Too Asian: Yes, I Am Cooking More Asian Food & Yes, It’s Short Ribs

“Bev, I just want to make sure that the whole thing is not too Asian, ’cause that’s not my style.” 

Those who followed this past season of Top Chef will remember the infamous moment when Heather sternly forbade Beverly from cooking “too Asian.”  Despite the fact that Heather only cooked “rustic American food.”  And that Sarah mostly cooked Italian food.  Or Italian food gone anti-griddle wack.

Sarah also scolded Beverly, steering her away from cooking those damn short ribs again.

I’m more like Beverly that I’d like to admit.  I’m kind of awkward.  I’m Korean.  I cook and eat a lot of Asian food.  I run into walls.  I drop things.  I have a tendency to be spacey.  And I have an announcement.

Things are about to get all Asian up in here.  And they’re going to involve short ribs.  

Traditionaly cut galbi short ribs don’t grow on trees in this neck of the woods.  In the fall, I found frozen Korean short ribs at the Everyday Mart for $40 a box.  For my budget, they were pricey, but turned out as good as versions I’ve tried in Korean restaurants.

This weekend, I had a $6 package of non-korean short ribs in my freezer and I was determined them into galbi.  Fortunately, their long soak in galbi marinade rendered them silky and succulent.

Because this cut of meat is usually slow-cooked, I cut them into slices and soaked them for 18 hours in galbi marinade, to break down its connective tissue.

I served the short ribs along with lettuce for wrapping, scallions, julianned carrots, tart kimchee, gochujang, and Thai sticky rice.

Thai rice is usually steamed in a traditional metal pot and basket set.  Sticky rice is a delightful treat for a tired palate.  Plus, it’s a fun, moldable tool to transport food to mouth.  A pot and steamer basket will run about $10.

Both are available at the Asian & American Market in Fargo, ND for $13.  Look for glutenous or sweet rice from Thailand.  I found several varieties at the Asian & American Market ranging from $6-14.

This meal is definately slow food.  Plan to marinate your kalbi overnight and soak your rice the morning of.

Marinating Your Galbi
I used the same galbi marinade recipe from my post Flipping Amazing Galbireducing the quantity for my short ribs.  Feel free to vary from the recipe and, as always, add more or less ingredients to taste.  This time around, I reduced the sugar, honey and soda and added two, thinly sliced Thai chilis.  The Asian pear is essential to tenderizing the meat.

Ingredients:
1/2-1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
1 Asian pear, grated with juices (available at Hornbachers)
2 Tablespoons of minced garlic
1/2 onion, peeled and grated, with juices
1 Tablespoon of grated ginger (you can leave the skin)
2 Tablespoons of light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of honey
2 1/2 Tablespoons of sesame oil
1 Tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper or fresh chilis
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Lemon-lime soda, about 20 ounces

Simply, mix the ingredients together and add the short ribs.  Marinate in the regrigerator, covered, overnight.

To cook, drip off the extra marinade and cook on a hot grill or pan until the meat reaches your desired level of doneness.

Serve with Thai sticky rice, julianned vegetables, gochujang, kimchee, and lettuce for wrapping.

To Make Thai Sticky Rice
Pour as much sticky rice as you need into a large bowl.  Rinse until the water is mostly clear.  Swish the rice around in the water and gently pour out the water, repeating a few times.

Allow the rice to soak in the clear water for at least four hours.  Since I hadn’t made sticky rice for years, I enjoyed this refresher from Blazing Hot Wok whose author recommends soaking while at work.

Fill the pot with a few inches of water and heat to medium-high.

Drain the rice and pour into the steamer basket.  Place the basket over the pot and cover with a lid.

Steam the rice for about 10-15 minutes after the water starts to boil.  Gently shake the basket and try to flip the ball of rice so the other side can steam evenly.  Keep tasting the rice until its texture is tender but not mushy.

When its finished, place in a bowl and cover with a towel.  You can also buy a traditional basket for holding cooked rice.

P.S.  The oldest 27-year old is now on Twitter.  You can follow me @JeniEats.

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