The Best Refrigerator Non-Essentials: Kalbi Marinade

Kalbi beef with veggies over rice

I’m going to start this off with a disclaimer: this is not authentic, but it is tasty.

My husband is a unusual gentleman in many ways, and one of them is his general dislike of beef.  Whereas I will willingly tear into a rare steak like a starving hyena, Jordan prefers fish or chicken.  As a consequence, in our little household we eat very little animal protein, relying mostly on legumes, tofu, seafood, and the occasional piece of chicken.  I have never learned how to cook pork (in fact, I don’t believe I have ever tried) and due to Jordan’s dislike of all things cow, beef rarely graces our plates.  There are two exceptions – dark beer pot roast, and kalbi beef.

This beefy goodness puts a smile on my man’s face

There are numerous ways of serving this tasty, sweet and savory dish, and most are more authentic than mine, however mine offers convenience, and this meal can be thrown together in 15 minutes since the meat only takes about 10 minutes to cook under a broiler. The only exotic ingredients you will need are 1 jar of pre-made kalbi (or galbi) marinade (and if you can’t find it in your grocery store, or wish to make it yourself, there is a recipe here) and a jar of red shredded pickled ginger (I would not advise using the pinkish, sweeter sushi ginger for this recipe).  Both the marinade and the ginger will last in your fridge for a very long time.  You will also need some thin sliced beef, and I would not recommend trying to slice it yourself.  See if your meat department will slice the beef kalbi style for you since the meat needs to be “carpaccio thin”.  I buy it pre-sliced at the asian grocery store and freeze for later.

Use this type of ginger, not sushi ginger
Use this type of ginger, not sushi ginger

Thin sliced beef
1 jar of kalbi marinade
2 whole carrots
2 sticks celery
2 cups of long-grain white rice
1 jar of red shredded pickled ginger

1.  Several hours before you plan to cook, pour the sauce over the beef and marinate in the refrigerator.
2.  Prepare the rice ahead of time in a rice cooker.
3. While the rice cooks, dice the celery into small pieces and set aside in a small bowl.  Shred the carrot and set aside in another bowl.  Shred the lettuce and set aside in in a third bowl.
4. Once the rice has finished, spread your marinated beef onto a roasting pan and place underneath a broiler on high.  Broil for about 10 minutes and then check on it.  Continue until the meat is cooked through.  Enjoy the lovely smell of sugary sauce caramelizing on the beef.
5. To serve: put a generous scoop of rice in your bowl, and then a pile of beef on top.  Garnish with the carrot, lettuce, celery, and shredded ginger.  Any additional sauce from the marinade can be boiled first and then added to your rice, or you can serve with your favorite asian condiment.

This is a great way to get your fella to eat his veggies
This is a great way to get your fella to eat his veggies

This dish is easy to throw together in a pinch and it’s a healthy way to get some vegetables down the throat of any carnivore (since the veggies are diced small and the flavors play well with each other).  Other garnishes can be added (seaweed, sesame seeds, pickled radish, cucumber) – there are endless possibilities!


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