Korean Barbeque Beef Ribs

Who doesn’t love a happy accident? After Jason purchased the wrong cut of ribs for a small dinner party, (he is the baker in the family), we were left with 3 pounds of thin beef short ribs that could only be cooked one way – on the grill! The trouble we had with that is that we didn’t have a grill and we don’t have a backyard for grilling. Because our kitchen doesn’t have a powerful exhaust fan for ventilating lots of smoke, no grilling indoors either. Our only option was to get a grill, pack our wagon, and walk a few short blocks to Golden Gate Park. Fresh off our recent camping trip, we were feeling confident about the whole outdoor cooking thing.

Korean style beef short ribs (kalbi) are perfect for summertime outdoor grilling. The thin cross cut of the rack (a “flanked” cut) makes the rich, tender, fatty meat perfect for bold marinades and hot charcoal. They cook quickly, so they have to be watched. A minute too long on a hot grill can mean the difference between perfect and charred.

This was our first go at Korean barbecue. The marinade is a mix of sweet and salty with lots of garlic and ginger and toasted sesame oil. Like several recipes we found, this one called for grating an Asian pear into the marinade. It adds sweetness, and the enzymes in the fruit help to tenderize the meat (the ribs hardly need it, but who are we to argue with the recipe). Nearly all the ingredients for this marinade are available in major grocery chains. We’ve come to love the marinade so much that we’ve used in multiple times since with Coho Salmon. Whatever protein you use, always serve with good white rice and kimchi.

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Korean Barbeque Beef Ribs
Adapted from Judiaann Woo

3 pounds Korean-style beef short ribs*
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup mirin (rice wine)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 small onion, peeled and finely grated
1/2 Asian pear, peeled and finely grated
2 tablespoons micro planned garlic
3 tablespoons micro planned ginger
1 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)


In a bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Transfer beef ribs to a gallon sized sealable freezer bag, you may need 2 (or a container large enough to hold the ribs and marinade). Add marinade, press out excess air from bags, and seal. Turn bag over several times to ensure beef is evenly coated. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.

Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium-hot. Drain excess marinade off beef. Grill short ribs, turning once, to desired doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions, if desired. Serve whole pieces as a main course or cut into smaller pieces, using kitchen shears, for a starter or party nibble.

*From The Food Network’s site: “Korean-style short ribs can be found at most Asian markets. The cut, also known as “flanken,” refers to a strip of beef cut across the bone from the chuck end of the short ribs. Unlike American and European-style short ribs, which include a thick slice of bone-in beef, Korean-style short ribs are cut lengthwise across the rib bones. The result is a thin strip of meat, about 8 to 10 inches in length, lined on 1 side with 1/2-inch thick rib bones. The thin slices make for fast cooking on the grill.”

Happy 420, y’all!

In honor of San Francisco’s delightfully naughty 420 culture, we present these, um, “green” cookies for your enjoyment. Of course, there is a little “something special” in this recipe that we simply cannot suggest a source for, so we’ll defer to your cleverness to sort that out.

We appreciate that writing about baking pot cookies may be too personally revealing, even shocking, to some. But those who know and love us best will not be surprised by the following recipe. These cookies get much of their nutty character from the herb at issue. That will come as a surprise to some, but in this recipe, we’ve used the “spent” herb from a vaporizer which leaves us with a brown but not burnt byproduct that we cheerfully save for this recipe.

The toasted weed is less potent than the green stuff, but it contains enough of the good stuff to do the trick. So even though it’s a little late to whip up a batch of these cookies to celebrate 420, it’s not too late to start saving your toasted herb for next year’s celebration.

And pass the bong…

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Brown Sugar Pot Cookies
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
yield 36-48 cookies

These cookies have been made using both an all butter recipe, as well as a mix of butter and coconut oil; light or brown sugars; and half all purpose flour along with other non traditional flours (barley, graham, whole wheat, etc.). They’re very adaptable.

14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 ounce “spent” 420
2 cups (14 ounces) packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 2/3 ounces) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon very good vanilla

In a small slow cooker, steep the butter and “spent” weed about 4-6 hours (we usually do this overnight and just unplug after a few hours of sleep). Strain through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth and gently squeeze.

Add the melted butter to a mixing bowl along with the brown sugar and salt, mix until all the lumps are out, 2-3 minutes, stopping the mixer and scraping down the bowl when needed.

In a mixing bowl, add the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Briefly whisk together and set aside.

When all the lumps are out of the brown sugar, lower the mixer speed and add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Scrape the bowl again.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour 1/4 to a 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until well incorporated, scraping the bowl as needed. Scrape off the beater and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before proceeding.

When the dough is firm, use a small sized ice-cream scoop to form balls of dough, about .75 ounce. Place scooped dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet as you work. Gently roll each of the cookie dough scoops between your hands to form smooth, round dough balls. Cover the cookies with plastic wrap and place the sheet in the freezer for at least 10 minutes or until dough balls are completely firm. The cookie balls can be stored in a plastic bag in the freezer for 6 months or more.

To get baked: Preheat oven to 325 degrees (we’re keen on the Breville Toaster Oven for baking just a couple at a time). On a parchment lined baking sheet, place frozen cookie balls in a single layer, leaving about an inch between each ball. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until just crisp on the edge and soft in the center.