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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7 thoughts on “Coconut Marinated Short Ribs and Sautéed Kale”

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  1. 1st, a belated congratulation on your new book. 2nd, are we talking the same short ribs like the one used for Asado (has flat bones)? Because, they usually require a long cooking or they are to tough to eat. I bake mine in a seal tight warping or cast iron pot for about 1.5 hr and more – depends on the marbling and then grill at the end to a crisp. I’ll give it a try 🙂

    1. That’s what I was wondering. Maybe the marinade serves as a tenderizer..

  2. I’m really confused by the kale cooking instructions. We’re using a cup of oil to fry it, then adding coco milk. Do we drain it in some way?

    1. Just read higher in the menu and realize we use the oil first for the shallots. You want us to fry shallots in a cup of oil?
      Sorry… I don’t mean to be dense.

      1. Nobody cares about the kale or shallots. Save yourself the effort and just cook the ribs.

      2. If got the instructions right, Worker Bee wants you to fry the shallots in a cup of oil/tallow (so that’s kind of deep-frying), then use 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to shallow-fry the kale with the garlic and chile. So you do not re-use the “spent” oil/tallow from the frying of the shallots for the frying of the kale but use 1 Tbsp of fresh coconut oil for that. It’s a good method, although I prefer using garlic paste (ideally home made) instead of chopped garlic.

  3. The combination of ribs and Kale… It’s great. I’ll give a try for my family dinner. Thanks for sharing Mark.