Galbijjim, Braised Korean Short Ribs. Real Treat (Ribtastic?)
So this was the first of 2 mains in my 5 course dinner opus. Generally, it’s a festive Korean treat that’s supposed to be a filling and hearty affair. However, owing to the fact that it was part of a larger meal, I tried to make the portion size a bit smaller than what you’d expect from a single main. As I understand from reading the various “authentic” recipes online, you’re free to add whichever vegetables (usually root veggies) to the braise; carrots, radishes, potatoes etc. I opted to use just potatoes, and serve the ribs on a bed of the potatoes to serve as the dish’s starch. I also topped the ribs thin strips of a very light and thin omelette (cold) and a light salad of coriander, green onions, red chilis in an asian dressing, just to freshen the dish up and add a bit of diversity to the flavor profile. What you get with this dish is a richness in flavour that’s deep and decadent as any braise normally is, along with the umami-ness of the soy marinate, the sweetness of the molasses and accented with the spicy freshness of the salad. Honestly, this was one of the most successful and enjoyable things I’ve ever cooked.
The quantities below were used to serve 5 small-ish mains, but can be used to serve 4 easily.
About 500-600g of nice meaty beef short ribs, roughly 1 rib per serving (for a small main, you’ll probably need to double that for a full-sized main)
A Osso Bucco shank about 200g, I used this so that the beautiful marrow can flavour the braise, and so that the veal would melt into the potatoes and flavour them
1 medium onion cut into long strips
2 potatoes peeled and cubed
About 1 green onions chopped
6 large button mushrooms sliced into thick slices
8 diced garlic cloves
2 cups of water
8 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of rice vinegar
2 tbsp of brown sugar
2 tbsp of molasses
Some sesame oil
Original recipes call for boiling the ribs in water, I decided to brown them in sesame oil instead. So in a large dutch oven or pot, heat up on a high heat a couple of spoons of sesame seed oil, once hot, place the ribs (and ossobucco) and sear them well on all sides, this should take about 10-15 minutes. Once browned, add the water, soy sauce, vinegar, onions, garlic and sugar and bring the whole mixture to a boil and allow to cook for about 15mins, note that the ribs should be covered by liquid to at least half their thickness. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then add the potatoes and mushrooms and let simmer for about 1 1/2 hours covered. Add the molasses and season the braise with pepper if required, and then allow all the liquid to cook off until the pot is full of a delicious sticky mixture of ribs and potatoes, once the cover is off, stir every now and then. The dish is ready to serve. For service, I used a ring mold to plate the potatoes (by then they were a sticky combo of potatoes, onions, disintegrated ossobucco and mushrooms; heavenly) and I sliced the meat off the ribs and placed onto the potatoes and topped it with the eggs and salad. The salad I found was an absolute must and here’s the recipe:
About one large handful of chopped fresh coriander, two red chilis sliced thinly and de-seeded, one large sliced green onion (feel free to add more onions if your heart desires). Dress the salad with a couple of 4 teaspoons of soy sauce, 2 tsp of wine vinegar, 2 tsp of sesame seed oil and the juice of half a small lemon. Toss the salad together in the dressing and now it’s ready to serve.
Hope you enjoy!