Korean barbecue is all the rage and restaurants are popping up everywhere. The sweet and savory meat packs a ton of flavor but most restaurants charge a lot and the portions are never enough. So I like to make big batches at home and share all the kalbi goodness with my family until we are stuffed!
Finding good quality short ribs begins with a good butcher. Always get your flanken short ribs cut fresh. Look for a nice three rib, bone in piece with good marbling. Don’t get them trimmed of fat, keep it on and if you wish, cut any large fatty pieces off after cooking. (The fat is the best part though).
I have found them for around $6 a pound and then the butcher will run them through the belt saw to order. Try to avoid pre sliced, packaged or frozen meat.
Short ribs are a less expensive cut and very flavorful. You just need a good recipe and some time. But in this recipe, most of the time is in the fridge marinating and the cooking is quick. Much easier than a four hour braise.
The secret to this recipe is the Asian pear. It provides crucial amino acids to tenderize the meat and also adds great flavor and sweetness. Do not leave this ingredient out. If you can’t find it by all means use a firm Bartlett pear or two. But nothing beats a nice nashi.
Also, this entire dish can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for up to three days. Then just reheat under the broiler for 5 minutes. A great do-ahead if you’re expecting guests.
3 lbs short rib, untrimmed of fat, cut flanken style with bone into 1/4″ wide strips
1 large Asian pear, peeled and grated (seeds discarded)
6 cloves garlic, crushed
4 scallions, finely chopped
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp sugar or honey
2″ finely grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp black sesame seeds
2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sake or dry rice wine
1 finely chopped jalapeño or fresh chili. (Optional for heat)
Hoisin or oyster sauce
In a large bowl combine all the marinade ingredients and mix well. Let sit for a few minutes to come together.
In a large, wide dish, layer marinade and slices of short rib for maximum exposure to meat. Put in fridge for at least 12 and up to 24 hours, turning 1/2 way so everything absorbs the marinades’ goodness.
The next day, take out the meat from the fridge and remove short ribs from marinade, brushing off any chunks. Allow meat to reach room temperature.
Turn on grill or broiler on high and preheat for at least 20 minutes.
Grill or broil for 4-5 minutes per side. Reduce heat if you get flame ups. Don’t burn, keep an eye on them as the sugars from the marinade may scorch. Remove to a platter, brush with a little hoisin sauce and tent with foil. Let rest for a few minutes. Before serving garnish with fresh chopped scallion.
Serve with rice, sautéed vegetables and a bold red wine or beer. I guarantee you will be licking your fingers and sucking on the bones.