Korean food has always been one of the few cuisines besides Chinese that my mother like sto eat. She particularly enjoyed going to the restaurants where you grilled your own meat and her personal favorite was Kalbi or Korean Short Ribs. With the Banchan assortment of different little vegetables, such as Spinach (previous post) and Mung Bean Salad along with Kimchi (previous post) and Rice, she was always happy. I love Korean food too and although there are many good Korean restaurants here in Seattle, I am trying to avoid Soy Sauce in the marinades and dried Shrimp in the Kimchi. So, I mostly make Korean food at home. This recipe is the classic marinade for Kalbi. These Short Ribs are precut at Asian Markets, but if you can't find them, you could also use strips of steak, which make it more like Bulgogi (a previous post). Kalbi is very tender and flavorful and is most often served in LA (where my Mom lives) with lettuce and Gochujang Sauce, which often has wheat in it . I serve my Kalbi with Sriracha instead. It is best cooked on a grill, but I don't have one so I cook it in the broiler and it turns out wonderfully - Korean Short Ribs make a delicious dinner!
Kalbi – Korean Short Ribs
1 ½ pounds Short Ribs (with small Bones and sliced thin)
¼ cup Tamari
1/4 cup Rice Wine
3 Garlic Cloves minced
1 ½ - 2 Tablespoons Sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
2 teaspoons Toasted Sesame Oil
1 inch chunk of Ginger, peeled and chopped fine
5 Scallions, trimmed and chopped
3 Tablespoons Chopped Asian Pear (or Apple)
Mix all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Then add in the Short Ribs. Massage the marinade into the meat and then put carefully into a large Ziploc Bag with the Marinade. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least two hours and preferably overnight - the longer you marinade it, the more flavorful it is.
Heat broiler and put on a broiler pan and cook on one side until it is browned and sizzling. Turn over and cook the other side until done.
Serve with Lettuce, Gochujang Sauce if desired or Sriracha, Steamed Rice and Kimchi and other vegetables.
Five Element Analysis
Beef belongs to the Earth Element and the sugar in this recipe adds even more. The Asian Pear along with the Ginger, Scallions and Garlic contribute the Metal Element. The Tamari and Sesame Oil bring in the Water Element and the Fire Element is represented but the Rice Wine and either the Sriracha or Gochujang Sauce. The Wood Element is missing, which is why this dish should be served with Kimchi and/or Spinach for more of the Wood Element to create a Five Element flavor balance!