Coconut Marinated Short Ribs and Sautéed Kale

PrimalBoneless short ribs aren’t just for slow winter braises. Briefly thrown on the grill, boneless short ribs are also a delicious alternative to steak. The fatty marbling throughout keeps the ribs tender and flavorful. Grilled short ribs don’t necessarily need a marinade, but this one, made from coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, and lime is a great one to try.

It’s no secret around here that coconut milk is a much loved, keto supportive healthy fat. Used as the base for a marinade, coconut milk gives meat an extra boost of fat and also adds flavor. It does the same for kale, adding richness and slight sweetness that tones down kale’s natural bitterness.

Coconut marinated short ribs and sautéed kale are best eaten hot, but both the leftover meat and kale will also satisfy as a cold lunch the next day.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour, and at least 1+ hour for marinating


Primal Aviary

Short Ribs

  • 2 pounds (907 G) boneless beef short ribs, cut into 8 to 10 pieces. If the pieces are more than 2-inches/50 mm thick, cut them horizontally into 1-inch/25 mm thick pieces.
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-inch piece peeled ginger, chopped (25 mm)
  • 1 13.5 ounce can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk (divided between short ribs and kale) (400 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (15 ml)


  • 2 bunches kale, leaves torn from stems and sliced or ripped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (15 ml)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chile, thinly sliced, or 1/4 to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (2.5 ml)
  • 2 shallots, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 cup high-oleic sunflower oil, tallow, or lard (for frying) (240 ml)


short rib marinade

Remove tough outer layer of lemongrass. Bruise and flatten the stalk by crushing it with the flat side of knife. Cut the stalk into 3 or 4 pieces.

Combine lemongrass with garlic, ginger, 1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk, fish sauce and lime juice. Pour the marinade over the short ribs. Chill and marinate at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

While the ribs are marinating, fry the shallots for a garnish. In a small pot or saucepan, combine the sunflower oil, tallow or lard (or a combination of two) with the sliced shallots. Turn the heat up to medium. Cook until shallots are deeply browned (not burnt!), about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, and turn the temperature up or down as needed as the shallots cook. Strain the oil from the crispy shallots. Set the shallots on a paper towel and set aside.

Pull short ribs out of the marinade and wipe off excess coconut milk.

Heat a clean and well-oiled grill to medium heat. Place short ribs on the grill. Don’t move for at least 4 minutes, and flip only when lightly charred. Once the short ribs are flipped, cook 8 to 10 minutes more, or until the internal temperature reaches 135 F (medium rare).

Take the short ribs off the grill and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

While the ribs are resting, sauté the kale. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a wide skillet. Add garlic and hot pepper. Cook 1 minute, then add kale in handfuls, stirring and letting each handful wilt slightly before adding more. When all the kale is in the skillet, add the remaining coconut milk from the can. Cook a few minutes more until most of the coconut milk is absorbed. Add salt to taste.

Served sliced short ribs over kale. Garnish with fried shallots.

short rib 2

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