One of our favorite food is Korean Kalbi, or barbecued beef short ribs. We usually order this at one of the local fast food Korean restaurants, but it’s pretty pricey; you get 3 thin short ribs, a couple of scoops of steamed white rice, and a choice of 4 side dishes (kim chee, bean sprouts, tofu, etc.) for a over $12 a plate.
My husband’s main complaint about the local restaurants isn’t the the price or the serving size of the kalbi, it’s about the flimsy plastic utensils they provide which usually snaps in half the moment you try to cut into the meat. Hence he has decided not to patronize any of the fast food style Korean barbecue joints.
There are sit down Korean restaurants where you can grill your own meats, the meal comes with many side dishes, soup, and steamed rice; but they also come with a hefty price tag. The last time my girlfriend and I stopped at one for lunch it cost us a little bit over $65, and that’s without drinks or tip! Not to mention that was the least expensive barbecue dish on the menu! The food was good, specially the kalbi, but I’m sure we won’t be repeating it often.
To solve all these issues I’ve found a great Korean Kalbi recipe to make at home. I make it of our Sunday barbecue and it was a big hit with my family. I used thin cut boneless beef short ribs which I threaded on to bamboo skewers to make them into kebabs. You can use bone-in short ribs and don’t have to thread them on to skewers, I do however recommend that you use the thinner cuts so that the marinade will infuse the meat better.
I served this with steamed white rice, macaroni salad, and kim chee cabbage; it was even better than the plates we get at the Korean restaurants at less than half the price! (The short ribs cost $6.97 a pound, if you get the thin cut that’s 6 short ribs).
Another way to serve this is on small white corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, just like the Korean Kalbi Tacos from the food truck in L.A.! We served it this way for my mom’s 80th. birthday party a few years ago.
Just in time for your Labor Day barbecue! Here’s my recipe!
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Makes 18 skewers
3 lbs. thin cut boneless beef short ribs (you should get 18 short ribs. You can use bone-in ribs if you prefer)
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbls. fresh ginger – finely grated
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbls. minced garlic
1 tbls. white sesame seeds
1 tbls. black sesame seeds
2 stalks green onions – chopped
1. Cut short ribs into thirds if you will be threading them on to skewers, if not then don’t cut them.
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves.
3. Pour marinade into large ziplock bag.
4. Put meat into marinade and marinate in the fridge overnight.
5. Thread meat on to skewers and barbecue on the grill to desired doneness. If you’re not making kebabs then cook ribs on the grill until done.
Serve hot immediately off the grill.
Looking for more grilling inspiration? Check out PersonalCreations.com and see how people grill around the world!
Lumpia is the Philippines’ version of Egg Rolls. Like so many other Asian countries the Filipino Lumpia comes in many varieties.
There is Lumpiang Sariwa or “Fresh Lumpia” that are very thin crepe like wrappers that are filled with stir fried vegetables, shrimp, meats, or a combination of them. Lumpiang Shanghai are meat filled deep fried egg rolls that are tightly wrapped to look like thin cigars or are cut into smaller pieces when served as appetizers, they are usually served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. Then there are fried lumpia that closely resemble spring rolls. Fried Lumpia can be filled with just about anything including ripe bananas which are actually called Turon or Banana Lumpia.
Fried Lumpia is a favorite in my house; I make them by the dozen and freeze them so we always have some on hand. Making fried lumpia is pretty easy since I usually toss in whatever I have on hand including ground beef, green beans, tofu, carrots, bean sprouts, potatoes, and onions. You can put any combination of meats, seafood, and veggies in a fried lumpia, it’s really not complicated. Whatever ends up as my filling I always serve it with a garlic vinegar sauce, my family loves it!
Today I’ll share my version of Fried Lumpia. I’ll list ingredients just remember they’re all pretty much optional and you can toss in whatever you prefer; but use at least 3 of the optional items in your filling. You can buy frozen egg roll wrappers at any Asian Market, most packages contain 25 wrappers.
1 or 2 Package Egg Roll Wrapper – thawed
1 Lb. Ground Beef – but you can use pork, chicken, turkey, or shrimp instead
1 Small Onion Chopped
1 Tbs. Garlic Minced
2-3 Potatoes – Cooked and cubed (optional)
2 Cups Bean Sprouts (optional)
1 Package Firm Tofu – cut into small cubes
1 Cup Shredded Carrots (optional)
1 Cup Fresh String Beans – Thinly sliced (optional)
1 Cup Shredded Cabbage (optional)
1/8 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Egg slightly beaten (to seal wrappers)
Oil for frying
1/2 Cup White or Rice Vinegar
1/2 Tsp. Garlic Minced
1/4 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Tsp. Chili Pepper Flakes (optional)
Heat about 1 Tbl. of oil in a wok or large skillet.
Saute chopped onions until they start to turn translucent.
Add minced garlic and saute for about 1 minute, be careful not to burn the garlic.
Add ground beef or whatever meat you are using. If you are using shrimp add them later after veggies have cooked as shrimp cook quickly and will over cook if you have to cook veggies.
Add salt and pepper. Cook until meat is well done and crumbly.
Add beans, carrots, cabbage if you are using them. Cook until soft.
Add Bean Sprouts and cook until soft.
Gently stir in Tofu and soy sauce.
Remove from heat, drain liquid from pan, and set aside.
Thaw egg roll wrappers and remove from package.
Separate wrappers being careful not to tear. Place on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. You will be using one wrapper at a time so keep the others under the damp paper towel to keep them from drying out.
Take one wrapper and place on flat surface.
Place about 1 to 1 1/2 heaping tbl. of filling along one side of the wrapper.
Fold over both ends and roll like a burrito.
Brush some beaten egg on the wrapper to seal.
Place on a plate if you will be frying the same day or place in freezer bag if you plan on freezing them for later.
Repeat until you use all the wrappers.
When you’re ready to fry heat about 2″ of oil in a pan or use your deep fryer.
If you are frying the ones you just made, fry them in hot oil until they turn dark golden brown.
Place them on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
If you are frying frozen lumpia, carefully place FROZEN lumpia in the heated oil. Do not thaw them as they will get too soft and fall apart. Fry them until dark golden brown.
To make the sauce just add all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and stir.
Other options for the fillings include shredding sweet potatoes, chopped water chestnuts, sliced bamboo shoots,and pretty much anything you like.
Asian restaurants specializing in Korean Fried Chicken seem to be popular these days. Bonchon Chicken, a franchise from South Korea has opened over 100 restaurants around the country.
So what is Korean Fried Chicken and how does it differ from other fried chicken? Korean Fried Chicken or KFC as it’s known to some is chicken that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. But what sets it apart is that sticky sweet and spicy sauce it’s dipped in. It really is delicious!
If one were to travel to South Korea you’d find many fast food joints dedicated to this dish; each one touting their own special sauce. But traveling to South Korea, or just about anywhere right now, doesn’t seem to be a realistic option for many of us. So as I’ve been sharing some of my favorite foods from all over the world. In short bringing home the flavors and memories of my travels. Today I’ll share a recipe for Korean Fried Chicken, my family says it tastes just like the real stuff!
This recipe takes a bit more effort to make and probably a trip to the Asian Market for a couple of the ingredients, but believe me it’s well worth the effort. In an absolute pinch if you can’t find Goochujang Paste, the Korean Chili Paste, you can substitute Sriracha chili sauce or a Thai Chili Paste, it will be close but not the same.
The recipe is divided in 4 stages; the marinade, the coating, the sauce, and the garnish. You can make the sauce ahead of time and reheat just before serving. To maintain the crispiness chicken should be served as soon as it’s fried, it looses the crispness as it cools. I prefer to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, but boneless skinless breasts can be used as well.
Korean Fried Chicken
6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs cut into bite size chunks
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. White Pepper
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 1/2 Cup flour
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp. Chili Flakes
Oil for frying
2 Tbs. Gochujang Paste
2 Tbs. Honey
4 Tbs. Brown Sugar
4 Tbs. Soy Sauce
1 Tbs. Minced Garlic
2 Tsp. Minced Giner
1 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
1 Tbs. Sesame Oil
1/4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbs. White Sesame Seeds
1 Tbs. Black Sesame Seeds
1/2 Small onion thinly sliced
Mix Marinade ingredients together and pour into a Ziplock bag.
Add chicken and coat with the marinade.
Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 1 hour.
Heat a large pan of vegetable oil, make sure you have about 2 inches of oil in the pan.
Mix the coating in a bowl.
Lift pieces of chicken from the marinade and let the excess drip off.
Drop into the hot oil until it’s cooked. Coating should be deep golden brown and if you cut a piece of chicken in half the meat should not be pink.
Drain cooked pieces of chicken on paper towels and keep warm until all the chicken has been fried and the sauce is done.
Place all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and stir.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
Place cooked chicken into a large bowl, pour sauce over it and gently tossed until all chicken pieces are coated with sauce.
Move to serving dish and garnish with cilantro, onions, and sesame seeds.
I’m a Filipina who grew up in NYC and now lives in Hawaii. Growing up rice was always part of the breakfast menu, actually it was part of every meal. This my have been considered weird back in the 60’s in NYC, but when my family moved to Hawaii in the late 70’s we fit right in.
Growing up we always had an electric rice cooker filled with rice in the kitchen. Left over or day old rice was fried with garlic for breakfast the next morning, we called it “Sinangag”. These days Filipino restaurants call it “Garlic Fried Rice”. Whatever you call it Filipino fried rice is delicious with fried eggs and breakfast meats, preferably Filipino cured meats like Tocino or Tapa.
My grandmothers would make fried rice every morning adding their own twist. Traditionally I think it was made by stir frying left over rice with garlic. My family added soy sauce and green onions to this mix, so that’s pretty much how we make it today.
In Hawaii which is a melting pot of different cultures the Filipino garlic fried rice has melded with other Asian versions of fried rice. On the islands an order of Fried Rice is a meal by itself covering most of the basic food groups; dairy, grains, meats, and veggies, depending on what you put in it.
I look at making fried rice like I do making Lumpia or Eggrolls; you toss in whatever you find in the fridge and call it a day. I simply build ingredients around day old rice (using fresh rice isn’t recommended as it can get too mushy). Fried Rice can be as simple as stir frying garlic and rice or as elaborate as tossing in seafood, meat, and vegetables, like what you’d find on a Chinese Restaurant menu.
If I’m serving it as a side dish then the simpler version usually works best, but if I intend for it to be a complete meal then of course I add more “stuff” in it. So today I’ll share my “recipe” for easy fried rice. Measurements really aren’t that important because it pretty much depends on how much day old rice you have. If you do decide to make it using fresh cooked rice then decrease the water when cooking so that the rice is drier and not mushy; it helps to make fresh rice in the morning and letting it “dry” a bit before making fried rice for lunch or dinner.
Easy Fried Rice
Cooked White Rice – preferably day old rice
1-2 Tsp. Minced Garlic – adjust to taste
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce – adjust to taste and the amount of rice you have
Scrambled Egg chopped into pieces
Meat – I use canned Spam or Portuguese Sausage but you can use any type of breakfast meat you want like bacon or sausage – cooked and diced
2-4 Stalks Green Onions Chopped
1/2 Cup Frozen Green Peas (Optional)
2 Tbl. Oil
Cook and dice your Egg and Meat – set aside.
Heat Oil in Wok or Frying Pan
Stir in garlic and cook about 45 seconds. Don’t let it burn – lower heat if you have to.
Add cooked rice and mix well with garlic. Break up any large clumps of rice.
Drizzle soy sauce over rice and stir in making sure it is evenly distributed. Add more a little at a time if needed. Don’t over do the soy sauce as your fried rice will be too salty.
Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix in to the rice evenly.
Garnish with extra green onions if desired. Serve hot.