Korean Kalbi-Jim

Serves 4


After pulkogi, kalbi-jim is perhaps the second most popular Korean beef dish. Meaty short ribs are marinated in traditional seasonings, then cooked long and slow, until the meat gelatins form a deep, rich glaze. By the time it is done, the tender beef is practically falling from the bones, and the sauce is thick with flavor. This is a wonderful cold-weather dish, for the heat of the stove warms the house, and the aromas of the simmering sauce tantalize the appetite. It takes a while to cook, but most of the cooking time is relatively effortless, leaving the chef to dine relaxed and unhurried.


Trim the ribs of excess fat. Score the top surface of the ribs in a diamond pattern.

In a container or plastic bag large enough to hold the ribs, mix together the garlic, ginger, green onions, 3 tablespoons of the sesame seeds, sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and a generous grating of pepper. Add the ribs and coat thoroughly with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.

To cook the ribs, heat the peanut oil in a heavy pot or flameproof casserole large enough to accommodate the ribs. Brown the ribs, then push the ribs to one side and brown the onions and carrots in the same pot. Stir in the marinade and the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer, with the lid slightly ajar, for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

To finish the dish, remove the lid and boil until the sauce gets a syrup-like consistency. Serve the ribs with the glazed sauce and the remaining sesame seeds on top.

Serving Suggestion:
Steamed white rice and a spicy cucumber and radish salad are the perfect accompaniments.


©1994, Katherine Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007