Galbi-tang – 갈비탕, –湯
Galbi-tang is a hearty yet fragrant and often delicate clear beef short rib soup, traditionally offered at Korean wedding receptions. It is now one of Korea’s staple recipes and a regular entry in every Korean restaurant’s menu that’s worth its salt. (Pun intended. :)) Galbi-tang is not difficult to make; but, as all good soups and stews, it just takes some patience – that’s all. Time to cook, eh?
Serves 4 to 6
Cooking time: approx. 150 min (2.5 hrs)
You will need: a pot
- 1.5 Kg (3 Lbs) beef short ribs, roughly 6 cm or 1.5 inch thick.
- 3/4 Kg (1.5 Lbs) Korean radish, moo or daikon.
- 1 large garlic bulb.
- 1 medium sized yellow onion.
- 1 piece of ginger, at the size of a thumb.
- 3 to 6 green onions, plus more green onions for garnishing.
- 15 cups cold water
- 140 g (5 oz) Dangmyeon (Korean glass noodles).
- 1/2 Tsp soy sauce.
- 1/2 Tsp fish sauce.
- 1/2 to 1 Tbsp sea salt.
- Extra salt and pepper for serving.
- Take a large pot, fill it up with cold water, put it on the stove, turn the fire on high and bring it to a boil.
- While you wait for the water to boil, wash the vegetables.
- Peel the Korean radish and cut off the edges.
- Cut the garlic bulb in half.
- Cut the edges of the onion, without removing the skin.
- Slice the ginger in rounds.
- Chop the green onions in halves.
- When the water starts boiling, add the short ribs in the pot and blanch them for about 10 minutes.
- Then, empty the pot in a colander, rinse the meat under cold water and put it aside.
- Wash the pot.
- Arrange the blanched meat and the vegetables in the pot and add 15 (fifteen) cups of cold water.
- Turn the fire on high and bring it to boil with the lid off.
- Skim the scum and fat as required.
- When the froth is clear of scum and fat, reduce the fire to medium, put the lid on and simmer for 2 hours.
- While the meat and vegetables are simmering it’s time to soak the Korean glass noodles: take a bowl, add warm (not hot) water and let the noodles soak while pot meat and vegetable pot is simmering.
- Two hours later: turn the fire off and remove all vegetables with a slotted spoon or sieve.
- Discard all vegetables except for the radish (you’re going to use that, later).
- Make sure the bottom of the pot is clean.
- Season the stew to taste with the prescribed condiments: soy sauce, fish sauce and sea salt.
- The soup is ready.
Combining / Serving
- Slice the cooked radish into bite-size pieces.
- Chop 1 to 2 green onions for garnish.
- If the Galbi-tang soup has cooled off by the time you serve, bring it back to boil.
- Arrange the glass noodles in each serving bowl and add the sliced radish.
- Pour your boiling hot ribs and soup into the serving bowl, so that the glass noodles are cooked through.
- Garnish each bowl with green onion and black pepper.
Warm rice is classic side dish to Galbi-tang. In general, accompanying the main course with a plethora of other nibblers (in this case: kimchi, sour plums, bean sprouts, etc., is often the norm.
It is popular in Asia to soak meat in cold water for 2 to 3 hours prior to cooking. They do that in order to remove any remaining blood, and this makes a clearer soup. If you decide to do that then do replace the soaking water every hour or so.