Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fire up the grill, it's Kalbi time!


photo by su-lin via flickr.

Ever since I discovered Costco carries huge trays of beef short ribs, I've been grilling up Kalbi-style short ribs on my old skool briquette-powered grill.

The source of my recipe, I'm almost ashamed to admit, was a google search which lead me to a story on NPR by a Howard Yoon in Washington, D.C., who says about his family's Kalbi:

Kalbi is surprisingly easy to make once you understand the balance of sweet and savory flavors. Many Korean restaurants tend to serve their kalbi on the sweet side, perhaps to cater to an American sweet tooth. Other recipes I've seen recommend additional ingredients such as sherry or white vinegar, Asian pears or brown sugar along with white.

In my opinion, these are mere distractions to the main event — beef, soy, garlic, sugar, sesame oil and green onions. That's it. If you let these ingredients stand out, you'll have a foolproof dish that will satisfy any meat lover.

So, I've adopted the Yoon Family Kalbi recipe (see article) as my own. It works decently well on the much-thicker cut of short ribs that Costco sells, I've yet to try it on thin Kalbi-style cuts.

Really though, I'm just trolling if anyone out there is willing to serve up their secret Kalbi recipe here. Do you have a Kalbi recipe you're chest-thumpin' proud of (I'm looking at you, Monster Daddy)? Post it here!

14 comments:

creative-type dad said...

Man, those look like some mighty tasy ribs...

Superha said...

I don't have a recipe, but I do have a two year old daughter who ate all her kalbi (and mine and my husband's) yesterday when we grabbed some for lunch. Kalbi rocks!

MetroDad said...

What the heck! Costco carries short ribs? How did I not see this? Do they sell giant value packs? How's the quality of the meat?

Soccer Dad said...

Ah, good topic. I make good kalbi and I'm not even Korean. When we had Oakland Raiders mini-plans, when Gannon was QB, I'd break out the kalbi during our parking lot tailgate. Fools with their sad Subway sandwiches and limp hot dogs would look over at the plume of smoke, get a whiff and start catching feelings

My recipe is basically the usual ingredients: soy sauce, brown sugar, green onions, sesame oil, sesame seeds (both freshly toasted AND untoasted), garlic and maybe a thai chili pepper or two. I also add kiwi fruit, which adds sweetness. And it's a natural meat tenderizer. Overnight marinating is too harsh, but 2-3 hours seems to make them just right.

I can co-sign the quality of Costco meat. Very dependable. But I find the short ribs at my local Costco to be HUGE though, it could take another cut through the meat slicer to get them to typical Korean restaurant size.

Add some lettuce leaves, rice and wa-bam!

SD

angie said...

i agree with SD on the quality of Costco's meat(s).

the whole beef tenderloin is GREAT(!) esp. when hosting a couple of couples - usually i can butcher around 8-10 really good, thick (1 1/2"-2") filets and am left with a small chateauxbriand. the vaccuumed packed australian lamb is yum, too! (the kids love those!)

oddly enough though, i've never purchased the ribs there . . . guess i know where i'm headed later this afternoon . . .

samokdaddy said...

I live right next to a Sam's Club. I'm hoping that they have the same short ribs that Costco has. This posting has gotten my appetite up for some kalbi. Gotta talk to the chairman of the board to see if we can go shopping for some good stuff.

OTRgirl said...

All I know is that in addition to the basic ingredients my MIL uses Coca-Cola in the recipe as a fail-safe meat tenderizer. She also swears by a little kiwi.

thisislarry said...

oooh kiwi and coca-cola, keep it coming.....

maryschoi said...

we do the 1:1:1 portion each of soy sauce, water, and sugar.. of course add garlic, onions and green onions too. sometimes this will make it a little too sweet so hold back a little on the sugar.

daddy in a strange land said...

So, I did the recipe you linked to (plus the addition of toasted sesame seeds), Larry, this weekend, on 8 pounds of boneless short ribs from Costco that I semi-froze and sliced into thinner strips. Mmmm... Leftovers! Made it for a little gathering in Bako of intown friends the SuperHas and passing-thru friends the Lotus Life family. Yay blogging! La dra. did pancit too (see her post on mifp.blogspot.com) and I made some ice cream too--Mexican Chocolate (with Mayordomo chocolate from Oaxaca, mmm) and a lowfat Key Lime Pie ice cream from Cooking Light. :)

thisislarry said...

DISL, Glad it turned out OK. I'm curious, did you trim off the bones, or cut thru them?

Next pack o' ribs, I'm going to try 1 part soy sauce, 2 parts coca-cola, some kiwifruit, garlic, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds.

I'm thinking if I butterfly them on the bone, the meat will have more of a kalbi-like thickness.

SoulSnax said...

DISL: you gotta post up that recipe for Mexican Chocolate ice cream. Please? Pretty Please!!! With bagoong on top?

I'll post up a family recipe for Mangga Rachada (pickled green mango)

daddy in a strange land said...

I'm telling you, we should just have a regular feature with recipes, Rice Daddies Cook, or Rice Cookin', or something. With pix, of course. :)

Larry, my Costco never used to carry shortribs. This last time, I was just gonna buy my usual flap meat (which I buy cuz they don't have skirt steak either and I like flap better than flank) and cut the meat after cooked, but they actually had boneless shortribs this time. So I par-froze them and cut them in 3-ish slices (should've taken them out of the packages first for even freezing).

You know, I don't think it needs the fruit addition. I like long marination--I did it overnight--and of course, you'd need to do it much shorter using a tenderizing fruit like that. (We're still eating leftovers!)

Soulsnax, I'll get that ice cream recipe up soon. It was soooo good. :) (Did you go to mifp or filipinamoms to see la dra.'s post with pix about cooking Filipino?) (Are you eating a lot of lechon over there, dude?) ;)

(Oh, and dude? Please--hold the bagoong!)

Maria L said...

I buy my Korean style short ribs at a Mexican grocery if you can believe it. And then I pound them out with my meat pounder to make them really thin. I use the Yoon Family recipe. I'm a white girl and my Asian friends are impressed with my ribs!