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Modern Kalbi Recipe

Read time: 5 Min
South Korea, 01st October 2020

Message from the Chef

Korean cuisine has so many elements of complexity and technique. These Korean dishes are an interpretation of traditional Korean items, prepared in ‘modern’ format.

Wook Kang

Recipe: Korean Kalbi

Yield:  4 Servings
1 Pound         Boneless Beef Short Ribs (Prime Grade)
32 oz.              Cold Water
1 oz.                Brown Sugar
4 oz.                Soy Sauce
1 oz.                Sesame Oil
2 oz.                Yellow Onion, Julienne
14 g.                Garlic, Minced
32 g.                Scallions, Sliced

1. In a large pot, place the beef short ribs inside and add the cold water.

2. Bring the water to a boil and lower to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, ensuring to skim and degrease as often as possible.

3. After ten minutes, rinse the short ribs under cold water. Remove the ribs from the water and dry very well.

4. On a sheet pan, place the short ribs and rub the brown sugar over the ribs. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Place the ribs in a sous vide bag and add the soy sauce, sesame oil, onions, garlic, scallions, and ginger. Seal the bag per sous vide machine guidelines.

5. Adjust and heat the water via a circulator and time accordingly to machine guidelines. Once the meat has reached time and temperature doneness, reserve for future use or grill immediately.

Recipe: Ssamjang

Yield: 8 oz.
4 oz.    Gochujang
2 oz.    Korean Miso Paste (Doenjang)
1 oz.    Sesame Oil
14 g.    Apple Cider Vinegar
4 g.      Sesame Seeds
8 g.      Honey
4g.       Scallions, sliced thin

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients until well mixed and blended.

Recipe: Cucumber Kimchi

Yield: 8 oz. (4 servings at 2 oz. each)
8 oz.    Kirby Cucumbers
14 g.    Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
25 g.    Garlic Chives
24 g.    Korean Chili Flakes (Gochu garu)
  4 g.    Garlic, Minced
  8 g.    Honey
  8 g.    Korean Salted Shrimp
  4 g.    Fresh Ginger, Grated

1. Wash and cut the cucumbers by cross cutting the pieces lengthwise. You should result with 4 to 5 cm (1.5 inch) length cucumber pieces. Put the cucumber into a large bowl then scatter the coarse sea salt around on top. Gently mix them so that the cucumber gets pickled evenly. Set it aside for 20 minutes.

2. Gently brush off the salt from the cucumber then transfer the cucumber into a clean bowl. Add the garlic chives, Korean chili flakes, garlic, honey, Korean salted shrimp, and grated ginger. Toss and mix until well blended.

3. Keep it at room temperature for about 12 to 24 hours then move it to the fridge. Serve once chilled or reserve for future use.

Recipe: Scallion Ginger Salad

Yield: 4 oz. (4 servings at 1 oz. each)
4 oz.    Scallions, Julienne
  1 g.    Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
  2 g.    Garlic, Fine Minced
  1 g.    Korean Chili Flakes (Gochu garu)
  3 g.    Sesame Oil
  4 g.    Pickled Ginger, Julienne

1. Wash and slice the scallions into julienne pieces. Immediately soak in ice water.

2. Remove and dry the scallion and place them in a small bowl. Add the sea salt, garlic, Korean chili flakes, sesame oil, and pickled ginger. Toss and mix until well blended.

3. Serve once chilled or reserve for future use.

Recipe: Sweetened Puffed Rice Sticks

Yield: 8 Puffed Rice Sticks
For Crispy Rice:
1 cup              Short grain white rice
1 1/2 cups     Water
To Taste         Kosher Salt
16 oz.              Canola Oil (For Deep Frying)

To make the crispy rice:
1. Place the rice water and salt into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit, covered, for another 10 minutes. 

2. Pre-heat the oven to 250º F. 

3. Spread the rice out onto a small baking sheet. Bake (dehydrate) in the oven for 2 hours. The rice should be dry and hard when it’s done. Place the rice into the fridge to cool off for at least an hour. 

4. The last step is important, to puff the rice. In a medium saucepan, add enough oil so that it comes up to about 1/2″ on the side, and heat the oil over medium heat until it’s shimmering. Test to make sure it’s ready by adding a single piece of rice to the oil. If it sizzles all around the rice kernel, then it’s ready. Add about half of the rice to the pot and cook for about 30 seconds, just until the rice puffs up. This happens very quickly, and you do not want to overcook it, otherwise the rice will be too crunchy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the rice and place it onto a paper-towel lined plate. Do this until all of the rice is puffed. 

To make the Rice Sticks:
1. Place 1 cup of the crispy rice (or puff rice cereal) into a large mixing bowl.

2. Place the brown rice syrup, salt, and vanilla into a medium saucepan. Heat over low until the syrup is melted and you can stir everything to combine. Once the mixture is smooth and mixed, pour directly into the bowl with the puffed rice. Stir until everything is evenly combined. 

3. Grab about a tablespoon size of the mixture and roll it between your palms to form a stick (you may use a mold). Repeat this until all of the sticks are formed.

Plating Components/Assembly:

1. On a square plate, brush the ssamjang sauce with a pastry brush across the plate from one corner across another corner.

2. Place the grilled short rib in the center.

3. Place one piece of cucumber kimchi next to the short rib.

4. Place one piece of the sweet rice stick across the top from the cucumber kimchi.

5. Arrange the scallion salad on next to the grilled short rib.

6. Garnish the plate with micro bulls’ blood, micro lettuce, and one nasturtium flower.

About the Author

Born in South Korea and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Chef Wook Kang had an interest in food at an early age. Having been influenced by his Korean heritage and the melting pot of cuisines in Chicago, his love of cuisine led to a career in food. He has held positions at prestigious restaurants that would inspire his creativity and the appreciation of food of all cultures. The lessons and inspirations he learned from there, provided the philosophies he has established as a professional, showcasing those skills at Kendall College. Prior to joining Kendall College, Chef Kang served as the Program Chair/Director at Le Cordon Bleu. From 2012 to 2014; he was an integral part of CMC trainings across the United States, in addition to providing presentations for the American Culinary Federation and other organizations. Chef Wook Kang holds certifications through the ACF as a Certified Executive Chef (CEC), and also holds certifications as a Master Certified Food Executive (MCFE) and Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE).

Chef Wook Kang


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