In the West, Korean cuisine is known mostly for its beef dishes like bulgogi or galbi. Although I always make the point that Korean food embraces almost every type of vegetable, seafood and meat (except for lamb) under the sun, I do think Korean food knows its way around any cut of meat. For a Korean cook, no piece of beef is too tough to tenderize with a flavorful marinade or a long, slow braise. Enjoy these Korean beef recipes- they rock!
These Korean shortribs are tender, sweet, and full of of the flavors of soy and garlic. Called Galbi or Kalbi, they are usually served alongside lettuce and a spicy dipping sauce called ssamjang. A spoonful of rice, a piece of galbi, and a dollop of ssamjang wrapped up in lettuce is a divine mouthful of some of the best flavors in Korean cooking. Galbi is popular as both Korean picnic food and Korean-American restaurant food.
Wanja Jun belong to the Korean group of food called jun-ya, or any vegetables, meat, or seafood that are covered in flour and egg and then pan-fried. These Korean mini "hamburger" patties have many names in both Korean and English- you can call them meat fritters, kogi jun, beef patties, dhon jeon, and the list goes on. Whatever you call them, Wanja jun look deceptively simple; the well-seasoned meat, tofu, and vegetable patties are bursting with flavor.
These Korean braised short ribs are slow simmered over low heat to a tender and sweet finish. It's hard to have leftovers with Galbi Jim because it's such a crowd-pleaser, whether it's served at a fancy gathering or just as a comforting homestyle meal. To stretch the recipe, you can cut up pieces of brisket or other roasting beef cuts to stew size and cook with the short ribs. But you should always try to make it with bone-in ribs, because like Italian osso bucco or Irish stew, Galbi Jim relies on the stewed bone marrow for its rich flavor.
One of the most popular Korean dishes, this thinly sliced meat has a smoky sweet flavor when broiled or cooked on the grill. It's even delicious stir-fried, and the tender beef can be used in anything from Korean “sushi” rolls (Kimbap) to Stir-fried Noodles (Chapchae). Bulgogi is usually accompanied with lettuce wraps and spicy red pepper paste (kochujang) for wrapping and spicing up the meat.
This salty soy braised beef is a sensational Korean side dish. The meat becomes tender and well-flavored from long simmering and the chilies give the meat a spicy kick. For less heat, remove the seeds from the peppers before cooking or cut down the amount of peppers you are using. I like my changjorim to be on the salty and spicy side, but I have had sweeter versions that were delicious as well. If you prefer the sweet version, add more sugar and only a couple peppers to your pot.
Almost nothing compares to the smoky flavor of meat cooked on the grill. But thinly slicing and cutting the raw meat for bulgogi or having to turn many individual pieces of galbi on the grill can be time-consuming. Korean grilled steak is an easy East-West compromise, as it holds the deep bulgogi flavor but is still easy to cook and serve to a larger group for an outdoor meal.