Posted in The Flavors of Asia

Kalbi Jim: My Personal Comfort Food

Long-time readers of this blog are aware that I usually consume copious amounts of chocolate whenever the going gets tough. However, most people don’t know that I actually crave for something savory, meaty, and incredibly filling whenever things are already hitting the breaking point. Times like these call for stew – better still, kalbi jim, the classic Korean beef stew.

Kalbi jim uses beef short ribs that are simmered for a lo-o-o-ong time in a most appealing mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, sesame seeds, spring onions, and red pepper flakes. The meat is done when it has gone dark, having absorbed the goodness of the other ingredients, and falls off the bones. There is a comforting umami-ness to this dish, an indefinable savor that is amplified when it is eaten with hot white rice and chilled beansprouts flavored with salt, pepper, and sesame oil.

I don’t cook this at home, though; come to think of it, I’ve never even tried! It’s a rather fiddly dish to do, so I leave it all up to the experts. I know that virtually every upscale Korean restaurant here in the Philippines serves this stuff, but I prefer the kind served at those Kimchi (or Korean BBQ) stalls found in most food courts. The meat is always beautifully tender and the sauce most nourishing.

I have to admit that the meat can fall apart in my mouth: all the better for it to build me up and keep me from going to pieces.



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

2 thoughts on “Kalbi Jim: My Personal Comfort Food

  1. Yep, love kalbi jim too! To put it simply, Men Love Beef Stew! All kinds! 😀
    Try the Vietnamese beef stew over at Pho Hoa, masarap din! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s