Bulgogi is addictive. There’s no other way to say it. Besides kimchi, it is probably Korea’s most popular culinary export, and for good reason. Slightly charred sweet and salty meat should be a food group all its own. Plus there’s the fun communal aspect of read more
Tis the season to treat yourself and loved ones to a special occasion meal. These Braised Short Ribs look so impressive and are so full of rich, wintry flavors-like oranges and a sweet hoisin sauce- that your guests will have no idea they took only 20 minutes of hands on time. They taste even better the next day, making them ideal for a carefree dinner party. Beef is a bit pricey these days, but it’s the holidays, so let’s splurge together!
Secrets to a Great Braise
Braising is an easy way to coax tender flavor from tougher cuts of meat, but there are some secrets to creating a really great braise:
- using a heavy pot or dutch oven that maintains a steady heat
- getting a good sear on all sides of the meat; don’t overcrowd the pan and don’t rush this step
- deglazing the pan to get all those yummy browned bits into the sauce
- using deeply flavorful liquids to create a rich sauce
- adding aromatics like ginger, orange zest, cinnamon sticks really amps up the flavor
Sear the Short Ribs
I start making braised short ribs by getting a really good sear on all sides of the short ribs. A proper sear adds so much flavor, both to the meat itself and the sauce. Plus it makes the meat an attractive bronzed color. Sear the ribs in batches. Too many at once causes steam that prevents the nice brown crust we are looking for.
When all the ribs are seared, keep them in a bowl and heat more oil in the same pot. Now we sauté all the aromatics to make an umami rich sauce for the short ribs.
And at this point, all the hands on work is done, and we let time and low heat work their magic. After about an hour and a half, the meat should be fork tender. If not let it go for another 15-20 minutes. The sauce will be dark and glossy and so fragrant! I like to add some fresh orange zest curls as a garnish.
This lusty dish deserves some equally sexy costars:
- My Ginger Saketinis are the perfect adult beverage pairing
- Mushroom Dumplings for a fun starter
- Miso Maple Squash is a wonderfully seasonal side
- Vanilla Poached Fruit rounds out this stress free, largely make ahead, meal
Give these delectable Braised Short Ribs a try and let me know what you think. Rate and leave a comment, and tag us in your holiday feasts @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs (also known as boneless flanken short ribs or boneless chuck short ribs)
- 3 Tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 inch piece of ginger, sliced
- 2 dried arbol chiles
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup oyster sauce
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup mirin
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
- Trim the beef of any thick exterior fat and gristle. Cut the beef into 3-4 pieces. Set aside.
- Heat a dutch oven or deep heavy skillet over medium high heat for several minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the pot.
- Add half of the beef to the pan, making sure the beef pieces do not touch and you are not crowding the pan.
- Cook the beef for 1-2 minutes untouched so that there is a nice dark brown sear. Turn the beef onto another side and again cook for 1-2 minutes. Repeat this for at least 1-2 more sides making sure each side has a good dark crust. Do not rush.
- Set the beef aside in a bowl and repeat with the remaining beef.
- Add the final tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the onions, ginger, garlic cloves, and chiles. Saute for 1 minute and then add the cinnamon stick and star anise. Continue cooking for another minute.
- Peel the zest off of the orange, excluding as much of the bitter white pith as possible.
- Wrap the onion and garlic spice mixture along with the orange peel in a piece of cheesecloth about 12” x 16” and tie it to close.
- Put the beef back into the pan along with any accumulated juices and put the cheesecloth pouch on top.
- Add the sauce and water to the pot. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium high heat and stir to blend all of the sauce ingredients, scraping the bottom to get all of the browned bits.
- Then cover the pot with a lid and lower the heat to medium low.
- Cook for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Use a fork to check the beef. It should slide into the beef easily. If not, then cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer the meat to a large platter. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce the sauce for 5-10 minutes until it is thick and syrupy. Pour the sauce over the meat.
- Serve immediately.
*Like all braised dishes, this beef is even better on the second day. Leftovers keep in the fridge for several days. You can also freeze leftovers. Defrost in the fridge overnight and then warm over medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
Keywords: beef, short ribs, hoisin sauce, holiday meals, braise
Soboro Beef bowls are a popular family meal in Japan. Soboro refers to highly seasoned and minced protein typically served with steamed rice and veggies. Endlessly customizable, I make mine with ground beef, scrambled eggs, and snap peas. You can choose ground chicken or turkey, read more
I’ve never met a single person who doesn’t love noodles, have you? When the world seems to be a scary place, there’s nothing more comforting than a huge bowl of noodles. And while noodles are already a pretty quick dish, who doesn’t love speedy tricks to get them from stove to table now? And that’s where this Ramen Hack comes in. Using the ultra convenience of packaged instant ramen noodles (yes, the instant ramen you ate in college!), this meaty and veggie packed dish is a one pot wonder. Perfect for back to school, late night dinners, or anytime you want something universally appealing and fast. Let me show you how easy it is to make this Ramen Hack.
Instant ramen is mostly known as fare for college kids on a tight budget. But there are many reasons why supermarkets are flooded with these packages. They are quick, cheap, filling, and flavorful. Even a regular grocery store in the US will carry multiple brands and if you stroll through the aisles of an Asian grocery store, your mind will be blown by the incredible variety available.
Pre-boiled and then either flash fried or air-dried, these noodle blocks are not only great for a quick snack, but they are also the perfect canvas for plenty of creative meals. The sheer number of ramen hacks available attest to the fact that instant ramen is something everyone likes and can make-no intimidation factor. So if cooking is not necessarily your thing, let this instant ramen hack be your gateway to successfully cooking meals.
I use ground beef for this in an Asia homage to that American favorite, beef and macaroni, but you can swap it out for chicken or turkey, even the ground meat substitutes would work well. And if you want to use up some leftover roast chicken or even some deli meat, a package of tofu, or a handful of veggies, go right ahead; there are no rules in a hack!
As with any hack, the secret is in the sauce. And that salt heavy flavor packet is something that has to go. Instead, we use a couple of simple pantry ingredients that everyone should have: soy sauce, sugar, and toasted sesame oil to flavor the noodles.
The one ingredient you must include to enjoy the full benefits of this hack, is kimchi, the real star here. It adds flavor, texture, and you get to feel good because a cup of kimchi gives you several veggies at once! Many times people will ask me what to do with older kimchi that may have been sitting in the back of the fridge for a couple weeks. Is it still good, should I chuck it, how do I use it? Any Korean worth her salt would tell you that you are sitting on ingredient gold. Because kimchi rarely goes bad.
You can eat kimchi starting from the day you make it and months later, as long as it has not spoiled. If you have kept it refrigerated and used a clean utensil every time you’ve reached into the container, you should be fine. As long as there is no signs of spoilage, like fuzzy mold, a change in texture, or the kimchee juice has turned gloppy thick, you can happily continue to enjoy your aged kimchi.
One of the best reasons to have ripe kimchi is that it’s the only type that can flavor your soups, stews, rices, and pancakes in that authentic way. You need that pungent sour punch to really give your food a good zing zing. It’s just not the same if you’re using some fresh kimchi. So save your kimchi and never toss it!
This Ramen Hack is on the table in 10 minutes tops, and I know you’re going to love it! Please take a moment to rate and comment on the recipe below, and please show us your Ramen Hacks by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen.
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 4 scallions, minced and separated into white and green parts
- ½ pound ground beef
- 1 cup ripe napa kimchi, chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2–3 instant ramen noodle blocks ( approximately 250 grams total weight)*
- Heat a large 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil, swirl the pan to coat the surface and add the ground beef. Let it cook, undisturbed, for a minute.
- Add the white part of the scallions plus the kimchi and stir- fry for 2 minutes, using a chopping motion with your spoon or spatula to break up the meat and combine it with the vegetables.
- Add the soy sauce and sugar and stir fry for an additional minute.
- Turn the heat to high. Add the ramen noodles and 2 cups of water. Cook for 30 seconds and then flip the noodle blocks. Cook for an additional minute.
- Using chopsticks or tongs, stir the noodles into the meat mixture and continue to cook for an additional minute. The liquid will have mostly evaporated and the noodles cooked al dente firm. If your ramen noodles are extra thick, you may need to add a little more water (1/4 cup) and continue cooking for a couple more minutes.
- Add the reserved green part of the scallions and sesame oil. Stir to incorporate. Serve immediately.
*Some instant ramen noodle packages are significantly larger than others. You can use any kind you like but keep the total weight around 250 grams for this recipe. Also use noodles that cook in 3-4 minutes or you will need to add a little more water and cook for a longer time.
Keywords: ramen hack, kimchi, instant ramen, noodles, one pot meal