Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs (Galbi Jjim)

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Galbi Jjim is one of the most delicious Korean food that everyone loves. No wonder why it is listed at the World’s 50 most delicious foods readers’ poll complied by CNN.

I think typical Korean foods are relatively healthy. We prepare dishes with less fat and use fresh ingredients and herbs. While this may sound like all the components for a healthy dish, the calories and fat can add up fast depending on preparation method, portion size, and amount of sauce. Compared to barbequed, Jjim is better for health since it is braised. However, pretty good amount of sugar is used. I believe there is no food that you can not eat. Well, not with sugar.

Now, we all know that sugar and obesity are linked to an increased risk of cancer and all sorts of disease. And many wonder what is actually safe to use to sweeten foods . As I have been researching so far, the best substitutes for sugar are Stevia and unprocessed raw honey, especially Manuka honey, which has antibacterial properties. Good-quality honey contains natural antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. However, all honey also is very high in fructose, so it would be best to limit its use. Using fruits and vegetables like onion could be another choice to add sweetness.

 

Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs (Galbi Jjim)

3 lbs beef short ribs
1 medium onion
1/2 bunch scallion
10 garlic cloves
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tablespons raw or Manuka honey
10 dried dates (Costco brand)
1 large size onion, sliced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
10 oz Korean radish, 
pepper to taste

 

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When I cook Galbi Jjim I use special-cut meat called LA Glabi which is cut in thin slices across the bones. The beef that has been used in traditional Korean Glabi Jjim is regular beef short rib that you can find in groceries. People usually use LA Galbi for grilling but I use LA Galbi ( I don’t know why they call it LA Glabi) for Galbi Jjim as well because it permits the marinade to penetrate the meat faster, allows the meat to cook more quickly, and easier to eat. It might not look familiar to you but since Korean Galbi is well known in America these days, I can find LA Glabi even in Whole Foods market.

 

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When I grill them I use the meat as it is, but it’s better to cut into three segments for Jjim.

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Let the meat sit in cold water about 30 minutes to draw out excess blood.

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After 30 minutes, rinse in a running cold water.

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Since the meat was cut accross the bone, it has a lot of bone chip.

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In a large pot, add 5-6 cups of cold water with ribs, onion, garlic, and scallions.

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Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes. Discard onion and scallions.

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Take out all the beef stock from the pot except about 1 cup.

Save the stock for later use. You might want to freeze if you are not going to use it soon.

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Add soy sauce.

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Add honey.

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Add some pitted dates.

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Add sliced onion.

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Cut the radish into large pieces. I usually trim the edges so that its shape can better maintain during cooking. This is for cosmetic purposee only. You don’t need to do it if you don’t care.

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Cover the lid and let it simmer for about 15 minutes to make the sauce thicker and the meat to be tender.

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I made the simple version but you can add carrots, mushrooms, or potatoes if you want. We sometimes add chesnuts, gingko nuts,  or pine nuts.

 

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