We've had some teaser days of sunshine which hopefully means that a long spate of sensational weather is just around the corner. And that means it's time to break out the grills, smokers and hibachis and make ready with the tongs -- it's grilling season!
Now, we can all appreciate how grilling brings out the natural flavor of any meat, seafood, poultry, vegetable or fruit, but there's nothing wrong with enhancing that natural goodness with a great marinade either. My favorite is the amazingly versatile Kalbi.
Galbi or kalbi generally refers to a variety of gui or grilled dishes in Korean cuisine that is made with marinated beef short ribs in a ganjang-based sauce (Korean soy sauce). In Korean language, galbi literally means “rib” and can often indicate uncooked ribs.
Kalbi gives meat a delicious sweet soy flavor and an amazing tenderness; the optional red pepper flakes add a little fire. in addition to the traditional ribs, I've found this oh-so-addicting marinade to be quite wonderful with flank steak, pork tenderloin, chicken, sea scallops, shrimp/vegetable kebabs and salmon (see photo). It also works wonderfully well to marinate some sushi-grade tuna in it and then serve chopped into a martini glass over a little shredded lettuce, sliced avocado and shrimp (see photo).
Being stuck indoors for the winter provided ample opportunity to experiment with ways to use this marinade beyond grilling. My latest experiment was Kalbi jerky - I marinated a flank steak overnight then sliced it cross-grain, removing as much fat as I could, and placed the pieces in my dehydrator for 16 hours - it turned out astonishingly delicious (see photo).
Note: If you make the jerky, it should keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, although in our house the entire batch was consumed within two days!