I hurried home on Sunday afternoon because I was in the mood to spend the rest of my weekend cooking. The Dr. bought fresh perilla leaves from Koreatown before we left for Montauk in preparation for all the sashimi that we were going to eat after a planned fishing trip for striped bass. We didn’t catch any fish that weekend (neither did anyone on the entire boat), so he saved the leaves to use it for something else. His kalbi tang, or Korean beef rib soup, last Tuesday was so comforting that I badly wanted to recreate it at home.
It reminded me of the Filipino bulalo, or bone marrow soup, only less fatty. Browning the short ribs made the stock beefier and toastier. The perilla leaves added an interesting kick to it–I don’t know how else to describe the taste but medicinal. And really, after a pot of this soup with some warm white rice and kimchi, you’d feel a hundred per cent better already.
6 pieces of beef short ribs
1 napa cabbage, chopped
10 pieces perilla leaves
2 tbsps soy bean paste
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1. In a large Dutch oven, add some oil and brown all sides of the beef ribs. Remove from the pot and set aside.
2. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the used oil. Try to get the darkest bits out from the oil. In the remaining oil, sauté the garlic until light brown and the onions until soft. Add the soy bean paste and stir.
3. Return the browned beef ribs in the pot and add 5 to 6 cups of water. Cover and simmer for about 2 to 3 hours. Check after 20 minutes to remove the impurities that float to the top. It’s okay if you discard some of the onions.
4. When the meat is almost falling off the bone, add cabbage and perilla leaves. Cook for another 10 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Season with some more soy bean paste if it needs extra salt.