Recipes

Beef short ribs soup

Galbitang 갈비탕

Today I’m going to show you how to make Korean beef short ribs soup, called galbitang (갈비탕).

Galbitang is not a light meal – it’s very rich and hearty. If you need to fortify yourself it’s a good choice. I’m going to show you 2 versions: spicy and nonspicy.

When Koreans think about galbitang, they picture the nonspicy version as the quintessential example of the dish. It’s always served with fermented kimchi, which offsets its heaviness. If I don’t have any kimchi, I need to make some before I begin to prepare this dish. I can’t eat galbitang without kimchi.

I first tried the spicy version when I was in university. I went to my best friend’s house in Mokpo and her mom made this for me and her family for breakfast. Mokpo is a harbor city, and so she served it with a full table of sidedishes, many of them made with seafood. Even at that early hour we ate raw fish! It was so delicious!

I had never heard of or seen spicy galbitang before that morning, but the memory of sitting with her whole family around a table full of delicious sidedishes has stayed with me ever since. I miss that food, and I miss that atmosphere. Probably you can think of a similar time in your own life.

Like oxbone soup, galbitang is something you can make ahead of time in large quantities and then put the ingredients together at the last minute and serve.

As I mention in the video, when you’re making a large amount you can put it in the fridge overnight so the fat solidifies at the top of the soup where it can be easily removed. If you’re making just a few servings like I do here, the cheesecloth method works very well.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (about 3 pounds) beef short ribs
  • 1 small Korean radish (or daikon), about 2 cups
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 12 cups water
  • Starch noodles (optional)
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 4 to 6 green onions, chopped
  • ground black pepper

Extra ingredients needed for the spicy version:

Extra ingredients needed for optional gyerannoreunjajidan (yellow egg paper strips) garnish for the nonspicy version:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil

Directions (for 2 servings)

Prepare the beef & broth:

  1. Rinse the beef short ribs in cold water a couple of times to remove any residual blood and bone fragments. Soak in cold water.
    beef short ribs
  2. Drain the ribs and blanch in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain the ribs. Wash each one thoroughly and remove any visible fat. Clean the pot, too.beef short ribsgalbitang
  4. Put the clean ribs back into the pot and add radish, onion, and 12 cups of water.galbitang
  5. Bring to a boil over medium high heat for 1 hour, and then lower the heat to medium and boil for another 1 hour.
  6. Remove from the heat. Discard the onion and put the ribs and radish into a stainless steel bowl.
  7. Strain the broth through a cheesecloth in a strainer. Put the clear broth back into the pot and remove any floating fat with a spoon.galbitanggalbitang
  8. Add about 1 cup of starch noodles and the minced garlic. Bring to a boil for a few minutes until the noodles are cooked. Taste a sample to check: they should be soft yet firm, with nothing hard inside.galbitang
  9. Turn off the heat.

For nonspicy Galbitang, prepare the optional gyerannoreunjajidan (yellow egg paper strips):

  1. Separate 2 egg yolks from the whites. Remove the white stringy stuff from the yolks. Mix with a pinch of salt.
  2. Add cooking oil to a heated nonstick pan. Swirl the oil around so it covers the pan, and then wipe off the excess heated oil with a kitchen towel so only a thin layer remains on the pan.
  3. Lower the heat to very low heat. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan and tilt it so the mixture spreads thinly. Turn off the heat and let it cook on the hot pan for about 1 minute. Flip it over and let it sit on the pan for 1 more minute.
  4. Slice it thin strips and set aside.

gyeranjidan

gyeranjidan

gyeranjidan

Put the soup together:

  1. Slice the radish into bite size pieces and put some into 2 large, shallow bowls.
  2. Add 2 or 3 ribs to each bowl.

For spicy galbitang:

  1. Add 2 teaspoons of hot pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to each bowl. Mix well.
  2. Reheat the soup and add some broth and noodles to each bowl.

galbitang broth

spicy galbitang

spicy galbitang

spicy galbitang

For nonspicy galbitang:

  1. Reheat the soup and add some broth and noodles to each bowl.
  2. Add the gyerannoreunjajidan on top and sprinkle with chopped green onion.

galbitang broth

galbitang

galbitang

Serve:

  1. Put a bowl of salt and a bowl of chopped green onion on the table, as well as a pepper grinder. Diners can add salt, green onion, and pepper to taste. Serve with rice and kimchi. You can also serve with some other side dishes if you want to.

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