Sweet Soy Marinated Short Ribs

I’ve received two recipes for short ribs in the past couple weeks (from my mom and Euge) and gave my mom’s recipe a try last weekend. It’s super quick and easy, and, of course, delicious. I almost venture to say that they were almost as good as my mom makes. Don’t worry, Euge – I’ll try your friend’s recipe soon too, and maybe even make both at the same time at some point so there can be a rib-off!

The trickiest part of making short ribs is getting the short ribs. First of all, they don’t usually sell short ribs unless maybe if you go to an asian supermarket – in regular supermarkets you usually only find “long” ribs (~6″), and then you have to have them cut into short ribs (~2″). The tricky thing is, most meat counters close around 7 or 8PM, and by close at 8, they mean the butcher leaves at 7, and by leaves at 7, they mean you’re out of luck whenever the butcher shuts off and cleans the equipment, which is usually around 6. It’s probably also a good idea to go to a store where they sell ribs by the pound as opposed to pre-packaged from third parties, because I’m not sure if they’ll cut packages (I decided not to risk another disappointment and went to a place where they sold ribs by the pound, i.e. Andronico’s as opposed to Safeway); you’ll also get better choice and can get exactly the amount you need.

So now that you’ve got the short ribs taken care of, what do you do to them?

For 1.5 lbs short ribs (~5 servings),

1/4 C soy sauce
3 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp garlic, flattened, peeled and coarsely chopped
1-2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Combine ribs with marinade in a large airtight ziploc bag and let marinate ~ 1 hr, turning the bag a few times to coat evenly.

1 Tbsp oil
1/3 C brown sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch, mixed with 2 Tbsp water
1-2 Tbsp scallions, chopped

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok and add ribs, reserving the marinade. Cook over high heat for 1-2 min, turning to brown evenly.
  2. Add the reserved marinade, bring to a simmer over low heat, and cook, covered until mostly done, about 7 min, turning ribs once or twice during.
  3. Add brown sugar and cook until reduced by 1/3 or 1/2, ~ 2 min
  4. Lower heat and add cornstarch mixture, cook until thickened, ~ 2 minutes.
  5. Add scallions during the last minute, and serve garnished with more scallions.

Beef Stew

One of the first recipes I made out of Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food was Beef Stew. I missed my mom’s cooking and I remembered beef stew fondly for its savory, hearty comfort and ability to be paired deliciously with thick noodles for beef noodle soup. It was a rousing success the first time and now that I’ve made it three times I figure it’s definitely something to blog home about! If you like it as much as I do, the best part is that it makes plenty for leftovers. So here, paraphrased from Alice Waters, is a very simple recipe for Beef Stew. This might be illegal… maybe?

  • ~3 lbs beef chuck, cut into 1-2 inch cubes and seasoned with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 4-6 strips of bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • a couple tablespoons brandy (optional)
  • 2 or 3 each of carrots and parsnips (optional), chopped into large pieces
  • 1-2 medium onions, quartered
  • a couple sprigs each of thyme, parsley, rosemary/savory
  • 4 whole cloves, each stuck into a quarter of onion
  • 2 star anise
  • a couple peppercorns
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • a small head of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ~4 cups chicken or beef broth
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or wok and cook bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned but not crisp. Remove bacon.
  2. In batches, brown the beef on all sides in the bacon fat and transfer to a large pot.
  3. Pour off most of the fat from the skillet and cook the carrots, parsnips, and onions with the herbs, anise, and peppercorns until lightly browned. Transfer to pot with the beef.
  4. Add the brandy to the skillet if using, and the red wine. Scrape up any browned bits from the skillet and boil the wine until reduced to 1/3. Pour over the beef and vegetables in the pot.
  5. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and broth to the pot. The liquid should come up at least 3/4 of the way up to the top of the beef/vegetables; add more broth if needed. It does not need to cover the ingredients entirely.
  6. Cook at barely a simmer for 2-3 hours or until meat falls apart when tested with a fork. Season to taste with salt and serve over rice.