Summer is about putting meat on open flames and otherwise participating in this American activity called “barbecuing.” Here’s our All-American BBQ, Mash-Up Style. Our first recipe comes to you from Korean-American Mash-Up Cindy Bokser, who has this to say about the supremacy of grilled Korean meat over all others. We think this will go nicely with our not-overboiled Russian potato salad and not-sad soba salad.
Here’s the thing about Korean food: When I was little, it was basically the only food I liked. I used to come in the house from playing with friends to take a potty break and smell galbi(short ribs) and doenjang chee-geh (a stew made from fermented soy paste) cooking and wouldn’t go back outside until I ate some. I’d climb onto the kitchen counter and sit there while my mom cooked, and that’s how I learned to make galbi.
My parents actually claim I was a very picky eater and said they were so frustrated with my eating preferences, because I refused to eat McDonald’s hamburgers like all the other kids in my tiny Midwestern suburb. Can you imagine trying to force feed a kid McDonald’s? Times have changed!
To this day, I have never eaten a Micky D’s burger and I’m proud of it! Here’s the recipe that won me over for life. Nothing is measured when my mom cooks, so I’m just guessing. [Editor’s note: Aren’t we all?]
- galbi not sure about weight….approx 20 long ribs sliced across the bone, three bones per slice
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1 medium white onion
- 2 cups soy sauce
- 3/4 cup sesame oil
- 1 Asian pear, peeled (or you can substitute 2 kiwi)
- 1 bunch scallions chopped
- sesame seeds and more chopped scallions (for garnish)
- Get the largest bowl you have and put a layer of galbi at the bottom.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of sugar.
- Layer more galbi and sprinkle more sugar.
- Continue layering and sugaring until you’ve run out of galbi.
- Let sit for a few hours until the galbi starts to soften and release juices.
- Grind up the garlic, onions, and pear in a food processor or bullet mixer until it’s roughly pureed. (You can also chop it very very very finely with a knife, but that takes forever.)
- Then pour the sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic/onion mixture all over the sugared galbi.
- Take a gloved hand and mix it all up so that everything is incorporated.
- Finally, add the chopped scallions.
- Cover and let sit at least a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
- Remove from fridge and let the meat rise to room temperature.
- Grill until well done.
- Galbi is best eaten well done — even a little crisp on the thinner edges.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and more chopped scallions, and… Enjoy!