Slow Cooker Asian Short Rib Tacos with Pineapple

Asian Short Rib Tacos with Pineapple and Crunchy Slaw - a tasty meal where your slow cooker does all the work! |

I’ve mentioned it before, but seriously, I eat homemade tacos for dinner every single (or darn near every single) Saturday night. Allow me to explain my longest-running food tradition to you. #warning #itslong

The tradition began before I was even born. My parents played tennis with friends on Saturdays, and tacos were an easy and cheap way to feed a crowd at the end of the day. The tennis playing waned over the years, but the tacos remained.

At some point, it dawned on me that I would have to find a husband willing to go along with this delicious insanity. Luckily, Jeff didn’t bat an eye when I broke the news that every Saturday dinner for the rest of his life had been pre-determined.

Fox Family Tacos are prepared according to an un-changing set of guidelines: Browned ground beef with a little chopped white onion and taco seasoning. La Victoria Salsa Brava hot sauce. Extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded. Chopped tomato and shredded iceberg lettuce, tossed together in the same bowl with plenty of salt and pepper. Flour and soft-shell corn tortillas, pan-fried in oil. Coca-Cola Classic on the rocks.

Asian Short Rib Tacos with Pineapple and Crunchy Slaw - a tasty meal where your slow cooker does all the work! |

Tacos are a perfect way for families to spend time together in the kitchen. My Mom got me involved as soon as I was old enough to wield a box grater. She would start the beef, and we would both take turns stirring while it cooked. I shredded the block of cheese while she chopped lettuce and tomato. I set the table, poured the Cokes, and woke Dad up from his nap while she fried the tortillas.

Now that Jeff and I have continued the tradition in our own home, I’ve taken over most of my Mom’s old duties, and passed most of my previous duties (including the monotonous cheese-grating task) on to Jeff.

Asian Short Rib Tacos with Pineapple and Crunchy Slaw - a tasty meal where your slow cooker does all the work! |

Did I ever eat an Asian taco growing up? Absolutely not. But since taco night is moving from Saturday evening to Sunday Supper this week, I figured I’d give the tacos a new spin, just this once. Inspired by some great Korean short rib tacos I’ve eaten from food trucks, these tacos utilize short ribs simmered in a slow cooker with a variety of Asian flavorings, like the gochujang I’m still trying to use up. I topped them with a crunchy carrot and cilantro slaw and juicy, sweet pineapple.

Asian Short Rib Tacos with Pineapple and Crunchy Slaw

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) beef broth
  • 1/2 cup gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 12 small flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add short ribs and cook 8 minutes or until very brown, turning every 2 minutes to brown all sides.
  2. Meanwhile, in slow cooker bowl, whisk together garlic, broth, gochujang, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, ketchup, honey and ginger. Add short ribs, turning to coat. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.
  3. In medium bowl, toss carrots, cilantro and remaining 2 tablespoons rice vinegar until combined.
  4. When short ribs are finished cooking, remove from slow cooker. Remove bones and any visible un-rendered fat. Coarsely shred meat. **The meat should be very moist and can be eaten as is. However, if desired, separate the drippings from the fat remaining in the slow cooker bowl. I use a gravy separator for this. Alternatively, you can pour all liquid remaining in the slow cooker bowl into a large measuring cup and refrigerate 20 minutes. The fat should come to the top, and you can easily skim it off and discard. Use a few tablespoons of the meat drippings to stir into the meat.
  5. Build tacos using tortillas, pineapple, meat and carrot slaw. Serve garnished with sesame seeds.


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9669014278_2567c7dce9_oThis post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. 


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  1. I LOVE your Saturday night taco tradition! And I need too add your marvelous Asian inspired tacos to my menu…brilliant!

  2. I love recipes that encourage trying new things and this one is perfect. I can’t wait to try out this recipe with my kids. What a great way to introduce new flavors and also sneak in some fruits and veggies.

  3. Now those are some great tacos! How fun that you have taco night every Saturday. Good thing your husband enjoys them and is willing to go along with the tradition.

  4. I realized lately that I don’t eat enough tacos, and they are so good. This is one of those recipes with all the right words in the title!

  5. I love Asian tacos. They are new to me as well but I love them. We are having Asian short ribs this week and always have a ton left over so this will be a great leftover/repurposed dinner for us the next night!

  6. great twist on tacos, Lori! I could go for these every Saturday! 😉

  7. Your tacos sound so delicious. I plan on making some Asian tacos soon. Can’t wait.

  8. We love taco nights at our house too. Yours are now on my must make list. I love the spices paired with pineapple. Sounds and looks amazing!

  9. Our Saturday night was family pizza night! I would have gladly eaten tacos too! These look FAB!!!!

  10. I love this tradition! When I was a kid, I was the “official cheese graterer” too. BTW, I’m glad you grate your own, that’s so much better than the bagged stuff. The recipe looks fantastic. I can’t wait to try it!

  11. Lori,

    This is such a heartwarming story. I love traditions and your humor infused post is fab!

    I know I will join this slow cooker revolution, but until I find the space to store another thing in my kitchen, how can I cook the ribs to get the same delicious results?


    • Hi Betsy – you can definitely braise the short ribs in your oven! Follow the instructions for searing them on the stove, and mixing up the sauce (although you may want to add an additional cup of broth or water to the sauce). Instead of putting everything in the slow cooker, but it in a big braising pan, or roasting pan covered with foil. Cook it low and slow in the oven until the meat falls off the bone. I would recommend about 4 hours at 200 degrees, but you’ll just have to check it as it cooks. Hope that helps!

  12. Those short ribs look absolutely melt-in-your-mouth! And I am absolutely in love with your Saturday taco tradition.

  13. Lori, these look and sound amazing! I love short ribs, and bet they make fabulous tacos! And you won’t win the ugliest childhood favorite photo contest either – gorgeous!

  14. What a fabulous family tradition and I love that you’ve carried it on! Taco night was definitely a favorite in my house and I considered doing them, but we were simple, ground beef and taco seasoning, plus what you described extra sharp cheddar, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, etc. . .We were crunchy taco shell people though!

  15. What a great family tradition. I love that you are continuing it on; oh and your updated version sounds absolutely amazing taco recipe! Love it!

  16. Lori,
    I love these tacos! Fox Family Tacos sound delicious. . how awesome that you keep a family tradition you had while growing up. . and dude, love the Korean style meatballs too. . totally going to check out this recipe! Love your spin on these tacos, delicious!!!

  17. I love this story! I wish we had more taco dinners growing up…I think we had those El Paso dinners, like, twice!

  18. Your photography is great, Lori! Your creative take on tacos is pretty fantastic, too =)

    P.s. Nice to know a lady from another die-hard tennis family. My mother was a Wimbledon semi-finalist a couple of times =)

  19. I could easily eat your standard tacos every Saturday night. Switch up turkey for ground turkey and we already do. lol I need to switch up our routine and try these and a few others I see listed on your site. They all look amazing!

  20. Tacos are such a fun way to get kids involved in prep and in making up their food! We do tacos a lot (But not as much as you guys!), so we will have to give this a shot soon!

  21. Made these last night. Wonderful flavor! I don’t think I’ll use short ribs next time though. The meat taste and texture was so similar to other meals that I make with a nice chuck roast that I would probably use that in the future. A little cheaper too. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • You know what, Bianca? I agree! I was shocked at how expensive short ribs were when I bought them. I think they used to be a cheaper cut of meat, but now they’ve just exploded in popularity, which has made them more expensive. I think these tacos would be great with a chuck roast. But so glad you like the recipe, and thanks for stopping by!

  22. You could more than likely speed up cooking time, by doing the short ribs in a pressure cooker, and still get all that same yummy flavor in a fraction of the time.

  23. I made these and LOVED them! I STILL do not have a slow cooker, but roasting the meat in the oven worked beautifully.

    The slaw was delish and the pineapples were the PERFECT addition.

    Thanks for a yummy recipe!!!

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