Fully Loaded Comfort Food
When it comes to comfort foods, Korean braised beef short ribs (aka Galbi Jjim, 갈비찜) tops my list. It is traditionally made as a slow-cooked stew, and a gorgeously delicious meal. Great to make during the fall and winter months (House of Stark would approve). I also love it as a weekend supper during the summer, as an alternative to a BBQ. I’ve made galbi jjim in both an Instant Pot, as well as over a stove top.
This rich braised beef dish is rooted as a celebratory meal, often eaten during Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving Day. Chuseok originated as an annual harvest celebration and is observed around the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar on the full moon. The braised beef short rib dish is made for special occasions, and social gatherings and parties.
I’ve come to appreciate galbi jjim as a one-pot family meal that comes fully loaded with root vegetables like daikon radish, carrots, and potatoes.
Instant Pot takes one-third the time
As a busy mom (someone is tugging at my sleeve as I write this!), I enjoy the convenience of the Instant Pot (IP) to maximize what little free time I have. Using the IP, I can whip this up in one-hour. Over a stove top, I’m committing 3 hours from prep to plate.
The Short Version (IP) Recipe
Let’s start with the short IP version, and I’ll elaborate a little more on making this tasty, simple dish on a stove top. First, you’ll want to assemble your ingredients together and arrange them on the kitchen counter. That way, you know you have everything you need. This meaty dish will serve 4-5 people.
Don’t forget the steamed rice!
Nothing soaks in that rich tasty galbi jjim than a steaming bowl of white rice. I covered the ins/outs of making rice in a previous post that covered a keto-friendly Korean jigae dish here.
Prep the marinade
Make sure you have the basics needed to whip up a marinade. My marinade here is gluten-free and rates low glycemic. I use tamari soy sauce (gluten-free), rice vinegar, a dash of sesame oil, low glycemic coconut syrup (in lieu of brown sugar), minced garlic, fresh ginger, and roasted sesame seeds.
The marinade is simple to make. In a medium size bowl, pour 1/2 cup of tamari soy sauce, 1/4 cup of coconut syrup (or sub-in with raw coconut nectar, or brown sugar), tbsp sesame oil, tbsp of minced garlic (~ 6 cloves), tsp of fresh ginger (grated, or chopped fine), and tsp of roasted sesame seeds. Mix the ingredients in a bowl, and set it aside.
Soak beef ribs, then score them
You’ll want to get 2.5-3 lbs of trimmed beef short ribs, and place them in a bowl filled with cold tap water. This will help drain the meat from impurities. Thickly cut beef short ribs are easily found in Asian markets like Ranch 99, or you can specify the particular cuts you want from your local shop.
As you prep the beef and separately the veggies and marinade, make sure you keep your space clean from cross-contamination.
After the ribs have been soaked, remove them and place ribs on a cutting board. Remove excess fat. Score the meaty part of the beef ribs. When scoring the ribs, I make a simple criss-cross pattern with shallow cuts.
Prep the veggies
Wash all the vegetables and get them ready to prep. I used half of a large daikon radish, 2 cups of cut n’ peeled carrots, 2 medium russet potatoes, 4 stems of Chinese chives (sub with scallions), and several small sweet peppers (sub with 1 bell pepper). I prefer the mellower flavor of chives (over scallions).
Peel and cut the veggies
Peel the potatoes and rough skin of the daikon radish. Then chop the potatoes and daikon into large cubes. Remove the stems and seeds from the peppers and slice them lengthwise. With the Chinese chives (or scallions), chop them into long pieces. I used baby cut n’ peeled carrots purely out of convenience, but you can alternately peel and chop up 2-3 large carrots. Then set your veggies aside.
Put it all together in the IP
Plug in your Instant Pot. In the IP, place the beef short ribs in first, followed by your veggies. Then pour in the marinade last. Add 1/4 cup of water over the top.
Pressure cook on high for 35 minutes
Close the top of the Instant Pot lid and turn dial to sealing position. Turn on the manual setting at high pressure for 35 minutes. You can use the meat/stew setting, or manual setting. You can let the steam release naturally for 10-15 minutes, or speed things up by opening the vent wearing a protective glove like a silicone mitt.
– 2.5-3 lbs of beef short ribs
– 2 medium russet potatoes
– half of a large daikon radish
– 4-5 small sweet peppers (or 1 bell pepper)
– 2 cups of pre-cut carrots (or 2-3 large carrots)
– 4 stems of Chinese Chives (or sub with scallions)
– 1/4 cup water
– 1/2 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
– 1/4 cup rice vinegar (or mirin)
– 1/4 cup coconut syrup (or sub with raw coconut nectar, or brown sugar)
– 1 tbsp minced ginger
– 1 tsp minced or grated ginger
– 1 tbsp sesame oil
– 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
Modified recipe for Dutch Oven on a stove top
If you prefer the slow-cooking method, or don’t own an IP, here’s a slight modification on the recipe above.
Pour the marinade and 2 cups of water (bring to a boil)
Pour the marinade and 2 cups of water into the dutch oven and stir. Then bring the mixture to a boil.
Add the beef ribs; bring down to a simmer
Once you get it to a boil, add in the beef ribs, and lower to a simmer. Cook the ribs at this low heat for 2 hours. Make sure the pot is covered with the lid.
After 2 hours, add in the veggies
Add your lovely veggies and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. You want to make sure the beef is tender and the veggies are soft.
Mom juice pairing
Galbi Jjim goes well with a nice glass of cab, merlot or a lighter pinot noir during the summer.
Bon appétit. Wind down and enjoy dinner!