Korean Short Ribs: How DALSian is That?

October 16th, 2012 · 46 Comments · Pork and Beef

I’d like to introduce you to a new word: DALSian. It is defined as follows:

[DAHLS'-ee-uhn] adj – used to describe a recipe displaying hallmarks of blog Dinner: A Love Story; simple, fresh, un-intimidating, frequently strategy-driven and generally requiring key ingredients found in non-fetishy food person’s pantry.

Naturally, I’d like to think every recipe on DALS is DALSian, but there are many that seem to deserve the title more obviously than most. (And a few who deserve it less: we ‘d get bored superfast if it weren’t for edible flowers on pizza, Maya Kaimal’s chicken curry, and Bugiali’s high-maintenance, high-happiness Minestrone every now and then.)

A few DALSian champs that come to my mind immediately: Pretzel Chicken, Pomegranate-Juice-Braised Pork with Cabbage, Tony’s SteakSalmon Salad. Some of these, like the pork, I discover by accident; others, like the salmon salad, are tweaked over years and years through tantrums and tantrums. But often, like the Pretzel Chicken, the recipes are sent to me by readers.

Which brings me to the latest dish to be crowned with the title: Korean Short Ribs.

Can you please take a look at the photo up there? That’s pretty much all I needed to make a big pot of them for a showstopping potluck centerpiece this past weekend. The recipe came from reader Anna with the following note:

i just read the tumultuous tuesdays post and felt compelled to email you my top ten crockpot meals.  i send it to all our family and friends when they have a baby.  if they live in town, i print it off and include it with some freezer meals for their family.  if they don’t and i know they don’t own a crockpot, i email the file and send a crockpot from target.  it’s getting the be the season where we all think about using the crockpot. so, enjoy!

xo, anna

Now, first of all, how jealous are you of her friends? And of me — who gets delicious dinner ideas regularly sent to my inbox from nice people in Nebraska! Anna is not just a reader, of course. Besides being the woman behind Clementines Produce & Provisions, she won the Weeknight Recipe Contest a few year’s back — her Kale, White Bean, and Sausage Stew was so DALSian, it made it into my book. I don’t own a crockpot, but I opened up the file and immediately lasered in on the third recipe listed, those aforementioned ribs. You wanna talk DALSian? This recipe listed five ingredients — one of which was water — and one line of instruction. I decided then and there to translate it to my Dutch Oven to see what would happen. This is what happened:

This photo was taken while daylight was still good – the ribs would cook down another hour or so until the beef was rich and melty and the salty-sweet sauce dark and thick. The only problem was that I had somehow neglected to realize that the younger diners attending the potluck might be inclined to eat it too. In my head, like a dummy, I had earmarked it for the adults only (how have I not learned this lesson?) and watched as kid after kid decimated their portion, leaving a scant single rib for each adult diner.

But I guess of all the criteria that define a DALSian dinner, “kid-friendly” should probably be right at the top of the list.

Korean Short Ribs (the no-slow-cooker version)
The only change I made to Anna’s was replacing jalapenos with Sriracha (I didn’t have jalapenos; and yes I realize that Sriracha is Thai) and next time I might add a few slices of fresh ginger in the braising liquid because…well, why not? As Andy would say, it’s not like it’s going to be bad.

1 T. canola or vegetable oil
3-4 pounds beef short ribs, salted and peppered (I used a combination of bone-in and boneless — don’t ask — but I prefer all boneless)
1 c. of brown sugar
1 c. soy sauce, low sodium
½ c. water
2 teaspoons Sriracha
scallions for garnish

Heat oven to 325°F. In a Dutch Oven set over medium-high heat, add oil, then brown short ribs in batches. Whisk together remaining ingredients and add to the pot with all the beef. (The meat should be almost fully immersed when you begin, and then cook down as you go. But keep an eye on liquid — it should be at least a third of the way up the pot. If it’s not, add a mix of 1 part water to 1 part soy, a little at a time.) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar, and place inside oven. Cook 3 to 4 hours, flipping ribs every 30 minutes or so, until liquid has thickened and meat is falling off the bone. Serve topped with chopped scallions.

PS: How’s this for awesome? Anna has posted not only the slow-cooker version of this for you crockpot owners, but her entire Top Ten Slow-Cooker File. Head over to her site to download. You rock, Anna!


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46 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tara // Oct 16, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Looks great, and the top 10 slow cooker recipes are a terrific resource. But you know what I really want? A bunch of really good, flavorful slow-cooker recipes that don’t feature meat as the primary ingredient. We’re not vegetarian, but we don’t eat a lot of meat. Recipes don’t need to be entirely meatless (I’ll never turn my nose up at starting an otherwise vegetarian dish with a bit of bacon for flavor, or using chicken instead of vegetable broth, but most slow cooker meals seem to use more meat than we generally eat over the course of a week. And yet, most vegetarian slow cooker recipes I’ve tried are decidedly lackluster. Anybody got any good suggestions?

  • 2 Tonia // Oct 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Oh wow! Was looking for menu ideas for my sister (due to drop her second baby any moment): things I could prepare and drop off on my way to work. This has just made it in. She (and her soon-to-be-sleep-deprived) family thank you!

  • 3 Robin // Oct 16, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Funny coincidence re: the rapture over this flavor combination – in the Food issue of last week’s NYT magazine, there’s a short bit called Biggest Food Trend Surprise with this from Ruth Reichl:

    When I first started writing about food in the early 70′s, I would have said that you were insane to suggest that raw fish would one day become so beloved by Americans, that sushi would be sold in supermarkets.

    On the other hand, had you asked if hot, sweet, garlicky barbequed beef was destined for success, I would have said yes. So I was surprised that Americans have been so slow to embrace the cooking of Korea.

  • 4 Reynaul // Oct 16, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Can’t wait to fix this for my family! I don’t eat beef or pork, but they do, so this will be my gift to them! Besides that awesome looking picture, I know it will be great becasue I make Anna’s Kale, white bean and sausage stew (I use chicken or turkey italian sausage from Whole Foods) every week! Yummy!

  • 5 anna // Oct 16, 2012 at 10:49 am

    jenny! you’re the nicest person i’ve never met. i’m so happy you liked it.
    @tara: the first recipe on the top 10 is for black bean stuffed peppers. they are killer. my husband is a huge meat eater, but my son is not…so i do have some non-meat focused variations (to some of the recipes) that i can email you if you like. as well as, some delicious vegetarian options that i make when i can’t bear to eat meat again. just let me know.

  • 6 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag // Oct 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    WOW. I feel like I just won the crockpot lottery! My husband is going to lose his mind when I make this for him. Can’t wait to make this AND the kale, bean, sausage thingamabobbin :)

  • 7 Tara // Oct 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    @anna, thank you so much. I’ll click the link to your site. I’m assuming I can send you an email from there so you can send me all your great ideas! YAY!

  • 8 Jan @ Family Bites // Oct 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Anna is a rock star! I can’t decide what I like more: her Korean short rib recipe, the fact that she buys crock pots for friends who don’t have one, or that she so willing shares her great ideas. Thanks, Anna and Jenny!

  • 9 Kathy // Oct 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    What a coincidence! I was going to make Braised Beef Short Ribs (from DALS) for my in-laws Saturday night. I’m going to make these instead. What should I serve with it? Rice? Potatoes? I have some nice fingerlings sitting on the counter…. THANK YOU for such great recipes. My book club read DALS last month and we’ve been having a great time trying your recipes and texting each other afterwards!

  • 10 Torrie @ a place to share... // Oct 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    i am short on time, and i will admit… i was ready to skim through this post, rushing to mark it as “read” on my reader… (as i’ve had to do with all of the blog posts today, not just yours!)… but i was captivated by this recipe- by ANNA. OMG… i looooove her ‘new baby gesture’!!!! and how nice of her to share her recipes with all of us!!!!!! i’m on my way to download now!!! (when are you going to buy a slow cooker??) :)

  • 11 w30 // Oct 17, 2012 at 11:18 am

    These are not really Korean at all, and the Sriracha is the first clue. They might be great, but they are not Korean.

  • 12 wmbg // Oct 17, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    i used to make a version of this that required more ingredients and more steps. excited to try this simpler recipe and compare!

  • 13 JenniferS // Oct 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    How spicy is it with 2 tsp Sriracha? Hubby loves spice, but not so much for me and the 4yo :)

  • 14 Jenny // Oct 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Jennifer – Not spicy at all. Just gives it subtle heat and nice depth.

  • 15 Jamie // Oct 17, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    I am flailing around in the midst of a job search and figured that making this would break up the day just a bit, and be something yummy to look forward to. And it was all of that! And since we had no potluck to attend we have another delicious meal packed away in the freezer. Thanks!

  • 16 Stearns 205 // Oct 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    while the Siracha doesn’t feature in kalbi gim which is what this recipe is, 2 tsp won’t kill anyone. (JenniferS, you could leave it out. Plenty of flavor without it.) Most Korean moms would nod at everything else in the recipe. We would also add chunks of carrots, potatos, turnips, Chinese dates (any combo there of) to it towards the end of cooking. This would make the recipe more “authentic” and wholesome. Add a side of rice, some kimchi and you’re good to go. A great meal for a star varsity tennis player (who doesn’t give her own athletic prowess enough credit in her own book) and all of her many readers. :)

    One more thing, the Korean way to prepare the meat is to soak the meat in water for ~30 min with several changes of water to rinse out the blood and loose fat. Makes it a bit cleaner.

  • 17 Kipin Alexander // Oct 19, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Made this last night, so good! Followed your suggestion and added ginger-delicious. I would definitely kick up the spice though. I felt like I couldn’t taste the sriracha at all. For those worried about heat, this recipe as is is very sweet and mild!

  • 18 JenniferS // Oct 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Thanks all for the spicy-report! I’m definitely going to try it with the 2tsp :) I’m sure my husband can add some more himself after :)

  • 19 Katherine // Oct 19, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for sharing, and thanks to Anna for sharing ALL of her list. I just had a baby, and was just asking my friends for their best crock pot recipes because it just seems like the easiest way to have a tasty meal while managing a newborn. This is on the menu for next week.

  • 20 Cherie // Oct 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Made the Korean Short Ribs tonight. Once again, Jenny rocks!! These were to die for and all 4 adults were licking the plates. Served with oven roasted kale and jasmine rice steamed in coconut milk. Yum–definitely a keeper!

  • 21 Jane // Oct 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    This is one of those recipes I had to make immediately! As a result, we had a regular DALS traffic jam in our kitchen today with these and our second attempt at challah both needing the oven at the same time. All turned out delicious- the kids ate short ribs with broccoli and rice, we ate ours with a squirt of Korean hot sauce and a side of kimchi. Will so be making this again and again. Thank you!

  • 22 jenny // Oct 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Cherie: Correction, ANNA ROCKS! But glad they worked out.

  • 23 sarah // Oct 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    My understanding is that Sriracha is not Thai. It was created in the US by Vietnamese.

  • 24 blush @willdothedishes.wordpress.com // Oct 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    OMG! I can’t wait to try this!!

  • 25 Melissa // Oct 21, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I cooked these yesterday (with the ginger), put the pot in the fridge overnight, and lifted off the fat this morning. Reheated them for Sunday dinner with the grandparents, aunts and uncles and they were a hit with all ages. Definitely prefer the boneless short ribs.

  • 26 michelle // Oct 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Thank you. You made me a super star tonight-ribs were awesome!

  • 27 Cherie // Oct 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

    You are so right–ANNA rocks!! My guests were my parents who live in Nebraska, so they were delighted to hear about Clementines Produce and Provisions!

  • 28 Naomi // Oct 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Made these last night for a family dinner party….amazing. You posted this recipe just as I was dreaming about some Korean short ribs a friend made for me last spring…perfect timing! I want to share 2 serving recommendations as well: I made an adapted David Chang salad recipe to go with it: basically raw kale, kimchi and apples (all matchstick), tossed with olive oil & apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper. Really nice balance with the ribs. But the key to the leftovers (or you could even prep to do this for main event) was tossing the meat with cold Japanese short-grain rice and a few scoops of reserved braising liquid in a cast iron skillet, then scattering the scallions on top at the end. Basically makes a crazy beef-fat risotto/fried rice thing that is sooooo good.

  • 29 anna // Oct 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Naomi: holy smokes!! those serving suggestions are awesome….you had me at beef-fat risotto/fried rice. i’ll be trying those soon! thanks!

  • 30 Teresa // Oct 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I just emailed Anna for the crockpot recipes. I can’t wait to try them all. A crockpot is tired working parent’s best friend; however, it’s so hard to find modern recipes that you want to eat. How much chili can one possibly eat!

    I would love a DALS crockpot cookbook! Didn’t you say you had a crockpot in your kitchen Jenny? ;-)

  • 31 Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom // Oct 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Jenny, I love that you made a version of Korean short ribs! Korean food is so fantastic and needs to be explored more and more. . Please let me know if you will be making more Korean food or Asian foods. . Love your book and blog!

    I’ve made your pork shoulder ragu like 15 times. I’m totally not joking.

  • 32 Row // Oct 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Love! Totally making this asap. Thank you! :)

  • 33 bergamot // Nov 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Many thanks to Anna and Naomi for a wonderful Sunday dinner for family and friends that didn’t require me to stay in the kitchen all day! The ribs were delicious and so easy and the suggestion of a kale, apple and kimchee salad was totally inspired. Cooked up some jasmine rice to go alongside and it was a perfect balance of flavours. Definitely a keeper.

  • 34 Kathy // Nov 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    So……… we loved this recipe with beef ribs. Now I’d like to try this with a chuck roast and would like everyone’s two-cents on how to adjust the ingredients/cook time & temp. for a 4- to 5-pound roast. THANK YOU!!

  • 35 anna // Nov 14, 2012 at 10:43 am

    @kathy: my girlfriend just made the slowcooker version of this using a pork roast and said it turned out great. so, i am thinking that if you want to do it with a chuck roast (which is an awesome idea, btw) then just replace the meat and up the liquid mixture if need be. i might even suggest cutting up the roast. i don’t think the time or temp would need to be adjusted. good luck!

  • 36 Deirdre // Nov 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Man, I’ve missed this site. Not only do I love your voice, Jenny, and your recipes, but even the comments you get are a great read! Loved the quote by Ruth Riechl. And I never would have thought of choosing a cookbook for book club, but my turn to pick is coming up in January and I love the pot luck of recipes idea. Jenny—can you fathom book club discussion questions based on your book? Let me know.

    Off to add Sriracha and scoop up Anna’s crockpot Top Ten!

  • 37 Darlene // Dec 26, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Made this last night, for famiy dinner, delicious! I initially cooked in slow cooker, but found meat still a little tough and sauce was watery so moved it to Dutch oven stovetop for another hour…amazing, carelized, tender…will definitely make again!

  • 38 Kelly // Jan 12, 2013 at 10:28 am

    I made these for dinner co-op, which means I am cooking for 16. I cooked half with the slow cooker recipe and half with the Dutch oven recipe and the Dutch oven was far tastier. I’m not sue why given that I didn’t sear either batch of meat, but it was just so much better.

    And, I have a spice averse spouse plus kids and the sirracha doesn’t add heat, really, as much as it breaks the sweetness, saltiness of the sugar and soy.

  • 39 Cela // Jan 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    My sister introduced me to your blog this week and now I’m going to have to kiss her! Braised Korean short ribs are something I thought only “mom” can make and it’s been that way all my life and I’m 43! I had no idea it can be done in a crockpot and that it’d be so easy. They had ribs and ox tails next to each other at the market, so I bought both and decided to experiment. Two separate crockpots, same ingredients just different meat. And let me tell you they are both AMAZING! I actually prefer the ox tail version. My mom always put the cooked ribs back in the freezer (all nestled in the juice) to get rid of the fat, but it’s always hard to get rid of all the fat in between the meat and the bones. So I decided to scoop up the meat, put them in one container and the juice in a wide mouthed jar. My plan was to put the jar in the fridge to make it easier to get rid of the fat. I have to tell you, in 10 minutes on the counter, the fat rose to the top and already hardened enough for me to scoop up. Where has this been all my life??? My best friend is coming over to watch Downton Abbey tonight. We’ll be feasting on this and I’m planning on roasting some fingerling potatoes and mushrooms to add to the feast. Thank you Anna and Jenny! And sorry for the loooong comment. I guess I got too excited.

  • 40 katie // Mar 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I cooked this at 325 for exactly 3 hours and it was burnt :( The meat was so overcooked it was inedible and the sauce was so burnt we couldn’t eat it. Bummertown.

  • 41 Jane // Mar 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I brought my crock pot and the ingredients for this for a ski weekend (are there any more bizarrely stocked/sharp knife bereft kitchens than rental ski condos?) I plopped them in in the morning, skied all day and came back to such a mouth wateringly delicious smell, my kids were practically drooling. Thanks Jenny and Anna!

  • 42 jen // Aug 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    I know it’s kind of late to comment on this item, but we’ve hit 2 great nights of dinner out of this recipe.
    There is so much liquid in the pot after the ribs finish cooking, and I hate to throw anything away that might get used. So I used the leftover sauce (separate and discarded the fat) as marinade for steak! It worked great on grilled flank steaks and skirt steaks.

  • 43 simone // Jan 31, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    I’m planning on making these for the first time for a small dinner party, but I need the oven at a higher temp closer to dinner time. Has anyone tried moving these from the over to the stovetop after a few hours in the oven?

  • 44 jen // Jan 31, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I’ve made them in the crock pot. Set on low for 7 hours. Now your oven is free!

  • 45 Awads // Mar 24, 2014 at 8:00 am

    made this recipe yesterday in the crockpot b/c we had to be away from the house all day. it was so, so good!! my 6 year old, who was trying to be a pain the ass, declared it looked disgusting and wasn’t going to eat it. then he took a bite (per our 1-bite rule) and couldn’t STOP eating it! he even admitted it was delicious and THANKED ME!! what???!!

  • 46 Starr // Oct 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    We made this tonight with country style pork ribs and it was spectacular! My 2 daughters ate it, and one even asked for seconds.

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