so first of all, thank you for all you do! We made these ribs last night (using beef short ribs instead) and holy cow were they awesome. I didn’t have jalapenos so I used a bit of red pepper flakes instead and everything came out beautifully. This will be a staple even after the Whole30 is done – thanks again!

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