This recipe for galbijjim/galbi jjim (or kalbi jjim), braised beef short ribs, was originally posted on Feb 10, 2010. As the weather is getting cool and the season for family gatherings is fast approaching, I thought it would be nice to reintroduce this wonderful Korean dish.
Galbi jjim is typically served on traditional holidays and special occasions in Korea. I made these ribs for my father-in-law’s birthday, a couple of weeks ago, and again for my son when I visited him this weekend. Galbi jjim is a definite favorite at our house!
In contrast to the braising method typical of Western cooking, Koreans do not sear the meat before braising them. The ribs are first parboiled in water with the aromatic vegetables and then braised in a sweet and savory braising liquid. Parboiling is a technique used to remove excess fat and blood from the ribs. I boil the ribs in a small amount of water and use the resulting stock in the braising liquid.
Chestnuts, dates, pine nuts, and gingko nuts are customary garnishes that make this dish look very elegant, but the ribs will still be delicious without them. These succulent ribs, in a rich sauce, will be perfect for any of your special occasions! Then again, why wait for a special occasion to make this tasty comfort food?
3 – 4 servings
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar (2 for less sweet ribs)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup rice wine (or mirin)
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
1/2 medium Asian pear, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 small onion grated
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated (or juiced) ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
10 ounces Korean radish, cut into large chunks (about 1-1/2-inch cubes)
3 – 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and quartered
2 carrots, cut into large chunks (about 1 inch long)
6 – 8 peeled fresh chestnuts
6 – 8 dried Korean dates/jujube
10 – 12 gingko nuts, or 1 tablespoon pine nuts
Trim off any excess fat. Rinse the ribs and let them sit in cold water for about 30 minutes to draw out excess blood. Drain. In a large pot (5 or 6 qt), bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the ribs, onion, ginger, garlic and scallions.
Add 2-1/2 cups of the stock to the marinated ribs. Cover and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the vegetables, leaving out the optional garnish ingredients. Continue to simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
Stir in the optional garnish ingredients. Return to simmer, uncovered this time, for an additional 10 – 20 minutes*, or until the sauce is thicker and the meat is tender but not falling apart.
(*At this time, adjust the heat level and cooking time, depending on how tender you want your ribs to be and how much sauce you like to have. Use medium low heat and additional time for more tender meat with more sauce. Likewise, you can increase the heat to medium to reduce the sauce quicker. Also, leaving the pot uncovered during the last 10 – 20 minutes gives the ribs a nice sheen.)