Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Haiku short rib stir-fry

Kalbi is my friend
I’d climb Mt. Fuji for it
Or have it at home

Ok, this one’s a bit complicated. So I don’t expect you to want to make it. At its heart it’s just a stir-fry – with some exotic ingredients. The picture above is the final product, still in the wok, ready to serve. The white cubes are konnyaku (more about that later). The yellow strips are bamboo pith (also, more later).

The best thing I can tell you is that I barbecued (braised) my short ribs for an hour and a half with plenty of onion, soy, Chinese cooking wine, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and other stuff I don’t even remember now.

This isn’t true kalbi (Korean short ribs), which is made by marinating the beef for a long time and grilling it for 2 minutes per side. Perhaps you’ve had it in a Korean restaurant sometime.

The noodles came from the refrigerator section of my Chinese supermarket. The package said they were suitable for lo-mein, although the noodles we typically associate with lo-mein are better.

Look closely at the picture of the (still frozen) slices of short ribs. Instead of being cut with long bones, they are cut across about ¼” thick. In the lower part of the picture you can make out the little ovals of bone along the top and middle of the meat.

Konnyaku is made from yams. It resembles tofu, but only in the way it looks. It has no taste, but absorbs flavors from everything around it, similar to what tofu does. I don’t know how to describe the texture. When you bite into it it gives some resistance, but then is soft. It’s a fun thing, though I think I won’t buy it again.

The bamboo pith: yep, it’s from bamboo, comes dried, and needs re-hydration, which is what you see it undergoing in hot water above. It’s slightly chewy and brings (like the konnyaku) only texture to the party.

On the plate you see (from the top, clockwise) scallions, garlic, grated carrot and the pith. Up in the left hand corner is the konnyaku soaking in water. It comes that way, just like tofu.

This was fun and delicious. The mise en place took a bit of time, but what else was I going to do after combing through drawers throughout the house, cleaning out crap in anticipation of our move.


Jenn said...

Wow, talk about some exotic ingredients! While you are probably right and I won't make this, it was still really fun to learn about all those new never know when that knowledge will come in handy! The stir fry looks really good Stephen!!

Mary said...

Now that is a meal I could enjoy. You really did a great job. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Pam said...

I love short ribs! The dish looks creative and delicious filled with interesting ingredients.

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