Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kalbi, or is it galbi?

A big plate of BBQ beef Korean-style.

However you pronounce it, it's delicious.

I got the basics of the recipe from my mom while she was here back in June/July. Of course, she didn't have hard and fast rules or a recipe for me to follow, but basically said, "for a bowl of meat, use a small handful of brown sugar..." You get the picture. So I guesstimated, based on what she said and how big her typical "bowl of meat" was when I was a kid. Then I scaled the recipe according to how big my "bowl of meat" is now.


2 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c green onion, finely sliced (optional -- ours went bad by the time I made the recipe!)
2.5 lb. kalbi meat (ribs cut across the bone to yield 3 bones per slice)

Place meat in a bowl or gallon-size plastic bag. Add all remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Cover or seal and allow beef to marinade overnight.

Bring beef to room temperature.

Meanwhile, line a broiler pan with foil and heat broiler.

Place beef evenly on foil-lined broiler pan and broil 6-8 minutes, turning once. Repeat as necessary until all beef is cooked.

Hell yeah we're having this again. I was skeptical about how this would turn out in the broiler, but it was like kismet or something. It was after I broiled the first batch that I realized the broiler pan can be moved to different heights and so scootched it up a notch. The reduced distance from the heat worked wonders for this beef. How did I not see this option previously?! 


  • beef: $2.55/2.58 lb
  • green onions I didn't use because they went bad: $0.49/bunch
  • side of kimchi: $2.99
Total: $6.03.

There was enough for us both to get completely stuffed with more leftover! And the recipe was a winner! We had this with steamed white rice, kimchi and some crisp romaine lettuce (rolled all together in miniature tacos).

Here's a secret though, I got the crappy cuts of kalbi from the store. They typically run $3-4 a pound or more and at those prices, each piece is perfectly symmetrical in thickness, the bones are perfect etc. The crappy cuts weren't uniform and the bones were wacky in dimensions. Yet, it still tasted great! Keep an eye out and be objective: it is possible to get screamin' deals and eat like a chubby queen, queen being the operative word here.