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.