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Tasting the world is pretty easy! Korean BBQ anyone?

July 28, 2009

I am constantly reminded how simple it can be to taste the world in my own kitchen even though the results are not “authentic”.  Every country has a profile of flavors that really represent the taste of that country.IMG_0622 If you take a few of the ingredients from a country and treat them kindly you will end up with a great taste of that country. This past Sunday I was inspired by one of my fellow Next Food Network Star contestants and decided to make my version of Korean BBQ.

I took beef short ribs (English style cut) and cut the meat off the bone. I sliced it into chunks and pounded it thin. I did a marinade of pureed pear (acts as a tenderizer as well as adding a subtle sweetness) ginger, garlic, soy, sesame oil, green onion and rice vinegar. 6 hours in the refrigerator.

The real Kim CheeIMG_0620 takes days to ferment and is way outside of my area of expertise. I knew I could capture the general essence of Kim Chee another way. The store did not have Napa Cabbage which is traditional so I used regular cabbage. Torn in sheets and layered in a dish with cilantro, rice vinegar, soy, sugar, Korean crushed chile (you could use chile flakes) and salt. I left it covered at room temperature all day. I flipped it over every couple hours as the cabbage softened and the flavors married.

Simple sticky Chinese rice and we had a meal!

It was amazing how tender the meat became with the marinade. I grilled the meat for about three minutes on each side over high heat.

One bite and the group agreed that traditional or not it was a full on Korean BBQ. The meat had that great grill flavor on the outside that quickly became slightly sweet from the marinade caramelizing on the outside.IMG_0614 The meat was tender but still had that great meat chew that you get from the less tender, more flavor cuts of beef. The Kim Chee was surprisingly similar in over all flavor but was crisper due to the lack of multiple days of fermenting. My wife loved this because it took on more of a “salad” quality due to the crispness instead of a wet, soft quality like traditional Kim Chee. The Kim Chee created the perfect balance with its sweet acidity from the rice vinegar, the pleasantly piercing heat of the Korean crushed chiles and the crunch was a nice texture contrast to the sweet soft rice and grilled meat. Enjoy!

Eat well, enjoy life, be happy.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Chad permalink
    July 28, 2009 10:49 pm

    I’m totally going to try this. My one question is this: Do you think the marinade actually made the meat more tender, or did it just make a very tender piece of meat more flavorful? You clearly know how to cook an awesome, tender piece of meat, but I’ve found (and read) that there is no amount of marinade that will tenderize a piece of meat.

    You’re the man.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      July 30, 2009 6:49 am

      Hello Chad, Awesome question. I know what you are talking about. Marinades really only penetrate a thin layer. I have read the same thing but I am telling you this did work! Ribs as you know usually need hours of slow brasing and then grilling to become tedner. This meat was not tender to begin with but then was. The key was pounding it thin so there was very little thickness to have to penetrate. I remember when I was taught in culinary school that kiwi had natural enzymes that would tenderize meat. I covered a steak in it and left it in the frige for too long. It turned to mush! I think some of these fruits can really do the job. Enjoy!

      • Chad permalink
        August 3, 2009 8:22 am

        Hmmm. A kiwi marinade, eh? I’ll have to try that out too. Thanks Jeffrey. For what it’s worth, I was a fan of yours from the first show. I’m sure you’ll be back. I’ll keep reading.

      • Jeffrey Saad permalink
        August 4, 2009 6:44 am

        It means a lot! Thank you Chad.

  2. August 3, 2009 4:35 pm

    I’m so glad to have found your blog! I’m definitely going to try this recipe…that marinade sounds wonderful, I would have never thought of adding pureed pear to the mix. yum! I will be checking back often!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      August 4, 2009 6:31 am

      Hello Becky, Thank you so much! I appreciate your support! Have a great week.
      Jeffrey 🙂

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