Recipes Marinades for Beef

Okay – so here’s the easiest bulgogi/kalbi marinade recipe ever!

4 parts soy sauce

2 parts white sugar

1 part rice wine (Korean Ch’eongha or Japanese sake)

Minced Garlic to taste (try 1 clove or 2 teaspoons per 2 cups of soy sauce)

Minced Ginger to taste (try 1 teaspoon per 2 cups of soy sauce)

Black Pepper to taste (try 1 teaspoon per cup of soy sauce)

Sesame Oil to taste (try 1-2 Tablespoons per 2 cups of soy sauce – and remember that sesame oil is NOT for cooking – it is for flavoring!)

Chopped Green Onion or Chives to taste and for garnish

Koreans will add chopped red chili peppers for heat to the marinade. Other traditional ingredients are missing as well – but I feel that the above captures the essential flavors of this marinade.

If you’re braising marinated beef chuck short ribs on the bone, please brown and sear each rib in oil over high heat first, then put them all into a bowl with the marinade and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Then put the ribs and all the marinade into a shallow oven-proof pyrex lasagna dish and cover tightly with foil.

Bake the ribs at 350F for 1.5 hours. Check the meat. If it doesn’t fall off the bone, then cook up to 30 minutes more. If the dish needs more liquid, pour in some warm chicken broth up to about 1/3 of the way up each rib.

If grilling marinated meats on the barbecue, marinate the raw meat overnight in the fridge. Grill on coals as you would any other meat, but keep in mind that the sugar in the marinade will burn quickly, so don’t try to do this with thick cuts of meat if you’re not prepared to find it raw in the center.

This marinade may work with chicken and pork, but it is ideal for rich braising meats like ribs, oxtails and shanks.

© 2019 Paul Timman