|Kalbi Korean Beef BBQ|
Let me give you a disclaimer before I begin: I am not Korean. I do not claim to know Korean cuisine at ALL. I am Chinese, German, and Irish, and I can't even say I know many details about those cuisines. However, I do love food, and this recipe is one of the foods I love. There you go.
I grew up in La Palma, California. My parents still live here, and each summer we come back to visit. In this area of SoCal, there is a large Korean population. Two of my three bridesmaids in my wedding are Korean, and when my kids were very little (and still on occasion) I would shout the Korean phrase "Ha-ji-ma!" at them to get them to stop whatever it was they were doing that I wanted them to stop. (By the way, that word shocks most children, regardless of native language, into stopping.) That little phrase that means "Stop it!" might be the best thing I've gleaned from my Korean friends.
The SECOND best thing we've gotten from our Korean friends is this recipe which comes from my parents' next door neighbors. For about a year after the neighbors moved in, my mom and dad would occasionally get this awesome waft of Korean barbecue over the fence. My mom finally asked them what that delicious smell was, and God bless them, the next time they barbecued, they brought over a huge plate of this stuff. Actually, I think it was probably more traditional than what you see here. They usually use a Korean style short rib that is cut across the ribs (see the FoodNetwork recipe). It involves more fat and bones than my mom likes, so she subbed flap meat for the short ribs. The only problem with this, is that the papaya in the marinade breaks down the connective tissue so well, you have to be super careful that parts of the meat don't fall down through the grill. I would say a four-hour marinade is pushing it. I like to go for about 2 hours.
What you end up with is this super flavorful, sweet, tender grilled beef that melts in your mouth. Today we served it with our family's bacon fried rice and mom's Chinese chicken salad. I have to say, it was a superb combo. I love eating at Mom's. I'm never disappointed.
Kalbi Korean Beef BBQ
- 3-4 pounds flap meat
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 onion
- 1/4 cup ripe papaya
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
Put meat into a large zip top bag.
Combine remaining ingredients in a blender, and then pour over meat.
Seal the bag and smoosh the meat and marinade around to evenly distribute the marinade.
Refrigerate 1-4 hours.
Preheat grill. Grill meat on both sides to desired degree of doneness. (It only takes a few minutes on each side.)
Makes about 12 servings.