Ramen is so versatile that for many people, it is a weekly rotation. And since this recipe serves 2, it’s a great recipe for small household as a way to cook together and enjoy on a cold night. My daughter Lil’ C has had a lifelong love for noodles of almost any kind, but it’s ramen that she would eat every night if she could. And just like her old man, she is a massive fan of Korean BBQ short ribs (also known as kalbi). So when I asked her what favourite recipe of hers to include in the book, it was a toss-up between the two. I had no choice but to roll them up into one big bowl to create for her the ultimate meal.
Korean BBQ Short Ribs (Kalbi)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
4 slices gingerroot
Half Asian pear, unpeeled, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) soy sauce or tamari (gluten free)
1/3 cup (75 mL) mirin
2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil
1 lb flanken-style short ribs (about 4 pieces, thin cut/Maui/Korean style cut)
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 lb (500 g) ramen, udon, or thin wonton noodles
6 cups (1.5 L) hot broth (beef, chicken or pork*) broth
4 to 6 slices Japanese spiral fish cakes (narutomaki) or cooked, shelled shrimp
2 sheets nori (pressed seaweed) cut into thirds
2 soft-boiled eggs, sliced in half lengthwise (optional)
1 spring onion, chopped, for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- Korean BBQ Short Ribs (Kalbi): In a medium bowl, combine garlic, onions, pear, brown sugar, soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil with ½ cup (125 mL) water to make a marinade. Pierce ribs all over with a fork; add to bowl, submerging into the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Remove ribs from the marinade; discard marinade. Cook ribs in the skillet, in 2 batches to avoid overcrowding the pan if necessary, for 3 to 4 minutes per side until browned. Transfer to the oven and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until thoroughly cooked. Remove from oven and keep warm.
- Ramen: Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add noodles and cook according to package directions until nearly al dente. Drain, then rinse under cold running water. Divide noodles between 2 bowls.
- To serve, ladle hot broth over noodles, until nearly all are submerged. Portion the short ribs (kalbi) on one side of each bowl. Add fish cake slices, nori, and a soft-boiled egg (if using). Garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds (it using) and serve immediately.
Tip: Unlike American and European-style short ribs, flanken-style or Korean-style ribs are cut lengthwise across the rib bones. They can be easily found, pre-packaged, at Asian grocery stores.
Tip: Traditional Japanese ramen will use tonkotsu broth, a bone broth made with pork marrow or pork bone, simmered for 8 to 12 hours to coax out the most flavour. You can findpork bone brothat larger supermarkets.
Tip: Nori is a dried edible seaweed used in Japanese cuisine. It has a strong and distinctive flavor, and is often used to wrap rolls of sushi or onigiri.