Galbi Jjim is a traditional “special occasion” short rib recipe from Korea. My Slow Cooker Galbi Jjim is makes this dish easy enough for everyday!
My Grandma, Olga Mae (is that Southern enough for you?) used to say “In the Winter, you can always put on more clothes, but in the Summer, you can only get so nekkid before someone calls the Sheriff.” I agree Olga Mae, I agree. So, I’m done with Summer heat and humidity and, as an official protest, I’m starting to pull out my Fall and Winter dishes.
These slow cooker Korean Short Ribs (called Galbi Jjim 갈비찜 ) should be what you picture when you hear the term “fall off the bone.” The sauce is spicy and almost smoky, with just a hint of sweetness. There are big chunks of root vegetables, that still have a bit of bite to them, and best of all are the Korean rice cakes (tteok 떡). Oh, the rice cakes. They aren’t required in the recipe, but…OK, they are required in my mind, but if you can’t find them/don’t want them, just don’t tell me.
A quick note about some of the ingredients: there are some progressive mega markets that are beginning to carry foods used in Asian cooking, but if you can’t find them there, try a local Asian Market (like HMart, my go-to for Korean groceries). You could even order online with our Interweb Overlords as a last resort. Depending on your spice tolerance, you can decrease the amounts of the gochujang 고추장 (paste) and the gochugaru 고추가루 (powder). You can start with half the amounts, taste the sauce, and go up from there. Happy Meat Time!
Tteok 떡 (Korean rice cakes)
Gochugaru 고추가루 (Korean chili powder) and Gochujang 고추장 (Korean chili paste), in the background
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 4 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 2 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup Mirin (Korean rice wine, found in most mega markets)
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 pear, peeled and chopped (any pear, it doesn't have to be an Asian pear)
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped in 2 inch pieces, maybe diagonally, for pretty
- 1 large onion, cut in quarters, then in half width-wise, or however you want to cut it 😉
- 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms (you can use cremini or white button mushrooms if you can't find shiitake)
- 1 medium turnip, cut in one inch pieces
- 1 cup rice cakes
- 1 cup beef broth
- 4 lb beef short ribs (preferably cut in 2-3 inch pieces, but if you get larger pieces, score the top of the meat, so it gets really saucy in there)
- Place all the sauce ingredients in your food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
- Rub all the short rib pieces with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Sear all sides in pan over high heat. Don’t be tempted to turn them too quickly! Let a good crust form on each side! There's flavor in the brown! Place them at the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Cover the meat with rice cakes and then vegetables. Pour sauce over the top, then pour in beef broth. Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours (stirring once, halfway through) or until the meat is tender and vegetables are cooked.
- Serve over rice or on its own. Spoon sauce over the top and maybe a sprinkle of chopped green onion and sesame seeds. When you break into the meat it will look like this and you will cry when it gets in your mouth. You will question all other meats. This is normal. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery after eating. May cause drowsiness.