This weekend, my friend had a barbecue and asked me to bring over some of that “Korean shit” that I’ve been known to make now and then. Yes, dear readers, it turns out that occasionally, I’ve been known to actually whip up a Korean barbecue marinade perfect for Galbi (or beef short ribs). I learned the recipe about three years ago when another friend of mine had a bbq and invited over his neighbor, an Asian woman who came with pounds and pounds of Galbi. Needless to say, it was delicious Ã¢â‚¬â€ just like the restaurants Ã¢â‚¬â€ and as I’m a huge, huge fan of Korean food, I asked her for the recipe. I don’t make it too often (laziness), but the truth is that it’s actually very simple, and it turns out perfectly each time.
Well, since my buddy requested the “Korean shit,” how could I deny him? I headed over to the local Korean supermarket (a definitely bonus to living in LA), gathered up my ingredients, and went to work. And since I’m a compulsive blogger, I photographed the entire process (well, not the shopping). By the way, I should mention that everything in the recipe should be readily available in any supermarket. I only go to the Korean market because it’s cheaper, and they sell mass quantities of short ribs cut the way I like them.
Anyway, a magical mystery tour of my Korean culinary adventures after the jump…
First, I start off with one and a quarter cups of GOOD sugar, as Ina Garten would say.
To that, I add a cup of GOOD soy sauce. (Actually, it can be average soy sauce)
Surprise ingredient! Half a cup of 7-Up (or Sprite, in this case). Basically, a GOOD lemon-lime soda. It’s kind of golden looking because it’s in the same measuring cup that the soy sauce was in. So consider that mystery SOLVED.
Random shot of the marinade fizzing as the soda hits the sugar. It’s like science class ALL OVER AGAIN.
Three quarters of a cup of sake. A real plus about the Korean supermarket is that you can find cheap little bottles of sake. In the past, I always had a giant bottle leftover. It was very wasteful. I would feel ashamed.
Three quarters of a cup of GOOD water. And again, as Ina would say, if you can desalinate and distill your own batch of water, that’s great. But from the faucet is just fine.
One tablespoon of GOOD sesame seeds.
One tablespoon of red pepper flakes. Always be sure to pour them into a separate spoon Ã¢â‚¬â€ you never know when you’ll get a BAD RED PEPPER FLAKE. (Sorry, I’m just doing Ina-isms now)
One tablespoon of sesame oil.
This is what it should look like so far. Not too surprising.
Half a kiwi. I actually used a whole one (but it was small).
Ooooh… mysterious kiwi….
Garlic. Lots of garlic. One cup of chopped or minced garlic. Save yourself some time and get a bunch of peeled cloves.
I didn’t feel like dirtying up my Magic Bullet; so I just manually chopped. And chopped. And chopped.
This is maybe about one third of all the garlic. It’s a lot, people. It’s also essential.
One cup of chopped onion. This bad boy was super intense. It made me cry pretty much instantly.
There. All done. Kind of looks like vomit.
Now the meat. This recipe actually calls for five pounds of meat. I get short ribs, cut Flanken style. This package is merely 4.72 lbs. It cost me $13. I LOVE THE KOREAN SUPERMARKET!!!
The marinade really takes well to short ribs. I tried it once on a flank steak, and it wasn’t as good. Maybe it needed to sit longer. Speaking of which, the meat now goes in the fridge for ideally forty-eight hours. If you’re in a rush, six hours works too, but obviously, it’s not as intense of a flavor.
Two days later, the meat’s ready to head off to the barbecue. I should also mention that I marinated some chicken too in a separate container. Again, not as good as short ribs, but still tasty.
Be sure to use GOOD Tupperware.
Since I forgot to take a picture of the meat cooking, here’s a substitute photo of some salmon and two burgers. Just pretend there are tons of short ribs on the grill too. FYI, the ribs are very fatty; so be careful of flare-ups. And if you use a Foreman Grill, just know that the marinade and the fat can cause a very sticky coating. It’s a pain to wash (another reason why I don’t make this too often).
And here’s the final product. This batch turned out perfectly.
Kind of the best dinner ever.
Fun times had by all.