Korean Braised Beef Short Rib (Galbi Jjim)

As I’m starting to get more and more into this cooking thing, I’m really realizing that every home, family, mom, dad, owner of the home kitchen has their own way of making the same dish and now I’m here trying out all of the above to find my own recipe that I want to use as my own in our kitchen. It’s really all just an adventure, a fun one with lots of food and excitement to see how the recipe will turn out! And sometimes sadness when it doesn’t turn out the way I want but in the end, a good experience and for the taste tester eating the same but slightly altered dish more than once… (oops!)

galbijjim-first-final
So, with galbijjim, there are so many ways to make this dish from slow cookers and to taking some short cuts. But last week was Korean Thanksgiving and I wanted to make it the long but best way. This recipe took more than one try and hours of me pouring over recipes on Korean naver portal site but I think I found my best. Finger licking good.
Warning: This is the traditional, longer and more tedious way to make galbijjim. But galbijjim in Korea is often only eaten on special occasions so if this is the main star of the table, then I would highly recommend this!! It is not difficult to make! It just takes extra time and it is really worth the extra effort to get the MOST tender and flavorful galbijjim. But if you have 5 star dishes to attend to for a special occasion then maybe the quicker route or a slow cooker would work. I may try that out in the future… But today, I was so happy and my husband’s taste buds were jumping for joy.
So, let’s get started?
Draining of the beef odor and blood. Sounds a bit gross but it is a crucial step. Soak the short ribs in cold for at least one hour and make sure to change the water a few times in between. ( I prefer to do this for about 3 hours).
galbijjim-soak-in-water
First phase boil. Place short ribs in a pot and fill with water just until all the meat is under water. Bring to a boil and simmer in medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Throw out the water from the pot and wash the short ribs again. This makes sure that the short ribs are thoroughly clean before the broth is cooked.
galbijjim-first-step-boil galbijjim-washing
Second phase boil. Place the short ribs in a clean pot with the broth making ingredients and about 5-6 cups of water – until all the meat is under water. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium-low heat for 45 minutes. Simmering on low heat will make the short ribs more tender.
  • 5-7 garlics
  • 1 large green onion
  • 1/4th an onion
  • 3-4 cm length of Korean radish
  • 2 T of Mirim
  • 1 t of peppercorns (pepper)
  • Optional: 2 small spicy red peppers – this will not make the broth spicy but just give it a slight heat level, I did not notice at all
galbijjim-second-step-boil
At this time, get the sauce ingredients ready.
  • 1/4th Asian pear
  • 1/2 sweet onion – if you don’t have sweet onion, you can use any other onion but then 1/2 an Asian pear should be used or at the end, the sauce may need about 1/2 T more honey to accommodate for needing more sweetness. If using honey, this seasoning should be done at the very end once the galbijjim is near complete.
Take the skin off of the pear and place 1/4th pear and 1/2 an onion in a food processor or mixer. Blend until smooth as possible.
Make the the rest of the sauce by mixing the rest of the ingredients and set both aside.
  • 9 T soy sauce
  • 2 T mirim
  • 2 T rice syrup (can use sugar – I just try to avoid sugar when I can)
  • 2 1/2 T honey
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1/8 t minced ginger
Once the broth is done from the second phase boil, throw out the vegetables that were used for the broth. And then comes the tedious part. There is quite a bit of fat on the short ribs which in turn means there will be quite a bit of oil/fat floating on the top of the broth. The broth will taste most refreshing and flavorful if much of the fat is taken out. The easiest way to do this without any special equipment is freezing the broth until the fat layer freezes at the top! Takes about 1-1.5 hours.
galbijjim-oil-seperate
While the broth is in the freezer, take the short ribs and make some knife marks into the thick part of the meat so that the marinade can seep into every bite! Also cut off any extremely fatty pieces on the meat that you wouldn’t want to eat. Place the short ribs back into the now empty pot.
Optional: Marinate in the pear/onion blend first for about 20 minutes. This will help the meat get extra tender and sweet.
Then pour in the rest of the sauce, mix well and marinate until the broth is ready. If this is too cumbersome, you can just mix the pear/onion and soy sauce blend all together from the start – not a big deal.
galbijjim-first-marinade galbijjim-second-marinade
Once the top of the broth is frozen, dispose of the fatty frozen pieces. Pour in some of the broth into the pot with the short rib marinade just until all the meat is under liquid. Do not discard of the remaining broth yet.
galbijjim-oil-frozen
Final boil – third time’s the charm! Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for about 40 minutes. Keep a watch every few minutes and if the broth seems to be low, add a bit more of the broth on standby. Some of this will depend on how much broth evaporates from your pot.
At this time, get ready all the other ingredients you would like in the galbijjim. This is where you can really choose to put in some different types of vegetables:
  • 1 large carrot (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 4 cm of Korean radish (cut into a similar size as the carrots)
  • 1/4th a small kobocha squash (not used as often but I really love this in the galbijjim)
  • Most traditionally used but I did not have readily available and did not use:
    • 15 chestnuts
    • 10 jujubes
    • 3 shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
Once the broth has been simmered for the final time, add in the final ingredients and continue to boil and simmer until the carrots are soft (takes the longest). About 10 minutes. Much of the sauce should start to become thick. You can play with the thickness that you may want with the extra broth on standby.
galbijjim-boil-final-lighter
AND NOW ENJOY! So much work but the meat will be extremely tender because of the slow cooking process and the sauce will be so delicious without being too fatty. While you’re eating, don’t forget to pour a spoonful of sauce into the rice and mix! It will be so good.
galbijjim-korean-braised-short-rib
Long Process Summarized:
  1.  Soak the short ribs in cold water for 1-3 hours to discard of any order and blood.
  2. First phase boil – 10 minutes and then wash cleanly! Gets the meat clean and ready for making the broth.
  3. Second phase boil – 45 minutes simmering with all the broth ingredients.
    1. Once boiled, discard vegetables used for broth.
    2. Make knife marks in meat for best marinade.
  4. Place broth in freezer for about 1-1.5 hours until the top part of fat freezes. marinade the meat in the pear/onion and soy sauce blend while this happens.
  5. Discard of frozen fat from broth. Final phase boil!!!! Another 40 minutes.
  6. Continue to simmer and add in the last vegetable ingredients to the galbijjim. Cook until the carrots are soft – about 10 minutes.
ENJOY!!!!!!!!
Tip: If you’re low on time, you can skip the fourth step from the summary and not discard of all the oil. 
Korean Braid Beef Short Ribs (GalbiJjim)
Print Recipe
Fall of the Bone Tender Korean Braised Beef Short Rib (Galbi Jjim)
갈비찜 Most tender, fall of the bone tender, Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs made the traditional long way but worth the extra time and effort for an extremely flavorful dish.
Servings
2-3 if this is the main dish
Ingredients
Galbijjim Broth
Galbijjim Sauce
Galbijjim Additional Vegetables
Servings
2-3 if this is the main dish
Ingredients
Galbijjim Broth
Galbijjim Sauce
Galbijjim Additional Vegetables
Instructions
  1. Soak the short ribs in cold for at least one hour and make sure to change the water a few times in between. ( I prefer to do this for about 3 hours).
  2. First phase boil. Place short ribs in a pot and fill with water just until all the meat is under water. Bring to a boil and simmer in medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Throw out the water from the pot and wash the short ribs again. This makes sure that the short ribs are thoroughly clean before the broth is cooked.
  3. Second phase boil. Place the short ribs in a clean pot with the broth making ingredients and about 5-6 cups of water - until all the meat is under water. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium-low heat for 45 minutes. Simmering on low heat will make the short ribs more tender.
  4. At this time, get the sauce ingredients ready. Take the skin off of the pear and place 1/4th pear and 1/2 an onion in a food processor or mixer. Blend until smooth as possible. Make the the rest of the sauce by mixing the rest of the ingredients together - soy sauce, mirim, rice syrup, honey, same oil, garlic, ginger, Set both mixtures aside.
  5. Once the broth is done from the second phase boil, throw out the vegetables that were used for the broth. And then comes the tedious part. There is quite a bit of fat on the short ribs which in turn means there will be quite a bit of oil/fat floating on the top of the broth. The broth will taste most refreshing and flavorful if much of the fat is taken out. The easiest way to do this without any special equipment is freezing the broth until the fat layer freezes at the top! Takes about 1-1.5 hours.
  6. Once the top of the broth is frozen, dispose of the fatty frozen pieces. Pour in some of the broth into the pot with the short rib marinade just until all the meat is under liquid. Do not discard of the remaining broth yet as you may need to add more broth if some of it evaporates.
  7. Final boil - third time's the charm! Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for about 40 minutes. Keep a watch every few minutes and if the broth seems to be low, add a bit more of the broth on standby. Some of this will depend on how much broth evaporates from your pot.
  8. At this time, get ready all the other ingredients you would like in the galbijjim. This is where you can really choose to put in some different types of vegetables.
  9. Once the broth has been simmered for the final time, add in the final ingredients and continue to boil and simmer until the carrots are soft (takes the longest). About 10 minutes. Much of the sauce should start to become thick. You can play with the thickness that you may want with the extra broth on standby.
  10. Enjoy!!

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