Recipe


To someone who’s never had Korean rice cakes or tteok, it’s hard to describe what they are all about as there are endless varieties and types.

Here is one recipe of a cake-type tteok based on normal Korean rice (not glutinous rice) which is steamed resulting in a crumbly and slightly chewy texture.

I think of Korean rice cakes as a tasty and healthier alternative to wheat-based snacks since they’re essentially fat-free and can be made with very low amount or no added sugar.  But know that most times tteok is bought in a store, first of all, it may not taste good if it’s not really fresh, and secondly, it normally has a lot more sugar added.

Since finishing level 1 & 2 tteok classes at the Institute of Traditional Korean Foods last winter, I’ve been wanting to try some recipes at home.  My excuse of not…  well, it can be a pain in the ass to get rice flour in Korea!!

A bit ironic that you can buy rice flour in shops, in say, Canada or US, but in Korea, it seems that the only way to get rice flour is:

  1. order it on the internet (so I hear), or
  2. have the rice milled at a tteok shop, which is in every single neighborhood in Korea

I went with option 2.  That means buying rice, soaking for 8-12 hours (ok, I only did 5hrs), then drain for 1 hour, and finally, carry the rice to your local tteok shop for milling.

The good news is that you can keep the rice flour for a long time in the freezer.  So with the rice flour I had on hand after entering the tteok competition last Friday, I made this cake-style tteok today using a bamboo steamer as the mold for the cake.

Yum... fresh rice cake is the best. My breakfast today with a cup a coffee.

This recipe is a result of a bit of improvisation based on what my Mom wanted:  baeksargi, which is the name of “white tteok” in Korean, studded with black beans and daechu.  The black beans give a nice texture contrast and flavour to the tteok, and is a common addition to white tteok.  The daechu also adds a different texture, flavour and provides most of the natural sweetness.

I am happy with this recipe because it’s simple, relatively high on healthiness factor due to the black beans and daechu, and most importantly, it was darn tasty.

White Rice Cake with Black Beans and Daechu

Makes 1 round cake, about 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 350g rice flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • about 1/2 cup water
  • 150g black beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 Tbsp organic raw cane sugar
  • 10 dried daechu

special equipments:

  • large steamer (must fit the bamboo steamer tray)
  • 4″ diameter bamboo steamer
  • sieve for sifting rice flour
  • large kitchen towel or kitchen muslin
  • large bowl
  • parchment paper or normal white paper

Preparation:

1.  In a small pot, add soaked beans and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes until cooked.  Drain, and mix in sugar.

2.  While cooking the beans, prepare the bamboo steamer.   Take a piece of paper, and fold into quarter, then fold over twice again to make a skinny wedge shape.  Then, place the tip of the wedge in the center of the steamer and fold the paper to mark the edge of the steamer.  Cut that mark with scissors, and make 4-5 slits along both sides of the wedge.  Now, open up the paper and you’ll see a round paper with lots of slits throughout (which allow for the steam to enter).   Line the bottom of the bamboo steamer with the cut paper.  With a brush or with your fingers, coat the bottom and sides very lightly with vegetable oil.

2.  Remove the seeds from each daechu, and then slice thinly, about 0.2mm.

3.  Measure the rice flour and salt in a bowl.  Then, into a large bowl, sieve the rice flour/salt mix.  Add water bit at a time, mixing with fingers and rubbing the flour with the palms of your hands.   Sieve the mix again and set aside.

4.  Add the cooked beans and sliced daechu to the rice flour mix.  Gently toss with fingers to incorporate evenly.

5.  Pour the rice cake mix to the prepared bamboo steamer.  Level the top flat.

6.  Add water to the large steamer.  When it starts to boil, add the rice cake in bamboo to the steamer.  When it starts to boil again (you should see some steam escaping on the side), start timing 15 minutes for steaming.

7.  Turn off heat, and let stand for 5 minutes.  Take the cake out of the steamer and let it cool for another 5 minutes.  Then place a flat plate or tray on top, and flip.  Remove the bamboo and peel off the paper gently.

8.  Enjoy right away!  If not, let it cool completely and wrap in plastic wrap.  Otherwise, it will go dry very quickly.  To keep it for more than 1 day, wrap it well and keep in the freezer.

Rice flour with black beans and daechu

Rice cake going in the steamer.

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Last Friday was my Mom’s 57th birthday.  Unlucky that it fell on a day, actually a week, in the hospital, but we still managed celebrate in our own way.  I asked the day before if there was anything she wanted to eat.  She thought only for a moment, and replied, “japchae.”  This is a traditional Korean dish of glass noodles with lots and lots of vegetables, all tossed together in a light seasoning of soy sauce and sesame oil.

The next morning, I looked around the kitchen to see what ingredients were already on hand.  I searched through all corners of the pantry and thankfully found a small bit of dried glass noodles (called dang-myeun in Korean) from my Aunt’s visit a long while back.  I have never bought these noodles before, so that just saved a lot of time.

I made a quick trip to the vegetable shop a block away, and picked up a carrot, a huge bag of spinach (500g = A lot of spinach), and a bowl of Korean style mushrooms. I don’t know the English name for these mushrooms; they are about 2 inches in length, with a small grayish cap, and they can be easily spotted in shops.  All the veggies only costed 2,500 won, and I was amazed how such fresh produce can cost so little.

I should mention here that I’ve never made japchae before, though I’ve seen it being made a few times. I took out my little booklet of 10 most-loved Korean recipes – in Korean, a gift I received from my cooking school.  Wow, talk about over-complicating a recipe, how could such a simple dish look so complicated?  Maybe it’s because of a whole page full of small-font Korean words intimidate me!

Really, the dish is not complicated per se, but it does take a bit of time for preparation as each ingredient is cooked separately.  The most time consuming is the vegetable preparation, but throwing everything together in the end is easy!

The vegetables can be varied, but in general, onion, mushrooms, carrot and spinach are always in the mix.  Beef is also optional, but this dish can be easily made vegetarian.  Dried mushrooms rehydrated are normally used, but fresh can be used as well. Good point to note is eye-balling about 50/50 veg to noodles in the finished dish.  It’s no rule or anything but this dish is best when it’s heavy on vegetables.

I finally made my way to the hospital with the packed japchae in a plastic bag, a little chocolate cake I bought in a bakery, and another spinach and Korean whole grain risotto – an experimental dish.  Mom didn’t care for the latter, but I actually thought it turned out quite nicely and will follow with a post.  But the japchae was a success, and she ate a whole big bowl of it.  Mind you, she skipped lunch and was starving while I showed up really late with all the food…. Still, I will count this as thumbs up on my japchae attempt number 1.

Japchae – Korean glass noodle salad with mixed vegetables

serves 3-4

The portion of vegetables is a bit more than what you need, but I purposely loaded the dish with vegetables.  Another tip I was advised afterwards is to saute the finished japchae for about 5 minutes at the end to get nice, chewy textured noodles.

  • about 60g dried cellophane noodles (당면)
  • about 350g fresh spinach, trimmed, washed well
  • 1 carrot, peeled, julienned thin
  • 1 sweet red pepper, julienned thin (optional)
  • 4 dried shittake mushrooms, soaked, sliced
  • about 150g fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced 1 cm thick
  • 1 small garlic, minced
  • about 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil (or other similar oil) for sauteing the vegetables
  • salt for seasoning each vegetable

Seasoning for noodles:

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 Tbsp each of sugar, roasted sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, 1/4 tsp salt

Rehydrate the dried shittake mushroom in warm water for about 1 hour or until fully rehydrated. Remove the stems, and pat dry. Set aside.

Cook the cellophane noodles according to instructions, about 5 minutes, or cook until it’s cooked through but still has a slight bite .  Drain, and wash well with running cold water several times, mixing the noodles with your hand.  Drain well, then place in a large bowl.  Add the seasonings to the noodles and mix well.  (Most Koreans use disposable plastic gloves).  Set aside.

Blanch the trimmed and washed spinach in boiling water with a little salt for about 30-45 seconds or so, or until they wilt.  Drain quickly, or skim off the spinach with a strainer from the pot, and cool immediately in ice bath.  Gently squeeze the water out of the spinach. In a small bowl, season with minced garlic, salt, 1/2 tsp sesame oil.  Set aside.

Prepare the carrot into thin julienned matchsticks, and slice thinly the red pepper to the same size. Slice the shittake and fresh mushrooms into thin slices.  Cut the onion in half, and make about 1/2 cm thick slices. Saute each vegetable separately on medium-high heat with a little oil.  Ideally, the vegetable should not crowd the pan, and should be sauteed only briefly, about 45 seconds-2 minutes, until vegetable is slightly softened.  Remove each vegetable into a small bowl.  Season to taste with salt, mix well, then add it to the noodles.  Repeat for all 5 veggies.

Toss all the vegetables, including the spinach, and noodles to distribute evenly.  Using your hands works best.

Before serving, saute the whole mix on a frying pan for about 5 minutes.  Taste, and correct seasoning if needed with salt.  Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Store leftovers in the fridge.  Reheat in microwave until slightly warm, about 1 minute.

Cellophane, or clear glass noodles. It is made from the starch of sweet potato.

Fresh spinach about to be trimmed.

There are certain foods that I have pseudo-given up being in Korea in the spirit of cooking Korean food and for better health.  I speak about butter, one of my best cooking buddies, and THE secret ingredient that makes everything taste delicious.  Oh, how I do miss thee.

Luckily, there is some consolation to replace the saturated fat in the diet: the pork belly.  Yes, Koreans are absolutely obsessed with pork belly.  You can get green tea-fed pork belly, Jeju black pig pork belly, special pork belly that doesn’t smell.. and who knows how many other kinds.

All have a different price point and different taste character.  How do I know?  I have to admit that I always do my rounds at Homeplus when they are sampling samgypsal (grilled pork belly).  I just can’t resist most times.  I wonder how many silent calories that adds up with every trip to the grocery store…hmm, food for thought.

But let’s not worry so much about calories, health obsessed Koreans have a different view of this fatty meat than, say, Westerners, where fat has a bad reputation.  Whether it’s true or not, Koreans believe that pork fat, unlike beef fat, passes right through the body instead of gravitating to your love handles, and it also removes toxins from your body. Amongst the many anecdotal health claims in Korea, this one I WANT to believe.

So with that, here are pork belly two ways – one Korean bo-ssam style, and Japanese-style slow braised. I’m a big fan of bo-ssam with the burst of bold flavours that you create in your own individual morsel. It is essentially boiled pork belly slices wrapped in steamed cabbage accompanied by raw oyster, ssam jang and julienne turnip fresh kimchi.  It is particularly delicious when fresh kimchi is made in the late fall during kimjang, and when napa (baechu) cabbage is at its best with its tender, sweet yellow inner leaves.  In fact, I had it only for the first time last fall when I went over to my Aunts for her kimjang.  At the end of the day, all there’s left to do is to boil a chunk of pork belly for about 1 hour, and an array of components come together on the table from the ingredients of making kimchi. Very delicious and satisfying.

I searched for another way to prepare pork belly, a slow braised method, which I think brings out the best in this cut of meat.  I used a very simple recipe from justhungry.com for a slow braised pork belly mildly seasoned with sugar, soy sauce, ginger and sake (which I replaced with soju).  And I braised it in the slow cooker, a method I highly recommend, as not only was it easy to make, but it resulted in the most delectable soft jelly texture.  To put it simply, this dish is all about savoring the glory of pork belly itself and is a must-try recipe at home.

Piece of pork belly with julienned radish kimchi and ssam jang on steamed cabbage leaf.

The inner leaves of napa cabbage. They are beautifully yellow in colour and very sweet in taste. The very best for bossam.

BOILED PORK BELLY FOR BOSSAM

  • about 1 lb pork belly (in one piece)
  • 2 Tbsp Korean miso paste (duenjang)
  • 1 large piece of ginger
  • about 1L of water
  • about 15 cabbage leaves, steamed (either napa cabbage or green cabbage)

Accompaniments:

  • store-bought ssam jang
  • turnip (moo) kimchi, made fresh, not fermented
  • raw fresh oysters (optional)

In a pot, bring to boil the pork belly and water.  Add duenjang and ginger.  Reduce heat, and simmer about 45 minutes, or until meat is tender and cooked.

Separate the cabbage leaves and wash with water.  Steam in a steamer until tender.

To serve, slice the boiled pork in about 0.5cm slices.  To eat ssam, wrap a piece of pork, kimchi, ssamjang and oyster and try to eat at one go!

Gorgeous piece of pork belly and absolutely melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.

JAPANESE BRAISED PORK BELLY
recipe adapted from justhungry.com
  • about 1 lb pork belly with skin
  • 2 Tbsp sugar — used brown sugar
  • 1 piece of leek (about 6 inches) — used large green onion
  • 1 large piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 star anise — omitted
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sake — replaced with soju
  • 2 cups water

Cut the pork into cubes, about 1 inch or so squares.  Heat up a large pan with a heavy bottom. Sauté the pork belly cubes until browned on all sides.

Place the browned meat in the slow cooker.  In the remaining fat, add the sugar and heat until caramelized.  Lower the heat, and be careful not to burn the sugar.  Scoop out the melted sugar with some of the fat and add to the meat.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker; cover, and set on highest level.  After about one hour, set on medium to low level for about 7 hours, or until meat is very tender.

Serve the pork belly with a little of the braising liquid and a splash of high-quality dark soy sauce.

Lovely local tomatoes.



There is something so juxtaposed about “sweet” and “green” to describe tomatoes in the same sentence.  It is so unexpected that I had to write about it here.

I found these green-hued heirloom-like tomatoes at the local Wednesday market where they sell high quality seasonal produce.  There are plenty of tomatoes of different varieties available in the shops like E-mart in Seoul, but even with their bright matte-red coat, they don’t compare in flavor as they are often too tart and flavorless in the winter.

In contrast, these tomatoes are ultra sweet and have only a slight tart finish.  You can saute dices in a omelette or throw fresh dices in a pasta salad.  Both were in fact on the menu today for breakfast and for lunch, (kinda nice when you don’t have to work on a Thursday… but for the rest of the world) could be a great highlight to a weekend brunch or packed lunch pasta salad.

Keep in mind that these sweet green tomatoes are rather firmer than what you might expect.  That alone would in most cases dismiss these little guys as being under-ripe.  Somehow, though, this is not a bad attribute; the extra firmness helps to retain its shape through cooking. Mushy tomatoes are not exactly a pleasant texture unless it goes totally into sauce.

They are really so unexpectedly delicious that makes you think about where these little guys came from.  After doing a little research, I learned that these tomatoes are from Daejeo (in Busan) and they are just coming into season now.  In fact, there is a Daejeo Tomato Festival in early April.  Ha! Even Korea has its own tomato festival!

If you find these in an open market near you, or perhaps in a department store grocery, try them before they’re gone!  This was the pitch given to me, and I wasn’t disappointed.  They are not cheap but worth it at W10,000 for 10 small tomatoes, each about 2″ in diameter.

Tomato & Broccoli Pasta Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 4 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • about 125g short dried pasta
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh herbs if available

Boil pasta with plenty of salted water until tender as desired, drain and set aside.  I used orecchiette with spinach today from my luggage pantry (i.e. favorite pantry items that I carry from one country to another, this one sourced from home in Toronto).

We have an awesome steamer which can steam the broccoli while the pasta is cooking underneath. Super efficient.  If you don’t have this option, steam broccoli in a separate pot until tender, then cool in ice-cold water, and drain.  Cut into bite sized pieces.

To make dressing, zest about half a lemon and squeeze the juice from the lemon half into a large bowl.  Add grated or minced garlic clove.  Slowly pour a thin stream of extra virgin olive oil while whisking until homogenous.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and fresh chopped herbs if available.

Toss the drained pasta to the dressing to fully coat.  I find this step to be much more efficient at imparting flavour to the pasta rather than sprinkling dressing all the vegetables and pasta at once.  Toss in broccoli and tomatoes, and serve.

Turnip wrapped fresh vegetable rolls. The thinly sliced Korean turnip is soaked in brine for 30 minutes to get soft, pliable sheets.

Korean Radish Wrapped Fresh Salad Rolls

I love the idea of salad rolls, very similar to fresh thai or vietnamese rolls.  This is a Korean fusion recipe from our alcohol cooking class – this appetizer was matched with sweet pumpkin makgeolli.  I was nearly appalled by the combination of yellow mustard and peanut butter, but in the end, it tasted good.

Serves 4-6

  • 250g Korean radish, large, about 20cm diameter
  • 1/2 of each red, yellow and green sweet bell pepper
  • cucumber, peeled
  • 1/2 pack of sprouts
  • sliced ham

for brine solution:

  • combine 2 cup water, 2 tsp sea salt, 6 Tbsp vinegar, 8 Tbsp sugar.

for peanut dipping sauce:

  • combine 1 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter, 1 1/2  Tbsp mayonnaise, 1/3 Tbsp mustard, 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 Tbsp corn syrup, 1/3 Tbsp sugar, 1/3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds.

Thinly slice the radish, about 0.2cm thickness.  Mandoline would be best tool for this, but we did it by hand.  Soak the sliced turnip in the brine for at least 20 minutes.  Drain, and pat dry.

Cut the vegetables and ham about 0.2cm thickness and 5cm length.

Wrap the vegetable, ham and sprouts with the turnip sheets.  Serve with peanut dipping sauce.

Making sweet pumpkin makgeolli at class. The colour is so intensely yellow, just from the pumpkin.

This is the plastic container of sweet potato makgeolli I took home to ferment. This is day 4 - the clear liquid top layer will get larger and larger as the natural yeast ferments the sugar into alcohol. At this stage you can hear it bubbling like it's alive...it's the CO2 gas being released!

Korean style porridge, called juk, is a simply rice, normally white rice, cooked down with 5 times ratio of water to rice, simmered until the grains are broken down to porridge consistency.  It is like grits or oatmeal in many ways, or very toned down version of Chinese congee.  The dish is all about simple nourishment, especially when one is not feeling well.

I was surprised to learn of so many different kinds of porridges. The only juk I ever had growing up was the plain juk.  Not even salt is added – you can’t get any simpler than that – instead, it is served with a little soy sauce and toasted sesame oil on the side.  To me, it was comfort food, that sometimes I’d want it even when I wasn’t sick, to which my Mom would never approve or just think that I was crazy.

I was introduced to abalone porridge by Maangchi, now famous for her YouTube demos on cooking easy Korean dishes.  I wanted to try it as a way to cook the fresh, live abalone that I always see in shops and fish markets. Frankly, I’m not even aware of any other Korean dish that abalone is used in.  The first time I made it, it was good overall but I couldn’t identify the abalone taste, being it my first time to ever try it.  After making it a few times, I now realize the subtle flavour of abalone, which to me it is reminiscent of seaweed with savoury, umami undertones.

This last version is an adapted recipe based on Maangchi, my Korean friend who likes to cook, and my own minor adaptations, like the brown rice.  Obviously it is healthier to use brown rice over white, but it does change the dish significantly.  Fortunately for me, the darker colour, extra texture and flavour of brown rice doesn’t bother me, actually I prefer it, but if you want to best appreciate the delicate flavour of abalone (which is rather expensive), it might be better to use white.

ABALONE PORRIDGE

Serves 2

  • 2 large abalone, approx. 150g of meat
  • 3/4 cup short-grain brown and white rice, soaked, drained
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1-2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 1 L water

1.  Rinse the rice several times, then cover with cold water and let it soak for 2 hours.  Drain.

2.  Clean the abalone by brushing the meat and shell under cold water.  Run a paring knife against the shell, moving your knife back and forth to release the meat around the whole shell.  It’s good to do this on a plate as a lot of juices will come out that should be reserved.  Set aside the greenish-brown entrails, finely chopped.  Cut the meat in slices, then again into small pieces.

2.  Heat a heavy bottom pot on medium heat.  Add sesame oil, then the chopped vegetables and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes, then add the drained rice.  Saute on slightly higher heat to toast the rice until it changes to partly translucent colour, about 5 minutes.  Mix in the brownish-green juices and entrails from the abalone.

3.  Add 1 L cold water to the pot, stir to release bits from the bottom.  Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Stir in chopped abalone meat.  Cover, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until thick, creamy consistency is reached.

5.  Season with fish sauce and salt to taste.  At the very end, finish with just a few drops of toasted sesame oil, and serve.  (Note: can be garnished with chopped green onion or crushed roasted laver).

Abalone meat de-shelled, and the effervescent pearl shells with the entrails.

Abalone meat cut into bite sized pieces.

Abalone juk simmering away...reminds me of making risotto.

I love it when a dish comes together so much easier than it looks.  For the first time, and with guidance from my Mom, I made galbi-jjim, a traditional Korean dish served at special occasions, or rather to me, just really tasty meat on a bone that works as a great accompaniment to steamed rice to soak up the sweet ginger infused soy sauce.

Short ribs are tough cut, so the best way to treat it is to braised or stew over low heat for a long enough time to tenderize the meat.  Tonight, however, without the luxury of hours before dinner, I was surprised to hear that my mom only cooks it for about 45 minutes after treating the meat to a couple of parboiling steps, in order to remove impurities and some fat.

The braising liquid is very simple being primarily soy sauce sweetened with a little sugar and aromatic ginger and garlic.  The vegetables also add more sweetness and depth, and colour and texture contrast to the dish.  My favorite is the Korean turnip, almost as good as the short ribs (!) – I love the mild, sweet flavour inside contrasted by the dark, savory juices soaked up in the outer edges.

There is just something very rustic and homey about throwing things in a pot that come out so delicious.  And not bad for just over an hour cooking time.  The result is short ribs that is pulled away from the bone, but still held together.  Really tasty served up Korean style as a banchan, cut up into little pieces with scissors at the table.

Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs

It’s very important to use high quality ingredients, starting with the short ribs.  The meat should have some marbling without too much fat on the outer edges (this can be trimmed off), and about 1.5″-2″ meat on the bone.  The soy sauce should be the brewed kind, eg. Kikkoman, and vegetables should be fresh.  I used an old carrot in the fridge, and well, it turned out that it tasted just like an old carrot.  You can substitute some of the vegetables for things like sweet potatoes, shittake mushroom and pearl onions, though I have never tried it yet.

The cooking method in this recipe is what my Mom uses, and par-boiling meat and bones is a common technique used in Korean home cooking to remove the impurities and some fat.  As well, it is common to soak the raw meat in cold water for about 20 minutes to remove some of the blood, though it is omitted here.  I think this is a great recipe for the slow cooker, or pressure cooker for even faster preparation, without the parboiling steps, probably resulting in softer, more tender meat.

Serves 3-4

  • 1.5 lbs high quality beef short ribs, about 5-6 pieces
  • 1/4 cup brewed soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • approx. 150g Korean turnip, cut 1.5″-2″ chunks, about 6-8 pieces
  • 1/2 large carrot, cut 1.5″-2″ chunks
  • 7 chestnuts, peeled, whole
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 large chunks of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 6 daechu (also known as jujube or Chinese dates)

1.  Clean the short ribs well by rinsing with cold water several times.  In a large surface pot, place the meat in single layer and cover with cold water.  Cover, and bring to boil on high heat.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain the water, and place the meat back into the pot.

2.  Add cold water again, about 1 L, or till it’s just covering the meat.  Again, bring to boil covered and cook meat for 10 minutes.  Drain off most of the liquid (you can reserve this liquid for other uses), leaving about 1 cup liquid in the pot.

3.  Add soy sauce, brown sugar, whole garlic, ginger chunks, and daechu.  Snug in the turnip and carrot chunks, trying to fit the meat and the large vegetables in one layer.  Simmer on low heat with lid on for about 45 minutes, remembering to add chestnuts about half way into cooking.  The vegetables should be cooked through, and the meat should be tender when pierced with a metal chopstick (or knife, of course).

4.  It is best cool, and place in freezer for a few minutes to skim off the fat.  Then, reheat, and reduce the juices by about 1/2 (or when it thickens slightly and saltiness is just right).  Normally, I do this with the leftovers.  Serve the beef, cut into bite size pieces, and the vegetables on rice with a bit of the juice on top.

Short ribs in water.

Short ribs next day with rice. This was actually a different recipe, made with pureed onion, Korean pear and apple to replace the sugar. Still very tasty, but just not a fan of the texture so best to stick with sugar or fruit juices.

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