Korean Cooking Experiment I

In yet another Korean related venture, I decided to try making Kalbi 갈비 (grilled beef short rib) since my mum-in-law taught me how to make this when I was in LA,

It's really easy - all you need to do is to marinate the meat for a couple hours, and then grill it up. The key though, is finding the right cut of meat here in Singapore. Kalbi is cut right through the beef rib, so you see the cross section of the rib, as opposed to the conventional beef or pork ribs that one might find in the supermarket.

Kisu and I decided to try the Korean market behind Boat Quay - it's one of the oldest in Singapore. We found it there, along with the other ingredients that I needed. Although, it was frozen (not ideal) and looked kinda puny. But worth a try.

Draining the raw ribs

Soaking in the marinade

Kisu grilling them up on the Foreman grill


I cut the slabs of meat up into bite sized portions

Ready to eat!

We had the kalbi with some really good toasted kim seaweed, which we also bought at the Korean mart. I marinated the ribs for 2 hours but they still tasted a little bland - perhaps the frozen meat didn't take well to absorbing the flavours, so I tossed in a whole lot more marinade. After all, as Kisu reminded me, Korean food is not about subtlety. It tasted a lot better after I did that, but the meat was a letdown. It was pretty tough 'cos it wasn't well marbled - and I suppose it is frozen meat after all.

That said, we found fresh kalbi at Cold Storage yesterday - Joy!! Kisu and I were on our way to the butcher section to ask if they could help us cut the ribs kalbi style, when I saw them on display nicely wrapped up in the meat section. Must be another testament to the power of hallyu, to actually have fresh kalbi in Cold Storage. So I'm giving the recipe another go this week.


Beef Short Ribs

Marinade Ingredients
Chopped fresh garlic
Korean sesame oil
Korean soy sauce
Toasted sesame seeds
MSG (optional)
Ground black pepper

*edit: you can substitute japanese/chinese sesame oil and soy sauce if you can't find korean ones. Only thing is the flavour isn't as robust.

Wash ribs in water.
Place ribs in a colander to drain, for about 20 minutes.
Marinade with ingredients for at least 1 hour. I like to do this for as long as possible, so that the marinade really soaks in. I can't tell you how much of each ingredient to use, because my mum-in-law didn't give me any measurements. All I can say is, use A LOT of everything. You can also err on the side of using more sugar. It helps to give the sweetish flavour as well as caramelise the meat.
Grill - keep it slightly undercooked. The meat inside should be slightly pink - that keeps it tender.
You can also freeze the meat after marinating and cook it later. Just make sure to lay the kalbi flat when storing.

1 comment:

Saggs said...

Hey... do they absolutely have to be Korean sesame oil and soya sauce?