I’m always honored and humbled to cook food with such proud, venerable, even ancient roots. Korean food is no exception. Thousands of years of refinement has led to a breathtaking marriage of flavors. This dish is a perfect example. The sweet of the mirin joins the depth of the soy and the earthiness of the mushrooms for a bit of kitchen alchemy. I compulsively tasted it as it simmered away, and I struggled to remember a more delicious sauce. It was beautiful.
Again, its a recipe that takes a while, but there’s not a lot of hands-on time. There are some moving parts at the end, but it is so – I repeat – so worth it. It’s comforting, traditional, and special. Those eating with you will feel loved.
Persephone’s Galbi Jijm
2 pounds of bone-in short rib
1 medium onion, roughly sliced
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 c of dried mushrooms, chef’s choice, soaked in enough water to cover, probably about 2 cups
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into discs
1/2 of a daikon radish, cut into discs
A small handful of pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 T of vegetable oil
1 t of sesame oil
1/3 cup of Mirin
1/3 cup of high quality soy sauce
A splash of rice wine vinegar
1 egg, beaten
2 cups of cooked white rice (i.e., 1 cup of dry rice, cooked)
We’ve certainly braised before in Persephone’s Kitchen, so this should be familiar ground. Grab your dutch oven or even a big sauce pot, and sweat your onion for a bit in the vegetable and sesame oil over medium to low heat, 8-12 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger when you feel moved, and soften for another 5 minutes. Then add your meat. Pour over the rehydrated mushrooms, water and all. Then add the mirin, soy and vinegar. Give it a good stir and bring it to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, gently, for 2 hours. Then add the carrot and daikon discs and simmer for another 30 minutes. Be sure to taste along the way. The flavors will concentrate, so add water if it gets dry, soy if it lacks saltyness, and mirin or even a pinch of sugar if you want it sweeter. You’re in control.
Over medium low heat, warm a skillet or saute pan and add a generous tablespoon of oil. Pour in the whisked egg and allow to set fully. Gently remove to a cutting board and slice diagonally in opposite directions to create small diamond shaped egg pieces.
Serve your sweet, tender and delicious ribs over white rice, garnished with the egg, nuts, scallions and red pepper paste. Again, the red pepper paste is seriously non-optional.
Playlist included Wrong Feels Right, by the Dum Dum Girls