L.A. Galbi

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This short rib dish is thought to have originated in Los Angeles, home to a large Korean American population, hence the name L.A. Most versions involve charring and blackening the ribs on a grill, but this recipe yields more of a juicy, tender and saucy short rib. Searing the ribs in a cast-iron pan and incorporating the right amount of corn syrup to balance the sugar helps produce a gentle Maillard reaction (similar to caramelization) rather than a harsh charring. The fantastic flavor comes from simple ingredients that marry well, and the addition of Korean pear to the marinade helps tenderize the meat.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 5 hr 30 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Put the short ribs in a large bowl and add water to cover. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the marinade: Put the garlic, pear, ginger and onion in a blender and process until smooth. (If necessary, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until the mixture blends.)  
  3. Whisk the soy sauce, sesame oil, corn syrup, sugar and mirin together in another large bowl. Add the pear mixture and whisk to combine.  
  4. Drain and rinse each short rib, cleaning away any bone fragments. Pat the ribs dry and transfer to the marinade, making sure they are completely submerged. Marinate, refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. 
  5. Drain the excess marinade off the ribs and lay the ribs on a sheet pan to come to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron pan or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the ribs in batches and cook, flipping once, until they are deep brown on both sides and reach the desired doneness, 3 to 4 minutes per side. 

Cook’s Note

If you can, seek out Korean pears grown on Jeju Island at Korean markets. They are larger, sweeter and juicier than related types called Asian or Japanese pears. If you can't find them, you can substitute Asian or Japanese pears, or Bosc pears in a pinch.

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