Korean-Style Braised-Short-Rib Stew (Kalbi Jim)
Adapted from “L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food,” by Roy Choi

These Korean braised short ribs are slow simmered over low heat to a tender and sweet finish. It’s hard to have leftovers with Kalbi Jim because it’s such a crowd-pleaser, whether it’s served at a fancy gathering or just as a comforting homestyle meal. You should always try to make it with bone-in ribs, because like Italian osso bucco or Irish stew, Kalbi Jim relies on the stewed bone marrow for its rich flavor.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pounds short ribs (English-cut short ribs, sometimes called thick-cut)
  • 1 small bunch scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup garlic cloves, peeled (approximately 2 heads)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems reserved for another use, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 cup jarred, peeled chestnuts
  • 1 cup taro, peeled and cut into large dice (about a 3-inch segment)
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into large dice (about two carrots)
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about half a squash)

PREPARATION

  1. Put the short ribs into a bowl, and cover with water. Drain, and discard water. Repeat twice. Remove short ribs from the bowl, and score them across the top of the meat in diagonal slashes. Return the ribs to the bowl, and rinse again. Remove, and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the scallions, soy sauce, ginger, onion, garlic, sugar, mirin, orange juice and apple juice, then pulse to purée. Add a little water if you need to thin out the sauce so it combines.
  3. Put the puréed sauce in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven with a cover, add three cups of water and stir to combine. Put the pot over high heat, and bring to a boil, then add the ribs to the pot and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot.
  4. Cook the ribs for a minimum of 2 hours over low heat, then add the vegetables, replace the cover and simmer for another 30 minutes or so, until the meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked through.