Roy Choi pioneered Korean-Mexican fusion in Los Angeles, but before he was slinging short-rib tacos, he was raised on a more traditional Korean delicacy: braised short-rib stew. Here's his mom's Korean-style braised short-rib stew recipe, which may or may not be better than every other Korean mom's version.
Korean-Style Braised Short Rib Stew
Roy Choi, Kogi (Los Angeles)
"This is that meal from home that every Korean kid says his or her mom does best. It's the dish that gets packed in CorningWare and taken to parties, the dish that creates some serious lines in the sand over friendship, and heated arguments over who seems to know it better or 'owns' the best-of-the-best title for it. I don’t know whose mom does it best, so try mine."
Ingredients for sauce
Serves 4 to 6
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/2 a white or yellow onion, peeled
1/2 cup garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup apple juice
4 cups water
4lbs short ribs, soaked in cold water in the refrigerator overnight
Ingredients for dish
8oz shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
1cup jarred chestnuts, peeled
1 cup cubed taro
1 cup carrots, large diced
1 cup cubed butternut squash
1. In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients for the sauce except 3 cups water and puree. Add the pureed sauce, plus the remaining 3 cups water, to a large pot, stir, and bring to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, remove the soaked ribs from the fridge, drain, rinse, and drain again.
3. Score the ribs across the top of the meat in diagonal slashes. When the sauce has come to a boil, add the ribs. Lower the heat to simmer and cover the pot.
4. Let the sauce and the ribs cook for at least 2 hrs over low heat, then add the vegetables, replace the cover, and simmer for another 30mins or so, until the meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked but retain their integrity. Serve with rice.