Thursday, February 17, 2011


Kalbi, Korean grilled beef short ribs, is fantastic. I actually had it a lot growing up, but never knew it was supposed to be a Korean dish (my family is Taiwanese). And I don't think the older generation(s) of my family knew it as Korean either; they aren't too familiar with Korean cuisine, but everyone makes grilled beef short ribs. It's just one of those things, I'm sure, that's made its way around Asian nations' cuisines. Like various forms of spicy beef noodle soup, braised pork belly, stir-fried fat noodles, and chicken curries.

To be sure, the way I had beef short-ribs growing up is different than kalbi, though. And having finally tried making kalbi (recipe courtesy of The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook), I can say that kalbi is a more involved process than our short ribs were. The way my family marinated was simpler (though, that's not to say that everyone's is). Mainly, there's fruit rub (kiwi in this recipe) to tenderize the meat for kalbi. There were also just several more ingredients in the marinade. Anyway, discussion to follow pics from the process:

Kiwi puréed

 Massaging the meat

 The marinade


 Several hours later, after marinating and finally broiling (I know, no grill :[ )

It's always great to try new things, so I was happy to do the kiwi massage. I will say, though, the meat ended up too tenderized. It was kind of falling apart. Well, the ones on the broiling pan were falling apart, while the one I had from the baking pan was better. I wonder why that was...? Something about stewing in its juices? That doesn't seem right. Maybe it was just the one. I don't know if the recipe calls for more kiwi than is needed, or if maybe I massaged too much (though I really didn't massage very much at all). Or did the soda put it over the top? Or I overcooked it? But the one in the juices had better texture than the ones on the broiling pan. Hmm. Well, I'll just have to change things next time.

This was also my first time using the oven broiler. I was worried about burning and smoke--but I'm not really sure how our oven broiler works. It's a gas oven, but there doesn't seem to be something to apply direct heat from above. It may just be the highest temperature the oven goes (past 500, it just says BROIL). Our hypersensitive smoke detector did go off a couple times despite the lack of smoke, though. I think it was the gas.

Anyway, things smelled nice and the flavor on the one not falling apart was good. Oh, and the veggies are just kind of random. The cucumbers were a savory Chinese style marinated cucumber, and the onions I just threw in the oven to "grill" with a little lemon (leftover produce scraps from other productions, ha) squeezed over them.

*Afterthought: Oh, you know what? Maybe it was because I froze the meat for a while before getting around to cooking it.


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