Thursday, January 6, 2011


For the record: I made dinner on Wednesday night.  I used to cook for us all the time in America.  But then we moved.  I stink at stove top cooking.  I freak out and flip the pancakes too early.  I burn the scrambled eggs.  I do not put enough cheese on our quesadillas.  So I have allowed my amazing husband to cook for us most nights.  I get to wash the dishes and clean up afterwards, that is our deal. 
This is not my picture, but this is what the finished product looks like
 My roommate from college gave me a Korean cookbook before we moved here.  I tried my first recipe from it.  In Korea it is known as galbi, in America it is barbequed short ribs.  We had made galbi once before, but I actually used a recipe this time.  The most important part is marinating.   The first time we mixed three parts soy sauce with one part water and one part sugar.  Chopped up some onions and mixed it all up.  (If you want to do it this way, it will turn out fine). But I decided to try the recipe and see what happened

I started with chopping some (4 or 5) scallions (you can use the whole scallion not just the white part at the end).  Then I chopped up an entire Asian pear.  Make sure you get all the juices in the bowl or whatever marinating container you are using.  The pear is important because the juices help to tenderize and sweeten the meat.  Then I took a break to answer the door.  There were some cult people going door to door.  It happens pretty often here.  They are very insistent in ringing the door bell.  They were really interested in me making galbi (at one point I thought the older woman was going to walk into the apartment), but the only English they knew was, “I love you” and they felt the need to say it quite often.  After the interruption, I sliced up half an onion.  

Then I added about 4 tablespoons of soy sauce.  2 tablespoons of water.  2 tablespoons of oil.  You are supposed to use sesame seed oil, but we did not have any and it was cold outside so I was not going to run to the store for some.  I used olive oil instead.   You are also supposed to add some sesame seeds.  Koreans love their sesame seeds.  I did not have any so I did not use any.  Then add 4 tablespoons of sugar and 2 cloves of garlic diced up super small.  Mix it all together and put the meat in the marinade.  At this point in time I discovered that I had too much meat and not enough marinate.  So I dumped a bunch more soy sauce and water in until it looked good (seemed like the easiest solution)
Maybe it will look like this
I do not know what short ribs mean. I know nothing about cuts of meat (well I know what ground beef is).  Galbi meat is long rectangular strips of beef.  In Korea, it still has bones in it.  Anywho, you let the meat marinate over night and then at dinner time the next day, you pull out your pan and olive oil.   Heat up the pan on the stove top, put in some olive oil then the meat, you can cook some garlic too if you want.  While are you cooking it, cut it up into little squares.  (it will smell delicious).  Because our meat still had the bones it, I cut out the bones and threw those away.  Every good Korean cook has scissors and tongs in his or her kitchen.  I bought my amazing husband some for Christmas since we did not have any and galbi is one of his favorites.
Notice the tongs and scissors
I think you can grill the meat if you want....but we did not pack our grill :)  So you are almost done now.  I think the best way to eat galbi is make a little lettuce wrap.  Take a lettuce leaf, put one or two pieces of galbi in it, some bean paste (see picture), and garlic.  Fold it up and eat it.

This is the container for the bean paste.  It took us awhile to like it because it has a lot of garlic in it.  Now I love it.
Do not try to take a bite of the lettuce wrap.  It is super difficult and messy to bite the lettuce wrap. It is all or nothing.   Wrapping meat in lettuce is pretty common here.  We often eat pork wrapped in lettuce at Korean restaurants.
This is what the lettuce wrap looks like before you fold it all up.
We ended up having left overs.  So the next night, we cooked some mushrooms (just in water), mixed in the left over galbi and let the it simmer for while.  Then we mixed it with some rice.  It was also delicious.  So not only did I cook dinner but it also tasted good!  None of these picture that I used are mine, I just found them on google.

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