Yesterday, the boy (my son D.) and I drove into Oakland and went to Koreana Plaza to do a little shopping. Ever since my Husband and I lived in Thailand, frequenting Asian markets is one of my favorite thing to do. I guess it reminds me of our time abroad. Not to mention, the Asian markets are perfect for getting all my goodies for some delicious and blog worthy meals.
This week I decided to make some kalbi, Korean style beef short ribs. I used to make these all the time when they were much cheaper but at $10.99 lb now they are definitely not a weekly staple. So, the boy and I were like the little piggy who went to market and off to get our ingredients. My pantry is constantly stocked with the ingredients for the marinade but I needed the short ribs, some red leaf lettuce and a few ingredients for some side dishes, or ban chan.
What you will need:
About 2-3 lbs of beef short ribs for bbq
For the marinade:
1 asian pear
1/4 c light soy sauce
2 T toasted sesame oil
1 T miren
1 inch ginger
8 cloves of garlic
1 T brown sugar
1-2 T honey
For the Ssamjang (sauce):
1/4 c gochujang (red chili paste)
1/4 c dwengjang (fermented soybean paste)
2 T toasted sesame oil
2 T miren
1 T sesame seeds
2 green onions, finely chopped (whites and greens)
Red leaf lettuce
ban chan, or side dishes
Steamed rice (optional, if you are watching your carbs)
What you will do:
- In a food processor add all the ingredients for the marinade and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Using a zip top bag, layer the short ribs and pour the marinade all over. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Massage the meat so the marinade fully covers. Leave in fridge for at least 2 hours but overnight is better.
- Meanwhile, make your ssamjang, any banchan (another post sometime), wash your lettuce.
- Heat a grill pan over high heat. When pan is hot, cook the short ribs a couple minutes on each side. They don’t take long because they are so thin.
- Eat and enjoy! The sugars in the marinade help flavor the meat and add some beautiful caramelization color!Ssamjang is a slightly sweet and spicy sauce to accompany any bbq wrapped in a lettuce leaf. I love the extra layer of flavor it adds to my bbq.Not to mention it is a gorgeous color when all combined. I could personally just slather this all over some rice and color me happy!It’s also very pretty to photograph.Korean food is traditionally served with banchan, or side dishes. I served my kalbi with some bean sprouts, kimchi, pickled cucumbers and fermented beans. Yum!Korean lettuce wraps are kind of like tacos. First take a piece of red leaf lettuce, then add a little rice, your bbq kalbi, the ssamjang and a little banchan of your choice. Wrap it up and stick it in your mouth! The whole thing at once, if you can!Red leaf lettuce works best for Korean BBQ, but if you don’t have it feel free to use romaine. Iceberg will work but it is a little too crunchy. The softer leaf lettuces add a silkiness contrast to all the goodies inside.My dinner table this evening. I also made some gyeranmari, or a rolled egg omelet (again, another blog post because I want to dedicate an entire post to this fun side dish and my newest favorite square pan!). Korean food does take some time and effort but the reward is well worth it! Do give it a try, I promise it’s totally worth it and you will crave it all the time. Cheers and happy eating!