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Korean-Style Short Ribs

The classic flavors of soy sauce and fish sauce provide a satisfying balance to the deep, beefy character of the short ribs in this recipe. Fish sauce, an excellent complement to generously marbled meat, stands in for salt, so you don’t need to salt. If you want to broil the ribs on the baking sheet in which they are drained and allowed to dry, be sure to line the pan with aluminum foil to avoid burnt-on caramelized juices. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine 
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce 
  • 1/4 cup Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce 
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 2 Tbs. peanut oil 
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil 
  • 7 large garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger 
  • 5 green onions, white and light green portions, minced  
  • 1 cup water 
  • 5 lb. flanken-cut beef short ribs, cut 1/2 inch thick, patted dry 
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp. Chinese five spice  

Directions:

In a large baking dish, combine the sake, soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, peanut oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, half of the green onions and the water and mix well. Add the ribs and rub on all sides with the mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator, turning the ribs once or twice.

Remove the ribs from the dish and discard the marinade. Place the ribs on a rack on a baking sheet. Let come to room temperature and air-dry for about 30 minutes.

Preheat a broiler.

Season the ribs all over with the pepper and Chinese five spice. Transfer the rack to a roasting pan. Place under the broiler about 3 inches from the heat source and cook the ribs, turning once, until nicely browned and sizzling on all sides, about 6 minutes per side.

Leave the ribs whole or, if desired, cut them between the bones into smaller pieces. Garnish with the remaining green onions and serve immediately. Serves 6.

A note from the butcher: Short ribs can be cut between the ribs (English cut) or across the ribs (flanken cut). Each slab of short ribs has a thick end, which has more meat, and a smaller end, which has less meat. Ask for your short ribs to be cut from the thick end and for the excess surface fat to be trimmed.
— Tanya Cauthen, Belmont Butchery, Richmond, VA

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The Cook and The Butcher, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, Inc., 2011).