‘Tis the season for braised meat! My sister called me a couple of days ago for a Kalbi Jjim (braised short ribs) recipe. I had one scrawled on a sheet of notebook paper in my binder. I jotted the recipe down several years ago when I asked my mom for her (actually, my grandmother’s) recipe, but I never ended up making it. Growing up, it’s a dish that we had on special occasions. I remember the sweet aroma of the soy braised ribs filling the house. My sister’s call inspired me to make this dish, but instead of braising it stove-top, I wanted to try it in the slow cooker. It took a few minutes to decipher my notes and I made guesstimates on the measurements. Most recipes call for jujubes or chestnuts, but I remember my mom’s version just having pine nuts and topped with very thin fried egg strips. Here’s the recipe I came up with:
Kalbi Jjim + Slow Cooker = Meaty goodness!
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/8 c. sesame oil
1/2 c. brown sugar
about 12 garlic cloves or half a bulb
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. pine nuts
1 egg, beaten (optional)
Trim the fat and membrane from the ribs and score the meat crosswise. Soak the ribs in cold water for about an hour to drain the blood. (You can rinse and soak until the water runs clear, but I only did it once.) Place the ribs in the slow cooker pot. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic and black pepper, and pour over the ribs. Make sure each rib is coated with the mixture. Pour enough water into the pot to cover the ribs. Cook on high for 4 1/2 hours. Add the pine nuts during the last hour of cooking time. Fry the egg and cut into very thin strips. Top with eggs before serving. I didn’t do the egg this time around, but the kalbi turned out fall-off-the-bone tender and succulent. This was supposed to be my test run, but the guesstimates seemed to have work. Even my DS and DH had a few bites. DS especially loved a few spoonfuls of the broth in his bap.So my mom read this entry and insisted that I include that the skimming and removal of the fat is critical to this dish. The easiest way to do this is to chill the dish after it’s done which solidifies the fat (sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it?) making it very easy to remove. And of course you would reheat the dish before serving. This step would’ve added way too much time to my slow cooker method, but it does makes it a “cleaner” and better dish.