Kalbi – Korean BBQ at home
July 13, 2008
As much as we are trying to stay away from too much red meat, kalbi is the one exception that our family can all agree on. Korean-style beef short ribs, kalbi (or galbi) is very simple to prepare and cook. Perhaps the most difficult part is finding a butcher to cut them correctly (if you live near a Korean grocery store, it is sold in large 3 lb packs usually). Korean-style beef short ribs contains 3 ribs and are cut across the bone about 1/2″ thick. You may be familiar with the large rectangular kalbi favored at Korean restaurants, but I find three-rib style cut much simpler for home cooking.
Kalbi is most delicious grilled, but it can also be pan fried or broiled in the oven. The traditional way to eat kalbi is wrapped in red leaf lettuce leaves or perilla leaves (geneap) with a little rice and a bit of ssamjang. Ssamjang is a combination of fermented bean paste (tenjang or Korean miso) and and kochujang (Korean red pepper paste) with minced garlic, sesame seed oil and chopped scallions. However, Kalbi is just as delicious served non-Korean style à la big slab a meat on a plate.
A barbecue at onespicymama’s house – kabli served with (clockwise from top left) kimchi, pickle kimchi, radish cubed kimchi, perilla leaves, fresh Korean cucumbers, fresh Korean hot peppers, red leaf lettuce leaves, potato salad and ssamjang. Oh, and some Rolling Rock.
KALBI – KOREAN SHORT RIBS
3 lbs. sliced short ribs, 1/2″ thick
2/3 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. sesame seed oil
1/3 C. water
1/2 C. sugar
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbs. crushed toasted sesame seeds
1 onion, sliced
1 bunch scallions, sliced 3 ” long sections
Combine soy sauce, sesame seed oil, water and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add garlic, onion and scallions and combine. Add short ribs and make sure to coat both sides with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour, but preferably a couple of hours. After pre-heating grill well, cook short ribs about 3-4 minutes per side on medium high.
The biggest dilemma is how to cut up the meat into manageable sizes for placing inside a lettuce wrap. I find kitchen shears work magic on kalbi. And what of the bit of meat around the bones? Most Koreans would say that’s the tastiest part.