How to make Korean Braised Short Ribs, 갈비찜
One of the most famous Korean-style beef dishes has to be Korean braised short ribs (galbi-jjim, 갈비찜). It is a food of festivity and celebration. Koreans eat these fabulous ribs on the day of new year, at the wedding banquet, or any special occasion for a family feast. The tender beef short ribs are braised in a delicious sauce with hearty vegetables, and no one can resist to take a piece once it is served.
Galbi-jjim takes some time to make. Honestly speaking, it is not difficult at all to make. It just requires some time to prep the beef in advance before braising. The cooking itself if very easy just like any braised meat dishes. The low heat simmering will take care of the dish by itself. You will have the most succulent tender beef that melt in your mouth. Just the way any beef-lover wants.
Wash your short ribs in the running water first, then soak them in water for 12-24 hours in the fridge. You are extracting blood from the meat. By doing this, it will get rid of unpleasant gamy smell of meat and yield better flavor. If you can, change the water 1-2 times during the soaking.
Soak dried shiitaki mushrooms in cold water for 1-2 hours. If you are not a fan of mushrooms, you can omit them, but shiitaki mushroom adds another layer of flavor in the dish which I like. I scored a cross pattern with a knife. It is not necessary, though.
Drain the bloody water off the beef and rinse well. Put in a braising pot, and add chopped green onion (or leek).
Combine all the sauce ingredients except water, and mix well until the sugar dissolves.
Pour the sauce over the beef.
The amount of water is between 1-1.5 cup. You don't need to cover the meat entirely with the sauce, just barely reaches about 3/4 of ribs.
Cover with a lid and simmer over low heat for 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. I suggest to round the edges and corners with a knife. The sharp corners and edges can easily break up during the simmering and tossing. That will make the sauce muddy and unpleasant to taste. By rounding the edges, the vegetables will hold its shape and create better presentation.
When the meat is simmered for 45-60 minutes, add the carrot, radish, and mushrooms. Toss well to coat with the sauce.
This is dried jujube (daechu, 대추). Any Korean grocery stores should have these. Add 3-4 pieces into the pot. Dried jujube adds such a nice fragrance to the dish, and you will love the outcome. Do not add too many. It will overpower the entire flavor. If you can't find them, then don't worry, it will still tastes good.
Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Tossing once or twice during the simmering.
Add the rounded potato pieces to the pot and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Potato cooks faster than radish or carrots. If you cook them together at the same time, the potatoes will get mushy before the other vegetables gets softened. You can omit the potatoes if you don't care for them, but the starch from the potatoes will thicken the sauce slightly.
Now the Korean braised short ribs are ready to serve.
You can make this in advance and let it rest. Reheat them over the stove before you serve. Just like any braised food, it tastes even better after resting since the meat will soak up all the great sauce while resting.
Traditionally pine nuts are used to garnish the dish. You can use chopped walnuts instead if you don't have the pine nuts.
And serve with rice. You will taste the heaven. Soooo good~! The beef is tender and falling off the bones, the vegetables are soaked with the flavorful sauce and so soft. You don't need anything else except a little amount of kimchi on the side.
Now, if you don't mind, I better put my camera down and enjoy the fruit of my labor. What a feast!
Korean Braised Short Ribs (갈비찜)
- 3-1/2 lb beef short ribs
- 6-8 dried small shiitaki mushrooms, soaked in water for 1-2 hours
- 3 green onion or 1 leak (white and pale green part), finely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, diced into 1-1/2-inch pices
- 1 small Korean radish, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
- 3 small yukon potato, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
- 3-4 dried jujube, optional
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts or chopped walnuts for garnish
For the sauce:
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup rice wine
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 - 1.5 cups water
- Rinse the ribs in the running water first, then soak them in a cold water for 12-24 hours in the fridge. Rinse the ribs again and place them in a braising pot. Add the chopped green onion or leek.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients except water, pour over the ribs. Add 1-1.5 cups water over the ribs so that the sauce will barely reaches to 3/4 of ribs in the pot.
- Cover the pot with a lid and simmer over low heat for 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, round the sharp corners and edges of vegetables with a knife so that they can keep their shape during the simmering and tossing.
- When the beef is simmered, add mushrooms, radish and carrot pieces, toss and cover, simmer for 20 minutes. When the vegetables are somewhat soft, add the potato pieces and continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes until they are soft, tossing gently once or twice during the cooking. Uncover the lid for the last 5 minutes of cooking time so that the sauce will get thicken slightly.
- Let them rest for a few minutes so that the meat and the vegetables will soak up the flavor from the sauce. You can make this in advance and reheat over the stove on the next day.
- Serve warm with rice.