The Washington Post

Five-Spice Braised Short Ribs

Five-Spice Braised Short Ribs 6.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

I Spice Sep 4, 2009

Slightly sweet, these ribs get the full benefit of the flavor of star anise, both whole and ground in the Chinese five-spice powder.

Servings: 6 - 8
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 4 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • 6 small dried red chile peppers, seeded if desired
  • 10 to 12 cloves garlic (1 head)
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and cut lengthwise in half
  • 4-inch piece peeled ginger root, cut crosswise into very thin slices
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 4 pieces whole star anise
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • Florets from 2 large heads heads broccoli (slightly more than 3/4 pound total)


Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture caramelizes.

Add the beef broth and the fish sauce or soy sauce, along with the remaining vinegar; stir until the caramelized mixture melts.

Add the short ribs, chili peppers, garlic, scallions, ginger, cinnamon, star anise and five-spice powder. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally, until the short ribs are fork-tender and fall off the bone. Mash the garlic cloves, if desired, and stir them into the braising liquid. Discard the cinnamon sticks, star anise and the bones, if desired.

Heat an inch of water in a medium pot over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, add the broccoli florets. Cover and steam for about 5 minutes.

Divide the ribs and broccoli among individual plates, spooning some of the braising liquid over the meat; serve hot.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from cookbook author Corinne Trang.

Tested by Megan Greenwell and Becky Krystal.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 8): 370

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 30g 46%

Saturated Fat: 13g 65%

Cholesterol: 65mg 22%

Sodium: 570mg 24%

Total Carbohydrates: 7g 2%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 39g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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