Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Korean Grilled Kalbi (Short Ribs)

Kalbi is Korean for short rib and there are several ways that they are butchered. I have seen this "Korean" version sold as Korean Style Ribs in some markets. But if they are not readily found at your local butcher, special order with your butcher for thin flanken cut beef short ribs, about 1/2 inch.

If the meat on the ribs are too thick, it will not cook properly as the meat is not tender enough. Thick cut short ribs can be sliced accordion style to be about 1/2 inch thick and used in this recipe. Otherwise, thick cuts (about 2 inches) need to be braised for about 2 hours for tender results.

My recipe for the marinade is from my mom and her secret ingredient, everyone has a secret ingredient (coca cola?), is kiwi. Kiwifruit has a protein dissolving enzyme that helps to tenderize the meat (as does papaya), make sure none of your guests are allergic to kiwi. The meat should not be marinated for longer than 24 hours or the ribs will fall apart from the enzyme, so about 12 hours is ideal. If you need longer marination, omit the kiwi and marinate for up to 2 days. Once you have the grill lit up, cook all the ribs even if it's too much, they make great leftover steak sandwiches.

This recipe uses mirin, which is Japanese sweet rice wine, this can be omitted but add a bit more sugar to compensate for the sweetness.

Korean Kalbi (Short Ribs) - for 4 servings
3 pounds of flanken cut short ribs
10-14 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow onion, rough chopped
1/2 fresh kiwi fruit
3/4 cup lite soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 T sesame oil
1 T brown sugar (optional other sugars/sweeteners, even coca cola)

Rinse the ribs in several changes of water, this ensures that any flakes from sawing the bone are removed. Drain thoroughly or pay dry with a paper towel.

Put the rest of the ingredients in a blender and puree.

Toss ribs in marinade. There is enough marinade here for about 5 pounds of ribs and grill within 24 hours.

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