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Tteokgalbi is a delicious Korean dish made from beef ribs, where the meat is minced and pounded on the bone, then marinated in a sweet, salty, and savory sauce, and then grilled or barbecued over charcoal. It’s sweet, chewy, and juicy, and best of all, it’s very tender because the meat is already chopped into small pieces and softened.
“Galbi” means ribs in Korean, and “tteok” means rice cake, and it was given this name because the process of cutting, marinating, and shaping the meat is similar to the process of making a rice cake. The final dish is also soft and tender, much like a rice cake in texture. And unlike galbi, which tends to be the center of a meal, tteokgalbi is always served as a side dish for rice, along with many other side dishes. Most people eat 1 or 2 ribs per meal, not a whole rack, but if you want to eat more than 4 ribs, who would stop you?
The dish originated from Damyang, Korea, which is in the province of South Jeolla and close to where I used to live in Korea. My favorite tteokgalbi place in Damyang was right on the highway running into town, and it was always full of people, smoky, and irresistible. They used foldable barbecue grills and traditional Korean cylindrical briquettes, and their tteokgalbi was delicious!
Across Korea you will find many different versions of this dish. To cut costs some restaurants mix in soybean paste or ground pork. Most places cut the meat off the bone completely, mince it, mix in filler, marinate, and then reshape a handful of the meat back onto the bone, mostly for presentation. The result looks like ground beef with a bone stuck in it.
My method is a lot different: I use beef ribs and I mince on the bone. My knife is dancing on the bone! : ) I think it looks and tastes a lot better. I prepare one or two per person, and serve with many delicious side dishes.
For best results, slowly grill over charcoal. But if you can’t do that, you can use your oven broiler and stove top, like I do in this video. It will still turn out delicious and beautiful.
If you like to prepare this dish for your guests in advance, you can freeze them up to 1 month and thaw out before cooking. You can marinate it overnight in the refrigerator or cook right away as I did in the video. The key to an awesome presentation is to get your table set up and ready, and have your guests sit down, and then get your serving pan super-hot and sizzling on the stovetop before bringing it out. Bring it to the table at that point and you’ll get tons of applause! “ooh~ ahh~”
You can double or triple my recipe, but you need to choose meaty ribs, or the result will be a bit meager. When you buy beef short ribs, take a good look and choose ribs with a good shape and lots of meat on them. When you’re mincing the meat, you can also take a bit of meat off one and put it on another that needs it, so keep that in mind, too.
And if you make a large quantity and use the broiler method that I do in the video, make sure your grill pan is oven-safe and that you pour out the excess melted fat before you cook on the stovetop. Nobody would want to eat melted fat.
For garnish (optional):
Side dishes on the table:
Posted Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 8:47 pm
Tagged: beef short ribs recipe, ddeokgalbi, 떡갈비, Galbi, korean food, Korean food blog, Korean food images, Korean food photo, Korean food website, Korean kitchen, Korean recipes, Korean royal court cuisine, Maangchi Korean cooking, Maangchi recipes, minced, minced beef patty on beef ribs, minced seasoned grilled beef ribs, tteokgalbi
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