Lemongrass Beef Shortribs with Thai-Inspired Coconut Rice

Did you ever have a restaurant that you once loved and somehow, over the years, it lost its way?  Did you give that restaurant just ONE last chance, hoping that it would Lemongrass Shortribs with Thai-Inspired Coconut Riceeventually return back to it’s former self, but it never really did? One last question, did you ever give the same restaurant a “second last chance” by ordering takeout and then hating them 100 times more because your takeout took 1 1/2 hours to arrive? Well I answered “yes” to every one of these questions which is why I will never eat Thai food again around my way – I will NEVER eat at Mango Thai in Park Slope, Brooklyn EVER again.

Since I’m asking questions, have you ever been hungover (or just REALLY hungry) and wanting that food you ordered to come so badly you stare at the minutes ticking away on your clock?  Well this is what happened to me – catch me hungover and, worse yet, hungry, well, let’s just say beware.  But when you promise me my food within forty five minutes and you take over an hour to arrive with it (cold, mind you), well then you’re blackballed off my restaurant list for life!

Months later I realized how badly I was craving Thai but I REFUSED to go back to Mango to fulfill my craving.  I decided to create my own dish and here’s what I came out with. It’s my own recipe and it really turned out great.  The rice side is an adaption of a Delia Smith recipe.  This dish that takes a bit of prep time, but once you get it into the pressure cooker/slow cooker, you can just sit back and relax.  Make some extra for leftovers the next day – it really improves the next day. 


For Shortribs:

  • 2 lb beef shortribs
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed, chopped into 1-inch pieces and bruised with back of knife – reserve bottom 2 inches of the lemongrass (slice this in half)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 cilantro stalks/leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 2-inch knob of fresh ginger, skin trimmed off
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 hot chile pepper (whatever you like)
  • 2-3 cups of beef or chicken stock
  • cheesecloth
  • 6 mushrooms, thickly sliced (Optional)

What to do:

  1. Season short ribs with some salt and pepper.
  2. In cheesecloth, add top part of lemongrass (remember to cut into small pieces and bruise), cloves, cinnamon stick and black peppercorns.  Tie to secure with kitchen twine.
  3. Heat up your pressure cooker on medium. Saute your chopped onion.
  4. In a food processor, chop your garlic, ginger, cilantro (stems and all), reserved bottom 2 inches of lemongrass and hot pepper.  Add a bit of olive oil to help chop it more.
  5. Add the garlic/ginger/cilantro/pepper mixture to the pressure cooker.  Saute for another few minutes. Remove onions and garlic mixture and reserve on side.
  6. Add a bit of olive oil back to the pressure cooker.  Add the meat and brown on all sides.
  7. When meat has browned, add a small bit of hot stock and pick up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  When this is done, add back your onion and garlic/ginger/cilantro/pepper mixture and add enough stock to almost cover all your meat.  Give this all a bit of a stir to get the veggies well distributed in the stock.
  8. Add the optional chopped mushroom and throw the spices in the cheesecloth in (make sure it’s somewhat submerged in the liquid).  Put lid on pressure cooker and cook as usual – 30-35 minutes.
  9. When finished, remove meat on side and add the creamy coconut milk that rises to the top of a newly opened can (it’s much thicker than the watery-coconut milk below).  All the sauce to reduce on medium for 10 minutes.

For the rice:

  • 1 cup of basmati rice
  • 1 can of coconut milk + some boiling H2O
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger
  • 1 hot chile pepper
  • 4 stalks of cilantro
  • 1 shallot, minced finely
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed, chopped into 1-inch pieces and bruised with back of knife – reserve bottom 2 inches of the lemongrass (slice this in half)
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • zest from one lime
  • cheesecloth
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • Sliced scallions for garnish

What to do:

  1. In a food processor, finely chop (together) garlic, ginger, cilantro stalks and pepper.  Reserve.
  2. In a piece of cheesecloth, put the cloves, cinnamon stick, some lemongrass pieces, black peppercorns and 1/2 of lime.  Secure with kitchen string.
  3. Saute the shallot in some olive oil.
  4. After about 1 minute, add the garlic mixture and saute for a minute.
  5. Add basmati rice and toast for 30 seconds. Stir.
  6. Add one can of coconut milk and the salt to the rice.  Add enough hot water so the line of liquid comes up to the width of 2 fingers above the line of rice (NOTE: Make the peace sign, then put those two fingers together. The width of the pointer and middle finger together should be used as your ‘ruler’ when pouring the liquid into your rice.  This method will always make the most perfect rice – thank you Daisy Martinez!!). Stir the rice, put the lid on, bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer (still with lid on – you can peek to see if it’s boiling/simmering) for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, turn heat to low and allow to cook for an additional 10 minutes – do not take lid off. After this, turn the heat off – do not lift the lid – and allow to sit for another 10 minutes to steam.
  7. When it’s finished steaming, take off lid, fluff rice with a fork. Add the lime zest, the squeeze of half a lime and check for any additional seasoning.  Top with some scallions and enjoy!


7 thoughts on “Lemongrass Beef Shortribs with Thai-Inspired Coconut Rice

  1. Oh, my goodness. A tossup between this and the Lebanese recipe. They both look amazing and I love Lebanese food and lemongrass, so I’ll just have to bookmark both and flip a coin!

  2. i love short ribs! I did them with chile verde and with coffee + chiles! I think it is all about having some great sauce and then slow cooking… mmm

  3. I’m making this in my pressure cooker now. It smells DIVINE! One question though – you listed a lime as an ingredient in the beef shortribs but didn’t include it in the directions. How/where do I use it in the recipe? Thanks!

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