Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Grilled Korean-Style Beef Short Ribs – It's So Flanken Good!

After weeks of damp and dreary weather, the sun is back in control of San Francisco's blue skies, and that means it's time to grill. This video recipe for grilled Korean-style beef short ribs is not so much about the specific recipe, as it is about this lesser-known cut of meat.

It's most commonly sold as "flanken-style," and is nothing more than thin-sliced beef short ribs. We've done several beef short rib recipes on this blog, but all those were cooked low and slow, so the meat's considerable connective tissue has time to breakdown and become tender.

Here, we are only grilling for a few minutes per side, so we're relying on the much thinner cut, and an Asian pear-spiked marinade to achieve a similar succulence. I welcome you to copy my marinade recipe below, as is, but I have to be honest and let you know I never do this the same way twice.

I always include the pear for its sweetness and purported tenderizing abilities, and the soy is pretty much required, but as far as the other ingredients, I play fast and loose. Instead of rice vinegar, sometimes it's lemon and/or lime. Sometimes I'll use ketchup instead of hoisin, or honey instead of brown sugar – you get the idea.

As I say in the video, this is one cut of beef you don't want to grill too rare. It's a very flavorful, but chewy piece of meat to begin with, so in my opinion it needs to be cooked to at least medium to ensure the optimum mouth-feel. By the way, all you "I want mine well-done" people are in luck. This should still be fairly juicy even if cooked all the way through.

Anyway, go talk to your friendly neighborhood butcher, and tell them you want some "flanken-style" beef short ribs, and then give this great grill technique a try. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
4 pounds "flanken-style" beef short ribs, fully trimmed
1 large Asian pear
3 cloves garlic
few thin pieces of fresh ginger
2 packed tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sherry wine
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sambal or other Asian-style hot sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

View the complete recipe

46 comments:

Franklin said...

Yum looks good! As a Korean, I love this :)

Emerald_Mara85 said...

Yeah it looks good...but I have no grill.

I don't supposed it can be put in an oven, can I?
And what was supposed to be in place of the sherry wine? Couldn't catch the words in the video (replaying in the video like 5 times already)

Chef John said...

You can broil in the oven! Also, I was joking about "being out of Korean wine" You can omit or use fruit juice instead.

sir said...

Nice ! I know that you're not trying to make authentic korean beef, but I do want to give some suggestions for those who want a slight twist on this, slightly more authentic. Perhaps for the better !:

-use korean GoChuJang (hot pepper paste) instead of sambal. it adds a great, deep flavor to the marinade while sambal just adds hotness. you can get very hot and less hot varieties. It should be easy to find in the better Asian supermarket, or any Korean store. Large urban areas should have these.

-if you do this, you can probably skip the hoi sin.

Anonymous said...

instead of sugar , my mom used to use coke/pepsi. Look forward to trying yours out.

Food Junkie said...

That marinade sounds awesome. I have never in my life seen flanken style ribs but perhaps I can find a butcher to do them. It just may be time to dig out the grill.

theo said...

i salivate when i hear your voice. its a Pavlovian response and not meant to sound creepy.

good show man

andy said...

Hey John...on the east coast we call that cut of meat "L.A." style.
I also marinate it for 48 hours at least and jeez does my family demand this at family functions.
Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

These are the short ribs I've seen here in Australia, not the variety you use in your other videos. That being said I really haven't looked for the other, although I will this weekend as I've put your wild mushroom and tomato braised ones on our menu for next week. :)

Zach said...

I've found that the flanken ribs that are available at Asian grocery stores seem to be cut more neatly and evenly. I'm guessing they cut them when they're partially frozen, because they have neat right angles and completely flat sides. Plus, they generally have a wider strip of meat than what I am able to find in normal grocery stores.

Also, I make kalbi with kiwi instead of the Asian pear. The final product tastes pretty much exactly the same, but it makes the meat more tender.

Sephirah Siegfried Jenova said...

The reason for the webbed foam is to protect the pear. Pear like this is fairly expensive in Asia. No one wants to buy a bruised pear in the market. Most vendor in Taiwan also place Peach, nectarine, and Plum in these so that they could sale better.

Angie said...

How international your syllabus is...Thank you Mr. Professor!
As a Korean American, I've cooked this many many times. It's great for bbq parties, esp. potluck. Strangely this is not really an authentic Korean dish. Native Koreans call this "L.A. Kalbi" which indicate where this dish is originated. Mostly it is about the way the rib is cut which was totally foreign to native Koreans.

As far as I know, Koreans use sake or Korean rice wine instead of sherry wine and skip the rice vinegar & hot sauce. I don't know why but their pork dishes can often be spicy but not the beef dishes like this.

And yeah the foam is to protect the pear from bruising, which also indicate it is an expensive fruit.

gwen said...

Hi Chef John!

I was wondering, is there any downside to marinating over the times your specify? I have always thought that marinating for long periods of time will improve the flavour of the food.

Lua said...

I love this cut of beef. In Galicia (northwest of Spain) we use this cut of beef for BBQs.

Unfortunately in France I don't see this around and they don't do usually (at least around where I live) very fancy orders.

I'll pretend this is my dinner tonight.

LaceruM said...

Aside from the sherry wine and hoisin sauce, an authentic recipe. =)

The only thing different we do at our house is use strained kiwi juice in the place of the Asian pear. The acids & protease enzymes in the kiwi make battle with the proteins in the chewy/cheap cut of meat to deliver a more tender meat.

Add the kiwi juice ~2 hours b4 cooking - leave it overnight with the meats and you will have mush. =s

Cynthia said...

Chef John!!

I dont have any sherry wine and i dont feel like spending the extra bucks to get it!!
Can I just omit that or I can substitute it with something else?

THANK YOU!!

Chef John said...

You can omit or use fruit juice instead.

Anonymous said...

Where's the recipe for the kimchi?

Jim

Daniel Bottoms said...

Hey John,
You forgot to mention the very famous "Scissor Salad" *badumptisch* ok ok i know... cut it out! *wah wah!*

blahaha

just kidding. oh man you are a poet chef, sir! Will try to get this cut, although this kinda thing confuses butchers in Austria. can't wait to spend a few months back in the good ol' USofA

Greets from Vienna!

Daniel

Anonymous said...

My mom laughed at your "the ginger was cut into coins, about a dollar and a quarter's worth" :D thanks for the laugh..

Gigi said...

Just got some "English" style ribs @ Schaubs in Palo Alto. Will make tonight. I presume you mean 1/4 Cup of seasoned rice wine vinegar, and not 1/4 tablespoon.

Will let you know how it goes!

Gigi said...

Sames for the soy sauce.

C├ęsar Omar said...

Chef John! you won't believe what i did!! Based on the Asian Pear concept, i decided to make a Lasagna. I made the meat sauce with and asian pear, singer, tomatoes, basil and some oregano. I then use some mozzarela to the filling, and guess what? My inspired experiment kinda work, the Lasagna was not red, kinda brownish but it was a little sweet which is want i wanted to get. At the end it was a fun experience. Was that counterintuitive? I'll apreciate your opinion.

Chef John said...

sounds strange yet wonderful!

JimmerSD said...

I couldn't wait to try this recipe so I ran right down to my butcher and ordered a couple pounds of ribs. I began to prepare the marinade and soon found that I didn't have either brown sugar or sherry on hand. So I substituted Honey and Marsala wine. WOW! The beef turned out tender with a very complex flavor. Thanks for the recipe John! This one goes in the permanent file.

Khoa said...

I know this was more about the particular cut of meat, but say I have a hard time finding flanken style short ribs, are there any other cuts you would recommend trying this with?

I'm really interested in trying the asian pear in an marinade.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest soaking and rinsing the beef in water first before marinating it in case there are pieces of loose bone. This happens a lot in my experience because of the special cut of the bone. I don't know if it is supposed to be this way or not...but if you've been finding bone fragments in the end result, this might help.

Anonymous said...

John,

Just made these ribs for Father's Day and they were a hit. The ribs were extremely flavourful and so tender. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,

I was wondering if the ribs would turn out any different if you used a dry sherry compared to a medium dry sherry.

Chef John said...

sure!

Anonymous said...

Hello, Chef! I am falling in love w/ your site. So informative and fun at the same time. I love this dish (I am Korean living in Korea) and don't know why but they are called "LA Galbi" in Korea for some reason. It's great that you used that pear because my mom always emphasizes the importance of that fruit whenever she cooks Galbi. Next time, try using Gochujang (chilli paste instead of hoisin+sambal)! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John!

I'm finding the prices of Korean style short ribs going through the roof at my local grocery store. Any secrets on getting them cheaper somewhere else or maybe a different cut of meat that would be similar?

Pat

Grace Kim said...

I have found Western Beef to have good prices on this cut of short ribs. Also Food Dynasty has them from time to time. Any Korean grocery store like Hanahreum or H Mart has this cut of meat but they tend to be a little more than Western Beef or Food Dynasty.

Grace Kim said...

I have found Western Beef or Food Dynasty or have cheaper prices for the Korean style short ribs than H Mart or Hanareum (Korean grocery stores).

1Bigg_ER said...

I made this over the weekend, minus the pear, who keeps an Asian pear handy? The plan was to keep some for weeknight dinners. Well that was a fail because nothing was leftover.
Weber grill + food wishes = great summer!!

philogaia said...

Maangchi (who Chef John managed to introduce me to via amazing soft tofu soup) says that she sometimes uses Bosc pear if Asian pear isn't available. But the pear is important to the dish. And thanks, Chef John for being a good netizen introducing great cooking sites to those of us who don't find the time to go dig them up ourselves. Now I have to find Korean hot pepper paste... :)

1Bigg_ER said...

These, English cut short ribs and oxtail is my favorite part(s) of the cow but digress.
So last time I didn't have an Asian pear, well this time around I ate half the pear.
After trying this marinade I don't think that I'll ever go back to mine.
Thanks again Chef John.

1Bigg_ER said...

Chef John, what do you do with the marinade, discard it? Can one reduce it to a sauce and spoon it over some rice?

Chef John said...

Yes, you can use it as long as you boil it!

1Bigg_ER said...

Just FYI, Costco stocks the chuck boneless beef short ribs,which can be really tough grilled. I used this marinade on these for about 36 hours (it rained on the day that I planned to grill). And they grilled perfectly tender.

1Bigg_ER said...

Excuse me chef John, what does 1/3 cup tablespoons soy sauce amount to? I just noticed that on the ingredients list. LOL, google didn't come up with anything.

Joyce said...

Chef John, can this be cooked indoors, the barbecue has been put away for the winter.

Thanks
Joyce

Chef John said...

Sure, you can use your broiler! Enjoy!

Michelle in NC said...

Hi Chef John. We do not have a Korean store here. The grocery stores always have beef short ribs, but they are thick & short. Can these be used with this recipe & what changes if any would you make? Thanks!!

Chef John said...

no, you need the thin one for this!

Joseph Cecchini said...

Hello Chef John, These short ribs are amazing, we have made them many times and this is our families go to recipe every time we make short ribs. My question is in the event that Asian Pears are not in season , what can or should be used as an substitute? Thank you Chef John, Joey Cecchini