Kalbi Jjim + Slow Cooker = Meaty goodness!

‘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:

3 lbs. of English cut short ribs (this is enough for 2-3 people)
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.

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  • http://openid.aol.com/juleskwonnyc juleskwonnyc

    i should have taken a picture of mine too. i didn't get around to the fried egg garnish. people arrived, and there was too much chaos to deal with garnish. i also made kochu-jun and mook. a friend brought jap-chae and something else that i don't know the name of…it's the spicy sliced pork dish. another friend brought korean fried chicken.

  • A Kim

    mmm….sounds like a meat fest. maybe instead of eggs, we should sprinkle some Lipitor over the kalbi.

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  • Jenny

    I love that you did this in a slow cooker. I tried it twice now, the first time I followed the recipe and it came out great (just a little bit on the sweet side, but I think it’s because I mixed a little bit of regular granulated sugar – I ran out of brown). I normally like mine with potatoes and carrots like my mom made it, so the second time, I stuck those into the slow cooker with the meat and it came out like soup, it was so watery! I wasn’t thinking. Perhaps I should try putting them into the crock pot later? Any suggestions?

    • AMY

      Try reducing the amount of water a little, and try layering the potatoes and carrots on top of the ribs since those cook pretty faster than the ribs. What kind of potatoes did you use? Waxy potatoes (less starch) are better suited for slow cooking and stews versus something like russet potatoes.

  • Jenny

    That’s a good idea – I’ll put the potatoes/carrots on top. I think I used russet, so that may have contributed too. I’ll try it out again and report back. :) Have you tried a multi-cooker? I’m tempted to trade in my slower cooker for one. Then again, will it be another piece of kitchenware that sits and collects dust?

    • Andrew

      I would love to hear how the potatoes worked out since I am going to try this recipe this week and I definitely want to use potatoes.

  • Jodibabe

    This turned out delicious!! I added daikon and carrots when I added the pine nuts… This is now my go to recipe :)
    Thank you do much!