Boneless Grilled Short Ribs with Asian Flavors
Short ribs have become synonymous with long cooking. But go to any Korean restaurant, and you’ll see think slices of short ribs grilling over high heat, getting charred and smelling sensational. My interpretation of the Korean classic starts with a sweet-salty marinade of soy sauce and sugar with ginger, scallions, garlic, and sesame oil thrown in to really perk up the flavor. Then it’s on to the super-hot grill, where the slices get glazed with brown sugar and rice vinegar and become all caramelized just before you tuck them into lettuce leaves or heap them over rice.
Start with a 3-bone plate of short ribs cut from the center of the rack. The bones should all be the same size, approximately 9 inches long. Each plate should weigh about 5 pounds. You can ask the butcher to remove the bones, but you can also easily do it yourself.Position the plate so that the bones are running from top to bottom on the work surface. Your goal is to remove the bones, keeping the meat as intact as possible. Start with the bone farthest to the right. Run a boning knife along the entire length of the right side of the bone from top to bottom, making an incision down the full bone. Continue running the knife along the bone to loosen all of the meat and eventually lift out the full bone. Repeat with the remaining two bones.
Once the bones are removed, you’ll be left with a relatively flat piece of meat, except for the strips of meat remaining where the bones were. Cut these off and reserve to cook (keeping in mind that they will cook much more quickly), or reserve for another use. The remaining large piece of boneless meat will weigh 2 1/2 to 3 pounds and will be square-shaped.
Lay the square of meat on the work surface and cut it into three even square pieces. To ensure evenness of the slices, look at the thickness of the meat and make two small incisions to visualize and guide where you will be cutting. The goal is to finish with three squares of meat, each about 1/4 of an inch thick.
The meat is now ready for Boneless Short Ribs with Asian Flavors.
Cooking Methodbarbecuing, grilling
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, game day
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturegarlicky, hot & spicy, meaty, savory, smoky, spiced, sweet, umami
- One 3-bone rack of plate short ribs, bones removed, and thinly sliced (see Notes)
- 4 garlic cloves peeled, halved, germ removed, grated on a Microplane grater
- 1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions, white and green portions
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped or grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground fresh black pepper
- Pinch of crushed hot red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 cups rehydrated bean threads or white rice
- 1 head Bibb or other lettuce
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chili paste, preferably Sriracha or sambal
Combine all of the marinade ingredients. Place the beef in an extra-large resealable plastic bag (or divide between two large bags). Pour over the marinade, squeeze out any excess air from the bag, and close. Roll the bag to evenly coat all the meat in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 6.
Preheat all grates of well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to medium.
If using the pepper flakes in the glaze, combine the vinegar and flakes in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and let sit for 1to 2 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Add the sugar and water to the jar and shake to combine the glaze ingredients. Set aside.
Remove the meat from the marinade, letting any excess run off into the bag. Lightly pat the meat dry with paper towels.
If you have a grill press(es) or firebrick(s) wrapped in heavy-duty aluminum foil, it is ideal to keep on hand to keep the meat from lifting up and also to maximize caramelization. Place the beef on the grate, Close the lid and cook, without moving the meat, until it is well marked and lightly caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes, flipping, jockeying, and stacking, as necessary. Flip the pieces of meat, close to the lid, and cook, without moving it, on the second side for 5 to 7 minutes. (if there are any slices that are slightly thicker, they may need an additional 1 to 2 minutes.) Give the glaze a quick shake to reincorporate any ingredients that may have settled. Brush each piece of beef on both sides with the glaze and flip, jockey, and stack as needed. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to tighten the glaze.
6. Remove the meat from the grill and slice on the diagonal into slices about 3/8 inch thick. Serve family style alongside the bean threads, lettuce, cilantro, peppers, and paste. Let each person assemble his or her own rolls.
2013 Adam Perry Lang