Monday, August 9, 2010

Mother-in-Law Kalbi

I'm lucky that I get along with my mother-in-law. Politically, we are near, we both loathe Walmart, and we generally don't vote for the red team, unless by red team you mean a bottle red wine. She's sharp as a whip, and I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of that whip.

So when she e-mailed me, "That's NOT Kalbi!!!", about my blog post a few weeks ago, I had to let my first three reactions go, and then have a talk with my husband.

"Those are the cross cut short ribs I always buy, and what is served in all the Korean restaurants here. What does she mean I have the wrong cut?"

Turns out instead of a thin cross cut of the beef ribs, her Kalbi recipe, and probably more authentic than what I get on Highway 99, has the ribs cut across only once, in half, then scored along the top. Same basic marinade, only these are the big, meaty ribs, not the thin slices of them.

Lucky for me, we have a band saw in the walk-in refrigerator (we cut our own dog bones). So honey goes to the shop and cuts me up some beef ribs just like his momma used to buy.

These meatier bones need more time marinating and some indirect time in the smoker than the thin cut short ribs.

The Marinade
Make the same marinade as the other Kalbi ribs I did a few weeks ago, but instead of overnight, marinate meat for 1-2 full days.

Combination Cooking
Make a hot hot charcoal fire and sear ribs. Keep on turning for about 5 minutes. Set aside while you make an indirect, low fire.

I used my Weber bullet smoker and used the bottom part first as a grill, then put it back together for smoke, added wood, the water pan and lowered the temperature with the vents to about 200 degrees.

Smoke ribs for about 45 minutes to an hour to tender up. This isn't slow and low barbecue - you want the ribs to stay on the rarer side, like steak, but giving them some low heat will break down some of the tough connective tissue.

The Glaze
Make a glaze and brush on liberally for the last 20 minutes of cooking time.

Heat 1 cup chicken stock and whisk in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Add 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Boil down until it thickens. Makes enough for about 6 racks of beef short ribs (12 Kalbi pieces).

Serve with white rice and grilled zucchini or a fresh cucumber salad and dig in.


  1. Funny post- I go for both teams!

    Hey I made this not too long ago and got lucky when a market had the right cute of meat, yours looks great- thought of you when I was traveling in Arizona, I saw a She Smoke sign, and should have taken a photo for you!

  2. Even though there will be no Wild Huckleberries, for me when I arrive in Seattle on Sunday, at least the readers know that Daughter-in-Law and Mother-in-Law are still in a loving relationship!