Who would have thought I’d be able to make KBBQ (ish) at home?! This recipe was a great find because Korean food is a rarity in my Harlem neighborhood…in many neighborhoods, in fact. Since I used to live near K-Town, KBBQ cravings were always easy to fix, but now that I’m not in such close proximity I realize how tough it can be to get those flavors in my life. This recipe from NY Times Cooking doesn’t specifically say it’s meant to mimic Korean bbq, but those were definitely the vibes I was getting so I’ll take it.
First, marinate. Slice 1 lb of boneless short ribs into 1/4 inch slices and marinate in a mixture of 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp ginger, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 tsp coriander (I forgot this but it’s fine), 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, and 1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes (or more). I let mine sit for about 45+ minutes but this is the kind of thing that can marinate for 5 minutes or 5 hours and is equally delicious. The recipe didn’t call for any real veggie, but since I was making this as a bowl meal, I needed some green health factor so I sautéd some baby broccoli while the meat was marinating. At the same time, I got rice cooking in the rice cooker and prepped my toppings: celery sliced super thin (use a mandolin if you got it), julienned red leaf lettuce, and cilantro. Finally, cook off your short ribs (I did this in a wok, in batches) for about 5 or 6 minutes. Would be great to serve with lime, but mine went bad so…sorry.
Cumin and turmeric? Hello! When it comes to Korean flavors, soy sauce and brown sugar are always the first things I reach for, but I usually use ingredients like gojuchang, scallions, and sesame. Cumin and turmeric took this in a slightly different direction and really gave it that bbq edge. I’m thinking those are the spices to thank when I’m happy with the char-like taste of the short ribs. And also…short ribs. Yum. What a cut of meat that is! This bowl may not have had a ton of bells and whistles, but this was great meat. And sometimes that’s all you need.