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Galbi Jjim – Korean Beef Stew with Kelp Noodles

July 17, 2015


My foray into Korean cuisine has only been recent. Having had an enormous passion for all things Japanese, I was interested to learn that most Japanese people have a fondness for anything Korean! Ask any Japanese local where they would prefer to holiday or eat, they will say Korea!

So it was in a Korean restaurant where I discovered ‘Galbi Jjim‘, a provincial stew, which has many variants across Asia. This long slow braise with a combination of salty and sweet, is found in similar forms across Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and China. All designed to use cheaper cuts of meat, these braises are often seen at street vendor stalls, who have been boiling ‘bits’ for days making flavoursome magic.

My Korean stew was served with dangmyeon: Korean glass noodles made from sweet potato starch that look transparent and glassy when cooked. In their dried form, they look grey and spindly. They are different from the Chinese glass noodles which are based on mung bean and much finer. Dangmyeon must be cooked first and their texture is chewier and more elastic than other kinds of noodles, which reminded me of shiratake or kelp noodles. Hmm, I have kelp noodles, I think I will give this dish a go.

Kelp noodles are a raw noodle made from edible seaweed. Widely used in Japan, Kelp noodles are becoming more popular in health circles because of their low carb content and raw food following. Whilst they can be eaten raw, I prefer them boiled in a broth where they maintain some crunchiness but become much more tender and comfortingly slippery. Find out more here.

Being gluten-free and nearly carb free, they are high in iodine and include many other minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium and calcium. You can find them at the health food shop.

I have also used beef short ribs in this recipe. Both beef or pork ribs work well. Ask the butcher to cut them down the middle for bite size pieces. The meat on the bone has so much flavour and you will extract many more nutrients from the bones. By the time my stew finished cooking, all of the bones had come away, leaving the meat behind.

Depending on your ribs, there may be a lot of fat that comes out of them. If this is the case, when the dish is finished, pour off the sauce into a jar and leave over night in the fridge. You can then take the fat off easily and return the sauce to the ribs to reheat.

I have used my slow cooker for this is a really easy dish. I’m sure it would work in a pressure cooker too, but I don’t have one – experiment with your own! I put it on in the morning and we had it for dinner. Whilst it has kelp noodles, I also served it with some cauliflower rice for some extra vegetables.

1.5kg beef short ribs

100g mirin

1 onion

1 green pear

1/2 teas peppercorns

4 cloves garlic

1 knob ginger

150g tamari or soy sauce

80g rapadura sugar (I used Natvia)

500g water

1 turnip, peeled and quartered

1 swede, peeled and quartered

1 carrot, chopped into 4 big chunks

450g kelp noodles, rinsed & drained*

Spring onions, sliced to garnish

Start by placing the ribs into a big pot and covering with water. Let soak for 30 minutes to draw out the excess blood.

Drain and cover again with water and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, drain and place the ribs into your slow cooker bowl.

In the TM bowl, mince the onion, pear, peppercorns, garlic and ginger on SP 8 for 5 seconds. Add the mirin, tamari and sugar and blend on SP 6 for 10 seconds. Pour over the ribs.

Add 500g of water to the TM and swish around to rinse the bowl and pour over the ribs and sauce.

Cook on LOW for 5 – 6 hours. Add the vegetables & noodles and cook for another hour, or until the vegetables are tender but not disintegrating. Garnish with sliced spring onions and serve.

* You could use shiratake or glass noodles if you prefer.



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