Was it hot enough for you today? Sheesh...... Of course, the Missus decided that She wanted some grilling done this weekend, so why not?
I originally posted a Kalbi recipe over four years ago, and the recipe has changed a bit since then, so I thought I'd post an update. Since we often use our posts as references, I hope that you don't mind if I do this post. We'll be back with another restaurant tomorrow.
You'll notice that these aren't the usual crosscut short ribs that you see in most places. Nowadays, if I'm going to put out the effort ot make Kalbi, I'll always go for the thick cut ribs, and slice them myself. I can go anywhere and get cheapo "LA Kalbi" which is what they call the perpendicular cross-cut ribs. So I'll always go with good quality thick cut ribs.
You can see how I cut these in this post, though I've gotten a bit better at it.
I've also noticed that higher grade ribs are saved for the thick cut ribs at Zion Market. These were really good, perhaps even good enough for Saeng Kalbi (unmarinated ribs).
Another standard when it comes to making the sauce I use is "Mulyeot" - Malt Syrup. Along with adding a nice sheen to the ribs, it adds a more interesting flavor, and is not as sweet. If you have time search out a Barley Malt Syrup, it has better flavor. I was dodging shopping carts and crowds at Zion Market and was in a rush when I bought this. I also tend to add some fruit, usually Asian Pear to my marinade, but in this case settled for some Kiwi. I've stopped using papaya, not because it's not effective, but because it works a bit too well, and can turn your meat to mush. Be aware that my Kalbi is not on the sweet side, so you may want to adjust the sugar level. You may also want to cut the amount in half for smaller quantities. Remember to taste your marinade. Also, the sesame oil is optional, sometimes I use it, sometimes not. I've pared down my recipe over the last couple of years, of course I kinda like things simple.......
Marinade - enough for 4-5 pounds of ribs
1 Cup Soy Sauce
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Malt Syrup
1/4 Cup Rice Wine - I used Sake
4 Cloves of Garlic
4 Stalks Green Onion
1 Kiwi or 1/3 Asian Pear
1-2 Tb Sesame Oil
- Roughly chop garlic, fruit, and green onion and place in a blender.
- Add soy sauce, sugar, and malt syrup and blend.
- Add rice wine and sesame oil, and briefly blend.
- Taste and adjust flavor.
- Marinade ribs at least 6 hours, but no more than 16.
The Missus' grilled mushroom of the day was Eryngii (King Mushrooms). Simply seasoned with sea salt and olive oil, thse were really good. I chose mushrooms that weren't too large, large one's might be attractive, but for grilling I've found them tough and dry.
Ono Kiawe Charcoal.
While just taking a quick look at Barbeques Galore.....where I just like to kinda look around, but had never bought anything, I saw this bag:
Wow, Kiawe Charcoal! Man, I haven't even heard the word Kiawe for who knows how long. As I inspected the bag, a salesman swooped in to make a sale. I quickly noticed the "Product of Mexico" on the bag, which is not a big deal since Kiawe is a species of Mesquite . I was more concerned about this being sold as "A Hawaiian tradition". Of course, it was quickly pointed out that it also said "Created in Hawaii", and was told that the wood comes from Hawaii, but is made into Charcoal in Mexico. I wasn't fully sold on that, but what the heck......
Now, I'm not a charcoal expert, nor an expert on anything really, but this tasted pretty close to what I remembered. It also popped and crackled like crazy, and ashed(makes a good bit of ash) up just like Kiawe. Good flavor though. Also, some of the chunks were more like stumps....they were huge and unwieldy, and needed to be broken down. It lights quickly and burns fast, I'd recommend mixing with another hardwood charcoal.
As you can see, Sammy's still not quite sold...though he did think the rib bones were mighty tasty.
I hope you managed to keep cool over this hot weekend!