Sometimes when you’re craving for something, you just gotta satisfy it, even if it means standing outside over a hot grill in 95F temperature. Okay, maybe it was a little cooler by the time I was grilling, say to 90F degrees! But for kalbi, I’d pretty much would jump through hoops for it! Maybe I should sing a little of the Klondike Bar jingle (“what would you do-oo-oo, for a kalbi rib?!”).
I haven’t made kalbi in a while and the Mister requested them, so I headed over to Zion Market early in the morning. I had contemplated on getting the usual thin cross short ribs but as I was standing in front of the meat case, looking at all the various meat cuts, I decided try my hand at cutting thick cuts. Kirk (mmm-yoso) prefers the thick cut short ribs and had posted instructions on his technique here, as well as an updated marinade here. So I thought, why not. Heck, if I screw it up, at least it’ll still taste good and I’ll blame it on the heat, haha!
The recipe I use is very similar to Kirk’s. I typically use a bit more sugar (about 1 cup) and use soju rather than sake. Soju is just one of those things I usually have around the house. It’s actually odd that we do since neither one of us drink soju at home. The Mister had bought some soju once to make me my favorite pomegranite soju-tini. And since then it’s just one of those things that we typically have even though he’s never made me another one since. I’ve made the marinade without green onions before but I like it better with. This time, I decided to use the same amount of sugar Kirk uses to see if I notice a difference in the sweetness. When I tasted the marinade after blending, I was surprised that I couldn’t really tell a difference. Makes me wonder if I’ve been adding too much sugar all this time.
I decided on the sharpest knife I had to do the slicing, a 240mm Tojiro DP gyutou. The Tojiro DP isn’t a top line knife but it’s a very good knife for its class and the very first western-style Japanese knife I got. This knife’s factory edge is so sharp that you probably won’t feel a cut when it happens. Its sharpness and size still scare me a bit when I use it. Anyway, back to the ribs. The knife did an excellent job slicing through the meat, like butta. I had no doubt it would. Most of the ribs turned out decent. Some of the smaller ribs didn’t fair as well, like the second from the top. It only took me a few minutes to go through 9 riblets.
Here’s a shot of the ribs in the marinade. The green hue is from the green onions.
The ribs marinated for about 8 hours, which I think was the perfect amount of time for these ribs. Here’s a shot of the ribs plated with some panchan from Zion. The ribs look much darker than actual. I think the grill marks and the slight char of the edges (which we like) made it look darker in the picture. The black cooktop probably didn’t help either.
The flavor was wonderful with a hint of sweetness. Aaaaaa, just the perfect thing to end a hot day. It was so good that we’re I’m going to make it again for our Labor Day BBQ! Besides, we have to get rid of all that panchan somehow!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend!