Are you ready to take your taste buds on a journey of delectable flavors? Look no further than these succulent sous vide Korean beef short ribs, also known as Kalbi. Brace yourself for tender meat infused with a perfect balance of sweet, salty, garlicky, and savory goodness. Don’t have sous vide equipment? No worries, we’ve got you covered with alternative cooking methods.
A Match Made in Culinary Heaven
When it comes to short ribs, sous vide is the ultimate cooking method. This tough cut of meat can achieve melt-in-your-mouth tenderness while maintaining a perfect medium rare temperature that is simply unattainable in the oven. Grilling can get you close to medium rare, but the tenderness falls short. However, fear not, as you can always opt for a more tender cut of meat if you choose to go the grilling route.
The bottom line is that these beef short ribs are incredibly easy to make, making them one of our favorite Korean recipes. If you’re a fan of Korean cuisine and want to impress your guests with an unforgettable dish, look no further.
Get Familiar with Korean Cuisine
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s quickly go over a few terms. Kalbi, also known as Galbi, is the Korean term for short ribs. Kalbi sauce is the marinade that pairs perfectly with these ribs. Bulgogi, on the other hand, uses a similar marinade but with a more tender cut of meat, such as rib-eye steak.
Now that you know the basics, let’s talk about the star ingredients: the meat and the marinade. While there are variations you can explore to suit your taste or what you have on hand, the essence remains the same.
Choosing the Perfect Short Ribs
For this recipe, I prefer using boneless beef ribs that are about 1 inch thick from a reliable source like Costco. To prepare them, I slice them horizontally to achieve a thickness of 1/2 inch. However, if you prefer the traditional route, opt for bone-in strip beef ribs cut from the chuck end of the short ribs. These are typically 1/2 inch thick and about 8-10 inches long. You can find them at an Asian market or possibly even at your local grocery store, including Costco.
Short ribs are known for their toughness, often requiring a braising method to achieve tenderness. But not this time. The sous vide method will revolutionize your cooking experience and leave you wanting more. Moreover, short ribs boast incredible flavor and richness thanks to their marbling. Don’t worry about consuming chunks of fat; they practically disappear during the cooking process.
The Incredible Kalbi Marinade
The secret weapon behind these ribs is the flavorful marinade. I’ve tweaked a recipe from Food Network by Judiaann Woo, and it has never failed to impress. Key ingredients include soy sauce, brown sugar, Asian pear (or a regular pear), green onions, garlic, mirin, and sesame oil. This marinade takes the dish to a whole new level, especially when paired with the sous vide method. Trust me, the time and effort invested will be well worth it.
A Perfect Pairing
Korean short ribs are typically served with white rice, but there are plenty of other delicious options. Try pairing them with mashed potatoes, cauliflower “rice” stir fry for a lighter alternative, or enjoy them wrapped in lettuce. For a refreshing side dish, consider a vinegar-based slaw, Thai mango salad, or even easy roasted bok choy and broccoli.
No Sous Vide Equipment? No Problem!
Not everyone has sous vide equipment readily available, but fret not; there are alternative cooking methods you can explore. However, to fully experience the wonders of this recipe, I highly recommend giving sous vide a try. But for those who prefer different cooking techniques, you’ll find suitable alternatives in the recipe.
Let’s Get Cooking
Are you ready to embark on this culinary adventure? Follow these simple steps:
Slice boneless short ribs horizontally to obtain thin strips of meat, approximately 1/2″ thick.
In a medium bowl, combine the marinade ingredients: soy sauce, brown sugar, Asian pear (or regular pear), green onions, garlic, mirin, and sesame oil. Blend the ingredients until smooth using an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender.
Place the ribs and marinade in a zipper-lock bag and let them marinate for at least 6 hours, or better yet, overnight.
Strain the marinade from the sous vide bag for a smoother glaze. Boil down the marinade in a pot until it thickens to create a delectable glaze/sauce.
Tailor To Your Taste
Feel free to experiment with these substitutions and variations:
- Meat: Instead of boneless beef short ribs, try ribeye, sirloin, chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, or pork chops. The marinade and grilling method work wonders with these alternatives.
- Tangy kalbi-style marinade: Replace the pear with a grated apple or kiwi. You can also substitute water with pineapple juice, but be cautious as pineapple is highly acidic and can affect the meat’s texture if marinated for too long.
- If you don’t have a grill or sous vide equipment, don’t worry. The recipe includes alternative cooking methods to ensure you can still enjoy these incredible ribs.
Shortcuts for the Time-Conscious Cooks
While following the recipe as written will yield outstanding results, here are a few shortcuts that still guarantee a delicious outcome:
- Marinate the short ribs for 4-6 hours instead of the recommended 24-30 hours.
- Skip the sous vide and grill the marinated short ribs directly on a hot grill. For this shortcut, marinate the ribs for at least 24 hours, or preferably 48 hours.
- Reduce the sous vide cooking time from 24 hours to 6 hours.
- While I don’t recommend this option, you can skip making the glaze/sauce. However, doing so means missing out on a truly depth-enhancing component of the dish.
Prepare in Advance
Flexibility is key with this recipe. Here’s what you need to know about timing:
- Marinating time can vary from 6 hours to 2-3 days, with a minimum of 24 hours being the best.
- The sous vide time for this recipe is 24 hours. However, experimenting with shorter cooking times of 12-24 hours can still yield excellent results.
- With the exception of the final grilling or broiling step, you can prepare the entire recipe ahead of time.
Ready for More Beef Ribs?
If you’re a fan of beef ribs, you must try our bone-in sous vide beef back ribs. Prepare to be wowed!
Now that you’re armed with this tantalizing sous vide Korean beef short ribs recipe, it’s time to unleash your culinary prowess. Impress your family and friends, and savor every incredible bite. Get ready for a flavor explosion that will leave you craving more.
Get the full recipe at Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.