OMG it’s hot today!! According to various websites, it’s anywhere from 101-109 degrees right now in Poway. Heck, it’s at least 81 degrees in Coronado. And Autumn has officially started. It wasn’t that much cooler this past week. I wasn’t in the mood to do a lot of cooking on the stove or in the oven. And I certainly didn’t want to be outside in the heat grilling. So what’s a hungry CAB to do? We gotz ta eat. So I decided to make dinner using the slow cooker. Truth be told, I don’t care for slow cookers all that much. We used to have a really old Crock Pot that used to belong to my MIL. It was so old that the crock wasn’t removable and had the tell-tale color scheme from the early 80′s. I think we used that thing 3 times before finally donating it. One time, the beef was so dry you could choke yourself trying to swallow it. The second time the liquid boiled over, all over the counter. The third time I think was chicken that wasn’t completely cooked. So the Mister was skeptical when I bought another slow cooker. I have one of those baby crocks that are good for dips but not for a meal. Besides, slow cookers have come a long way. Mine is about 4.5 quarts and has the bare minimum controls: Off, Warm, Low, High. In my case, it works out just fine.
Using the slow cooker on a hot day seems like a good idea except that everything cooked in a slow cooker is piping hot. This might be a problem for those who can’ enjoy a hot meal on a hot day. For me, I don’t mind at all as long as I didn’t sweat cooking it. The Mister prefers a slightly cooler weather to truly enjoy noodle soup. I went with what was in the fridge to dictate what I made. Thankfully I had some short ribs that is just perfect for slow cooking. After looking through recipes, I chose a Korean influenced recipe for short ribs on Food Network. I had everything on hand, even rice noodles.
I followed the recipe with some minor adjustments to taste. I didn’t add the garnishes although I wish I had some bean sprouts. It turned out pretty good. The meat was so tender and the broth was a little sweeter than the galbi soup I’ve had but overall really good flavor. It reminded me a bit of Chinese niu rou mian (beef noodle soup). The soup went really well with the flat wide rice noodles. I’m sure it would go well with other Asian style noodles too. Things I would adjust next time: 1) reduce sugar amount, 2) add more kochuchang, maybe another tablespoon, 3) add more meat, and 4) add bean sprouts.
The recipes calls for English-cut short ribs which is what I typically have on hand. I sliced the meat a bit differently than what the recipe called for. I sliced the meat into 1/4″ thick slices completely off the bone, leaving some meat and tendons on the ribs. Of course feel free to cut the meat or use whatever kind of short ribs that tickle your fancy.
Slow Cooker Korean-Style Short Rib Noodle Soup
(Adapted from Food Network)
Servings: Feeds 2 hungry adults
Equipment: 4 quarts or larger slow cooker
- 6 English-cut beef short ribs
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons Korean red chili paste (kochuchang)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts separated)
Noodles and Garnishes:
- 10 to 12 ounces medium-thick rice noodles
- sliced scallion, green parts
Trim away any large chunks of fat from the ribs. Make 2 cuts across the grain, through the meat down to the bone.
In the slow cooker crock, whisk together the broth, soy, sugar, ginger, chili paste, sesame oil, garlic, and scallion whites. Add the ribs. Cover and cook on HIGH for 6 hours. This can probably cook for 8-9 hours on low too.
About 30 minutes before serving, prepare the rice noodles according to package instructions. I used boiled the rice noodles for about 5-6 minutes.
Skim any fat that may collect on top of the beef broth and discard.
Divide the noodles among 2 bowls and ladle the broth over top. Cut the meat from the ribs if desired. Divide the meat evenly among the bowls. Garnish as desired with remaining green parts of the scallion and more chili paste, if desired.
Here’s another shot of the noodle soup with some of the ribs and oh-so-tender tendons still on. You can see the rice noodles better in this shot too.
Hopefully everyone had a good weekend. Stay cool and have a great week!