RECIPE: Slow Cooked Korean Beef Short Ribs in Gochu-jang
One of my first forays into the world of Korean food was at the unassuming CJ Lunchbar on Melbourne’s Little Lonsdale Street. Always busy, this tiny restaurant has you jostling among local international students for a seat on a wobbly wooden table which you have to approach sideways and try delicately not to knock off your neighbour’s drink as you squeeze in. You order at the counter, get your own drinks from the fridge and need barely wait for your food to arrive.
It was here among the bubble cups and phone-faced teenagers that I ate my first bibimbap – a dish of rice, egg, chopped vegetables and thinly sliced beef. The egg is served raw when it arrives at the table and cooks quickly as you turn it among the rice and vegetables in the lead-like hot stone bowl. I was sold instantly by the firy flavours, sticky rice and accompanying pickles which somehow heat and cool your mouth simultaneously.
This delicious slow cooked beef short ribs recipe is a great way to introduce yourself to the delicious flavours of Korean cuisine at home. The spicy gochu-jang is a fermented red chili paste, that if you’ve ever eaten Korean food you’ll recognise immediately. It has a deep, rich savoury flavour that goes perfectly with beef and is reminiscent of the famous kimchi (pickled cabbage).
Gochu-jang paste is easily available at the bigger Australian supermarkets in the international sections and is relatively inexpensive. Best of all because it’s fermented it won’t go off if stored correctly.
Prep time: 4 hours minimum
700g beef short ribs
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 heaped tbsp gochu-jang paste
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic
2 star anise
250ml stock (beef or chicken)
3cm piece ginger
For the marinade mix together the soy, rice wine vinegar and gochujang paste until well combined. Add the short ribs and a roughly chopped onion before setting aside for a minimum of 1 hour. Best left overnight in the fridge for maximum taste.
When you’re ready to cook the ribs set your oven to 160C.
Place the ribs (plus marinade) in a heavy based casserole pot with the cooking liquid ingredients. Thinly slice the ginger before adding it in.
Cook in a low oven for 3 hours or until tender and falling apart.
I like to serve the ribs with sticky rice and chopped salad of:
Dress the salad with a simple squeeze of lime and splash of soy sauce to keep it zesty and fresh against the rich beef short ribs.
A sprinkling of black sesame seeds on the rice.
Any of your favourite crunchy salad options.
Instead of sticky rice, sweet potato noodles are delicious with a drizzle of sesame oil.