Korean comfort food gets no better than Galbi-Jjim, a braised short-rib dish and national favorite that has as many versions as the the number of cooks who make it. That said, I came up with my own recipe after doing a lot of online research and cobbling together elements from different recipes I came across.
The addition of Asian pear, for example, is used as a tenderizer, but some people use kiwi and even papaya, which contain the same kind of enzymes useful in breaking down the meat. Cooking time also varied, but I favored a longer cooking time for my version (a total of 2 hours). I also noticed that this dish has the potential to be very salty if you do not monitor it during the cooking process and add additional sugar or honey as necessary to create more of a balance between the sweet and salty. I probably added an additional 2 teaspoons of sugar to the 3 tablespoons I have listed here in the ingredients.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this is a very heavy dish, meaning, don’t count on getting much work done after eating it (you’re headed for a nap!). But so delicious and relatively easy to make, this one pot dish will definitely be a popular item in your repetoire.
3 pounds beef short ribs
1 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. rice wine
2 tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 Asian pear, grated
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2-inch piece of ginger, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Asian radish, diced
2-3 carrots, diced
1 potato, diced
3-4 shitake mushrooms
3 green onions, sliced
1.) Wash and trim any excess fat from the ribs. Score the meat (to allow the flavor to penetrate).
2.) Boil ribs for 10-15 minutes in just enough water to cover them. Skim the surface to remove any foam and reserve cooking liquid.
3.) Remove ribs, wash and set aside.
4.) In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine, sesame oil, black pepper and pear to create braising liquid.
5.) Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add onions, garlic and ginger and sauté for a couple minutes. Add ribs and brown. Add braising liquid and enough of the reserved cooking liquid to cover the ribs halfway. Bring to a boil. Then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 90 minutes.
6.) Add carrots, potatoes, and shitake mushrooms and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
7.) Serve immediately over rice. Garnish with green onions.