This might be the ultimate lazy recipe. Short ribs, generally reserved for braising, are seared (because their perfect thickness and ridiculous marbling of fat just might make them the best cheap steak you can buy), and kimchi, which is fermented for basically forever, is made in 5 minutes (okay, so it’s more slaw than kimchi—that lactic acid tang just can’t be replicated, no matter how much salt and vinegar you use). The results are not the same, but that’s more than okay, because the results are still great.
While this could certainly be done with any cut of steak or style of short rib, I love the thick, meatiness of bone-in English style short ribs (the ones where there is one thick piece of meat sitting atop one large bone). Seared for what feels like an eternity, they still come out almost too rare, which is to say, pretty perfect. While I love how rare the short ribs on the bone come out and the way they hold their perfectly rectangular shape, you could use boneless short ribs of course; just make sure they are the thickest ones you can find, not those thinly sliced prepackaged ones.
This recipe is also great on the grill. Cook the short ribs over a medium fire 6-8 minutes per side. Keep a spray bottle of water handy to extinguish any big flareups.
2 pounds bone-in English-cut short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, plus more as needed
3 cups cooked rice, for serving
Quick Kimchi or store-bought kimchi, for serving
1 head of crunchy lettuce, such as romaine, butter, or Little Gem, leaves separated, for serving
2 Persian or 1 hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced, for serving
2 cups tender cilantro and/or mint leaves and stems, for serving
1. Season the short ribs generously with kosher salt and pepper and rub the meaty sides all over with the brown sugar (no need to season the bone). If you can swing it, let them sit at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes to let them get deeply seasoned (if not, that’s okay, they’ll still be great).
2. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the short ribs on all three meaty sides until they are very, very browned with a good crust on the outside, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Let them rest about 10 minutes (this would be a good time to make that quick kimchi).
3. Combine the sesame oil and flaky sea salt in a teeny dish. Set out the rice, kimchi, crunchy lettuce, cucumbers, and herbs on separate plates and bowls.
4. To serve, remove the bone from the meat using a sharp knife. Thinly slice the meat against the grain (just like a regular steak). Place the sliced meat on a serving platter and sprinkle with more flaky sea salt.
5. For the perfect bite, place some rice inside a lettuce leaf, drag a slice of meat through the sesame oil, and place it on the rice. Top with some kimchi, cucumbers, and cilantro and eat it like a taco.
Makes 2 cups
Think of this as kimchi for beginners. It’s more a spicy, refreshing slaw than the fermented bucket of funk you’ll find in real-deal kimchi (for the record, I think both are great). That said, if you let it hang in your fridge for a few weeks, it’ll grow funkier and tangier, which is definitely a good thing. This is the kind of clean, crunchy side dish that is great next to any sort of large piece of meat, but it goes without saying, its true destiny is meant to be shared with the seared short ribs.
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 tablespoons gochugaru (aka Korean chili powder) or 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small head of napa cabbage, halved lengthwise and cut into
1 Asian pear or crisp apple, unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced
1. Combine the garlic, ginger, gochugaru, fish sauce, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl.
2. Add the cabbage and massage it as if your life depends on it. It will shrink to about half the size, so before you start, when you think, “What am I going to do with all this kimchi?,” relax; it’s not actually that much. Once the cabbage is massaged and evenly coated, add the Asian pear and toss to coat. Boom! Your quick kimchi is ready.
3. This can be eaten right away, but is also great kept in the fridge for up to about a month. The flavor will deepen, and the texture will soften, all for the better.
Reprinted from Dining In. Copyright © 2017 by Alison Roman. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. And, when you donate, you'll become a member of The Splendid Table Co-op. It's a community of like-minded individuals who love good food, good conversation and kitchen companionship. Splendid Table Co-op members will get exclusive content each month and have special opportunities for connecting with The Splendid Table team.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table and you'll be welcomed into The Splendid Table Co-op.