Slow-Cooked Chinese Five-Spice Short Ribs

Recipe by Tom Beam of Sesame Asian Kitchen in Ashland

“This is a match made in heaven for those who love red wine with their spicy dishes. Tom Beam has created the perfect recipe for entertaining because all of the preparation (and clean-up) is done well ahead of time, allowing the chef to enjoy the lead-up to dinner as much as the lucky guests.” —Gus Janeway, owner/winemaker of Velocity Wine Cellars in Ashland


2 pounds beef short ribs, bone-in, 3 to 4 inches

1 tablespoon five-spice powder

¼ cup peanut oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon garlic, freshly crushed

1 tablespoon ginger root, freshly minced

2 tablespoons scallion whites, minced

2 tablespoons fresh chiles or 4 whole dried chiles

1 quart beef broth or stock

1 cup light soy sauce

¼ cup sherry wine or Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)

¼ honey

1 tablespoon kosher salt

* rice (enough for 4 servings)


1 In a large roasting pan, heat oil to 350°F and shimmering. 2 Season and rub meat with salt and five-spice evenly. Dredge in flour until evenly coated. Shake off excess flour. Sear ribs until dark brown on all sides. Remove from pan and place in Crock-Pot or slow cooker. 3 Add garlic, ginger, scallions, chiles, stock, soy, wine, honey and salt. Simmer meat for 4 hours on low setting, covered, until the meat is falling off the bone. 4 Taste sauce and adjust seasoning. Serve over rice. Yields 4 servings.

Wine Suggestion

2007 Velo Red Wine (Malbec blend from Velocity Wine Cellars in the Rogue Valley)

About the Chef

Tom Beam is the executive chef/owner of Sesame Asian Kitchen, Pasta Piatti and a partner in Tabu. Tom operates the eclectic group of Ashland restaurants with his wife, Lisa, and daughter, Olivia. 

Tom graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and has traveled across the U.S. from his native New York, working and enjoying the chef life. In 2000, Tom and Lisa moved to Ashland, where he began his West Coast career at Fire Fly—where the Hong Kong bar is now.

Wanting to strike out on his own, Tom partnered to open Tabu, a Nuevo Latino eatery in 2001; and in 2004, he traveled east and across the pond in his culinary prowess to open Pasta Piatti, where diners can get a taste of New World Italian in the heart of Ashland. The Beams’ latest endeavor takes them even further east with the opening of Sesame Asian Kitchen in June 2009.

“I love what I do everyday and customers can almost always find me at the stove in one of these stores,” Beam said. “I enjoy sharing food stories with customers and find their culinary ideas to be my biggest inspiration.”

For more information about the three restaurants, visit, www.pastapiatti.

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