안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo)! I want to start with a hello in Korean as a way to celebrate the recent completion of my first year of Korean classes. Living in Boston’s “Korean Town” and being a big fan of K-Pop, I have always wanted to be able to speak the language and get to know more about the country, and of course, their splendid culture of food. Working at Cambridge has given me opportunities to get to know some cool Korean experts. Today, it is my pleasure to present our guest foodie, Andrew Skarvinko, who spent almost two years in Korea before coming to work for Cambridge as an International Program Consultant.While living in Korea, I felt right at home as a native New Englander who is used to constant and drastic changes in the weather. In New England, each season’s motif is represented at the dinner table. Between hearty root vegetables during the winter and shiny, plump tomatoes in summer, certain produce marks the arrival of each season. South Korea also reflects on the passing of time with seasonal cuisine, offering special dishes to observe another successful transition. Korean seafood changes seasonally as the underwater ecosystem shifts to respond to changes in season. For example, jukkumi (small octopus), is said to taste better in the spring when their females are loaded with unfertilized eggs. Just in time for the beginning of fall, below is a recipe for Galbitang (갈비탕), a popular Korean comfort food. This beef short rib soup takes a fair amount of prep work, but is absolutely worth the trouble. Because I have my own garden and preferences, I decided to throw in a few oddities that make the dish not entirely authentic. Either way, I am sure my Korean friends would be shocked to learn that a young man (a foreigner, no less) is paying tribute to a traditional Korean dish.
Korean Galbitang Soup
- 4lbs short ribs, soaked in cold water in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours
- Soup Sauce
- 1/2 cup scallions (chopped)
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger (peeled and chopped)
- 1/2 cup fresh pear (chopped)
- 1/2 a white or yellow onion (peeled and chopped)
- 1/2 cup garlic cloves (peeled)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup mirin
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 cups water
- chili flakes (optional)
- pinches of salt and pepper
- 4-6 ounces sliced mushroom (shiitake is best)
- 1/2 russet potato peeled, cubed
- 2 carrots peeled, diced
- 1 cup summer squash peeled, quartered
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 fried egg yolk (sliced)
- 2-3 scallions (diced)
- sesame seeds
- Trim any silver skin or excessive fat off the short ribs, score the fatty sides diagonally, and soaked trimmed ribs in cold water in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.
- Combine all sauce ingredients into a food processor or blender. Pulse until almost smooth.
- Add soup sauce, meat (drained and rinsed), and 1 cup of water to a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover for a minimum of two hours (longer is better!)
- Optional step – occasionally skim any excess fatty oils from the surface of the soup to avoid a filmy liquid.
- Add vegetables. Cover for another 30-45 minutes or until tender.
- Add sesame oil and stir. Turn off heat.
- Ladle into shallow bowls and add garnishes. Serve with rice.
고마워요 (thanks), Andrew! To complete the meal, I would like to introduce one of my favorite Korean desserts – Patbingsu 팥빙수 – Korean Shaved Ice. This one I had in Busan, Korea was topped with soybean powder, almond and condensed milk. I fell in love with it at the first spoonful. The shaved ice was so soft and loose and melted immediately in your mouth, which, I guess, is a difficult effect to achieve at home. Regardless, you can still have a taste of Patbingsu using regular shaved ice and topping it with your favorite fruits, sauces and candies. The honey red bean we introduced last month can be also a great alternative.
Try it out and don’t forget to share your creation with me by emailing [email protected]!