Braised beef short ribs

Galbi-jjim 갈비찜

Galbi-jjim (braised beef short ribs) is one of the most popular Korean dishes. It’s made with beef short ribs and is often prepared for special occasions.

Traditionally it’s a dish for special occasions such as Korean festival days like Chuseok, New Year’s Day (Seollal), or family’s birthdays, but you can make it for any occasion or as a weekend dish. It’s kind of a challenging recipe but the result is amazing: the meat is almost falling off the rib bones and is tender, sweet, savory, and irresistible.

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This is a recipe from my new cookbook, Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking, and it’s the first recipe I am posting in 2020, a remake of a recipe and video from 2008! This one is even more traditional than the one I posted 12 years ago, and includes ginkgo nuts, pine nuts, chestnuts and jujubes.

Choose good quality short ribs for this recipe, with lots of meat attached to the ribs. Remove the blood, excess fat, and impurities by soaking and blanching the ribs. If you skip this process, the final dish may smell off. Peak season for chestnuts is late fall, so if you use fresh chestnuts, that’s the best time. Fresh frozen skinned chestnuts are available all year round though, and available in the frozen section of Korean grocery stores. They also sell frozen ginkgo nuts, if you can’t find fresh ones.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and make it for your friends and family! If any special guests coming over this will be a colorful center piece on the table. It’s January 5, 2020! I hope you are having a happy new year so far, and a prosperous and healthy new decade, too!

Ingredients

Serves 4

For the seasoning sauce and vegetables:

  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, washed and soaked in 2½ cups cold water for 3 to 4 hours, until soft
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup mirim (aka mirin), or water
  • ¼ cup sugar (white or brown, or swerve)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled ginger
  • 1 medium size Korean radish (8 ounces to 12 ounces) or daikon, peeled
  • 2 large, thick carrots, peeled

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For the beef short ribs:

  • 2 pounds beef short ribs (8 pieces), rinsed and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour, changing water a couple of times
  • 12 peeled frozen chestnuts or fresh chestnuts (see how to skin fresh chestnuts below; frozen are sold pre-skinned)
  • 2 tablespoons rice syrup
  • 8 large dried jujubes, pitted

For garnish:

  • 12 pine nuts, tips removed (optional)
  • 12 frozen ginkgo nuts, shelled and cooked (optional); see how to shell and cook ginkgo nuts below

Directions

How to skin fresh chestnuts:

  1. Lay the chestnut on the flat side and slice off the flat end, then slice off the pointed end.
  2. Using a paring knife, slice down both of the narrower sides, removing the dark skin inside the shell.
  3. Peel off the remaining shell with your fingers. Trim away the dark skin on the outside of the chestnut so that it is a uniform creamy color.

How to cook ginkgo nuts:

  1. Heat about 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add some shelled ginkgo nuts.
  2. Add some salt and stir-fry until the skins loosen and the color of the nuts changes to golden or bright green.
  3. Transfer to paper towels, fold the paper towels over the nuts, and gently massage the nuts to remove more skin.

Make the seasoning sauce and vegetables:

  1. After soaking the mushrooms, place a strainer over a bowl and drain.
  2. Measure out 2 cups of the soaking water. If it can’t make 2 cups, fill it with cold water. Transfer to a medium bowl; discard the remainder if you have.
  3. Add the soy sauce, mirim, sugar (or swerve), ground black pepper, garlic, and ginger and mix well with a spoon. Set the seasoning sauce aside.galbi jjim sauce
  4. Remove the stem from each mushroom and reserve for future use, like stir-fried rice. Cut each mushroom cap into quarters and transfer to a plate.
  5. Cut the radish into 1½-inch cubes and round the edges of each cube with a paring knife to make approximately 1-inch balls. Make 10 to 12 balls. Add to the plate with the mushrooms.radish balls
  6. Cut the carrots into 1½-inch cubes and round the edges of each cube with a paring knife to make approximately 1-inch balls. Make 10 to 12 balls. Add to the mushrooms and radish balls. galbijjim vegetables

Cook the beef short ribs:

  1. Fill a large, heavy pot halfway with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Drain the ribs, rinse again, and add to the boiling water.
  2. Blanch for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Wash the pot with soapy water nicely.
  3. Put the ribs back to the pot and add the seasoning sauce. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the mushrooms, chestnuts, radishes, and carrots. Cover, turn down the heat to low, and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the jujubes and rice syrup.galbi jjim (Korean braised beef short ribs)
  6. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the meat is just about falling off the bone. Thicker short ribs will take longer. To check, poke the meat with a wooden skewer. If the meat is tender enough to serve, the skewer should go through easily. If it does not, add some water (about 1 cup) and cook a little longer, anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the short ribs.
  7. Increase the heat to high and spoon any remaining broth from the bottom of the pot over the meat and vegetables for a few minutes, until most of the sauce has reduced and the meat and vegetables are nicely glazed. galbijjim (Korean braised beef short ribs) 갈비찜

Serve:

  1. Transfer to a large platter, sprinkle with the pine nuts (if using) and ginkgo nuts (if using), and serve with rice and more side dishes.galbijjim (Korean braised beef short ribs) 갈비찜

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215 Comments:

  1. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 comments

    Mari, Yes, you can use mirim (Korean cooking wine). I used “soju”.

  2. Mari& has 13 comments

    maangchi, the cooking wine used to make galbi jjim..
    what kind did is it?
    is it 청주? or can i use mirin (미림)?

  3. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 comments

    Thank you Nathan. You are such a great cook!

  4. http://nathanscomida.blogspot.com/& has 7 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    I gave your blog a award on my blog post :)

    http://nathanscomida.blogspot.com/2008/09/carne-guisada-con-chile-y-papas.html

  5. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 comments

    Jimin,
    I don’t think using a slow cooker is a good idea. All the vegetables will be overcooked and mushy. If you like to use a slow cooker, you will have to cook beef ribs first for hours and later add the vegetables and cook more. Then heat it up to evaporate liquid before serving.

  6. Jimin& has 18 comments

    Have you tried this galbi jjim in a slow cooker.

    Do you think I cud simply put all the ingredients in before i leave for the office, and then come home to a wonderful galbi jjim dinner in the evenning?

    • shangfrancisco Shanghai joined 2/16 & has 1 comment

      Hi Jimin,

      I used a slow cooker and withheld the vegetables until about 90 minutes before serving time. I finished the dish by transferring everything to a pot and sauteeing with mulyeot, sesame oil, and black pepper (as Maangchi recommends). It turned out fantastic!!!

  7. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 comments

    Ami,
    I really would like to join your 4 people party to eat the pork short ribs there! It sounds like real fun!

  8. Ami& has 6 comments

    Maangchi, I made a Pork Short Ribs version today ^_^ I was stuck at home ’cause of Hurricane Ike and I found in my fridge some big pork ribs. I immediately thought of this recipe and tried it out. I didn’t have everything on hand (even the main ingredient, beef hahaha), so I made a version of pork-carrot-sweet potato. The potato is a mistake b/c they get too soft after 30 min. Thus the dish looks rather muddy. Nevertheless, it’s very flavorful!! We 4 people finish a whole big pot in 1 dinner ^_^ I can’t wait to try the beef version.

    I typed a bit too long for a thank-you note, didn’t I hehe oh, and i like your han-bok :X

  9. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 comments

    Hi, james,
    Get some better ribs with lots of meat. : )

  10. james& has 3 comments

    it looks like there is so little meat. i would have to triple this recipe to get full! hehe

  11. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 comments

    oh, ok, I will find some photos from the video and post it here. Thanks for your suggestion!

  12. pozygal87& has 1 comment

    hi maangchi,
    just a suggestion, but it would be nice to have pictures of the dish you cooked. like how it looked. :)
    btw, LOVE your recipes :)

  13. Thanks Maangchi !!! I have been waiting for you to do Galbi Jjim.

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,003 comments

    VB,
    Yes, I heard about it from one of my new Chinese friends in NYC! Thanks!

  15. VB& has 36 comments

    Sept 14 is the Chinese Mooncake Festival too! We hv traditional and new-style snowskin mooncakes with all sorts of crazy fillings! Also, we eat little dumplings like the ones u made but ours is in sweet soup. Wishing u Happy Chuseok!

    ps. Han-bok he-say-yo!!!!

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