Not Roy's Short Ribs

January  5, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

These are so good. I had the most delicious short ribs at Roy's restaurant in Hawaii while on vacation. Roy Yamaguchi publishes a short rib recipe in his cookbook but it's not THE recipe. I don't blame him for keeping a close hold on the original recipe because I would go back again and again just to have them. But I think I have cracked the code. I buy the lemongrass chopped by the pound at the Asian market. The only other ingredient that is a bit different is the Sweet Soy (Kwong Hung Seng Sauce). Molasses is very similar so I wouldn't go to too much trouble trying to track this down if you don't already have it on hand. - Andra —ourlastsupper

Test Kitchen Notes

This tasty little dish has a lovely Asian flair with an abundance of ginger, garlic and lemongrass. It will warm a winter night or brighten a potluck table. If you're clever enough to think ahead and throw in an extra couple of ribs, you might be lucky enough to have leftovers the next day ...which are worthwhile! - Victoria —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3-4 pounds Short ribs, boneless
  • 1 cup Flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 4 tablespoons Canola oil or light cooking oil
  • 2 Onions, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 3 Stalks celery, diced
  • 1 Bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon Fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup Garlic, chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoons Lemongrass, chopped, divided
  • 1/4 cup Fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup Mirin
  • 3 teaspoons Sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup Soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sweet soy or substitute molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  1. Combine flour, salt, pepper and chinese five spice in a large bowl. Dry the short ribs with paper towels and then dredge them in the flour mixture.
  2. Heat oven to 350.
  3. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the short ribs on all sides and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pan and add the chopped onions, carrots and celery. Cook until the onions are translucent and then add the green onions, 1/3 cup of ginger, garlic and 3 tablespoons of lemongrass. Stir until fragrant, about 1 -2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, the browned short ribs and enough water so that the ribs are covered. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and put in the oven for 2 - 2 1/2 hours or until the ribs shred easily with a fork but are not completely falling apart. They should still hold their shape.
  4. Remove the ribs from the pot and set the cooking liquid over a medium flame to thicken slightly. Add the reserved ginger and lemongrass. Don’t over-reduce the sauce. If you prefer a more refined sauce, you can strain out the solids at this point. (I usually don’t bother.)
  5. Serve the ribs over Japanese, jasmine or basmati rice. Pour some of the sauce over the ribs and around the rice. Sprinkle with chopped green onion.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • dymnyno
  • thirschfeld
  • ourlastsupper
  • twinsue

9 Reviews

twinsue August 1, 2023
This was such a disappointment. I followed the recipe to the letter. The results were unremarkable. I couldn't taste lemon grass, 5 spice, ginger, garlic, even onions! It was
inoffensive, but bland. Didn't taste any of the asian flavors. I used to live in S.E. Asia and was hoping for the flavors I miss. Didn't measure up for me.
Torkis November 2, 2022
My family adores this dish!
First experienced at Roy's on our honeymoon in Hawaii and it has been the stuff of legends ever since. since it takes so long to cook the meat (and you can't really screw it up unless you you don't cook it long enough) you don't even have to be the best cook. The list of ingredients is long...and you have to follow some basic steps (like marinating the meat overnight) but it is sooooooooo worth it! This will be the meal your kids ask for when they come home from college.
twinsue August 1, 2023
I didn't see any instructions to marinate the meat! Please tell me what is in the marinade and how long you marinated the ribs. Thanks!
Nikki August 16, 2013
In case you want to make Roy's using his restaurant, they featured it on the Today Show in 2007. Recipe can be found here :) I've made these multiple times and think they are even better than the restaurant's! (Must be because it's homemade!) Is this the one you used?
ourlastsupper November 21, 2013
Thanks for sharing this link. I have not seen this Today show version of the recipe. I would be curious to see if this recipe is the same as the one in Roy's cookbook. Haven't made these in awhile...I think it's time.
cateler October 21, 2011
WOW. One of the best dishes I've made in a long time. I'd found fresh lemongrass at the farmer's market and was looking for a recipe - what luck that I came upon this one. I let them sit for about 3 days in the fridge before eating, and I did strain the sauce as the bits of lemongrass were too distracting. It's already been requested for the Thanksgiving week-at-the-beach vacation. Thanks for posting.
dymnyno January 5, 2011
It's too bad that a lot of Roy's locations have closed! Maui, for one.
SusieQ222 May 15, 2021
We were at Roy's in Maui in 2018? Maybe they've re-opened? The one in Waikiki was still there then too.
thirschfeld January 5, 2011
I have to agree, Roy makes some of the best ribs on the planet