Glaze Beef Short Ribs In Gochujang For A Spicy Upgrade

Korean short rib dish
Korean short rib dish - Let Geo Create/Shutterstock

When it comes to pepper-based condiments, few offer versatility quite like gochujang. An essential component of Korean cuisine, gochujang is a fermented chili paste with a complex palate. The condiment brings notes of umami, salt, sugar, and, of course -- some heat -- although in varying degrees. Plus, its paste-like texture enables many applications. It easily dissolves into marinades and makes a terrific glaze for tasty meats like short ribs.

With their high-fat content, short ribs are ideal for slow cooking. The beef cooks down into a very tender pull-apart texture, softened by melted fat. And the gochujang glaze imparts a delicious textural finish, caramelizing the exterior to an appealing dark hue. Simply mix the condiment with sweet ingredients like honey and mirin and brush onto the beef prior to cooking. The gochujang already contains some sugar; however, the additional sweetener will amplify caramelization. Plus, the pepper paste offers a dose of heat and savory complexity that won't overwhelm the beef. It's the perfect condiment for upgrading short ribs.

Read more: 13 Underrated Cuts Of Meat You Should Be Grilling

Gochujang Imbues Complex Spiced Flavor

bowl of gochujang plus chillies
bowl of gochujang plus chillies - Nungning20/Getty Images

To maximize the glaze's desired textural result, you'll need to cook your beef short ribs under high heat. Either throw them in the oven at a high temperature— over 400 degrees Fahrenheit — or finish the meat in a broiler for a few minutes after slow cooking. Prior to glazing, slow-cook the short ribs either by stewing on the stovetop or placing them in a pressure cooker. You can also add gochujang to the cooking liquid in a slow-cooked recipe. Feel free to employ gochujang alongside your usual braised short rib recipe, but if you normally use aromatic ingredients like red wine or BBQ sauce, it's best to adjust the recipe, or those flavors will clash with the spicy paste's flavor profile. Once the glazed slow-cooked short ribs are ready, you can serve them with the rest of the slow-cooked stew ingredients. The meat should pull apart and the glaze will provide an extra layer of rich flavor.

Employing a gochujang glaze is a modern twist, not found in traditional Korean cuisine. Short ribs are classically braised in a rich stew called galbi jjim, which mixes mirin, soy, and sugar for a sauce absent of the peppery paste. However, that doesn't mean the technique isn't worth experimentation. A gochujang glaze bridges Western and Korean short rib preparation techniques, creating a mouthwatering new result.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.