My culinary skills were basically nonexistent until I got married so ladies, it's okay if you "can't cook" right now, because sooner or later you will have to learn in order to feed yourself, husband and your future families :) I've been experimenting a lot with different cuisines particularly Korean (not only because I am Korean-American, but because Korean dishes are generally healthier than the huge pastas that I used to make and also we like some Korean comfort food once in a while).
Technically the first real recipe I'm posting isn't on the "healthier" side of Korean dishes; however, it is probably one of the most popular dishes and is usually prepared for special occasions. It is a combination beef short ribs and vegetables braised over a period of time and the result is so delicious with some rice!
Beef Short Ribs (Galbi jjim) Recipe:
2 lb Beef Short Ribs
1 Cup Potato
1/2 Cup Carrot
1 Cup Radish or 1 Cup Peeled Chestnuts (or both)
1/2 Cup Shiitake Mushrooms (8 mushrooms)
1 1/2 Cups Beef Broth
*Fried Egg, pine nuts, scallions for garnishing
1 Cup Asian Pear
1 Cup Onion
1 Cup Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Sugar
3 Tbsp Cooking Wine (or Water)
2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Green Onion (scallions)
1 1/2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 Pinches of Ginger Powder (or Ginger root)
Pick up some Short Ribs, luckily I am near several asian markets who carry these ready for use. However, if you cannot find short ribs with bone and meat together, you can use just regular beef ribs or even pork short ribs and cut the meat into 1-inch cubes.
Soak the Short Ribs in cold water for an hour to draw out some of the blood and change the water a few times. We draw out the blood because Koreans believe the blood is unhealthy.
Soak the Shiitake Mushrooms in warm water for around 5 hours.
Boil around 6 Cups of water then add the Short Ribs and boil on high for 5-10 minutes. Take 1 1/2 Cups of the Beef Broth and save it for use later (if you do not have other beef broth to use)
Then, take out the ribs from the boiling water and wash them with cold water to remove any fat or floating bubbles. Cooked meat marinates better than raw meat and also this is a way to get out some of the unnecessary fat.
Grind 1 Cup of Asian pear and 1 Cup of Onion to make a paste. This is the secret to making the meat very tender.
Combine the Pear and Onion mixture with the rest of the sauce ingredients.
Add the Short Ribs to the sauce and mix everything together. Marinate the Short Ribs overnight in the refrigerator. Longer marination will give the Short Ribs more flavor, but if you don't have too much time, you can marinate it for a few hours.
The Next day (or few hours later) add the marinated Short Ribs and the 1 1/2 Cups of Beef Broth you saved into a large pot and boil. Once the broth starts to boil, cook it uncovered for about an hour on medium-low heat. It is very important to not cook the meat too high, or the meat will become tough.
Dice the vegetables: Potato, Radish and Carrots into 1/2 inch pieces and round the edges. This will improve the apperarance of the dish because as the braising occurs, the edges usually falls off the vegetables creating a cloudy and thicker broth than you want for this dish. Usually works for dishes like dak jjim; however, for galbi jjim you don't want the broth that thick.
After an hour of cooking the Short Ribs, add the vegetables (you can use peeled chestnuts instead of radish)
Put the lid on at this point and cook for 10 - 15 minutes on high, or until the vegetables become soft.
The Broth will thicken and almost disappear. Add in the Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds and Black pepper.
You can add additional garnishing like fried egg, pine nuts or scallions; however, we like our dishes simple. The hubby loved this dish so much that I'm probably going to be making it again very soon. Enjoy this dish with some Rice and other side dishes like Kimchi!