Slow Cookin’ the Old Fashioned (Ethnic) Way

Korean Style Beef Stew (Kalbi Jjim). Credit: YELP

A few months ago, our old routine that had organically developed over the course of 3+ years was turned on its head – we switched preschools at the same time as I changed jobs. While the changes were, in their own right, small, the aggregate effect was enormous, resulting in the loss of precious time at the end of the day. You wouldn’t think that this is a big deal except for the fact that I now get home at 6:30 and by the time that I prepare dinner, my kids don’t eat until at least 6:45 or later (they used to eat at about 6:00). Dinnertime then leaches into bathtime, which then overlaps with bedtime…and you get the picture…

The recent cold spell in weather gave me an idea – I had a craving for Korean food but didn’t have the time or patience to prepare it. After looking around, I spotted my slow cooker and the inspiration to cook Korean short ribs (Kalbi) in the slow cooker was born. I retrofit the traditional Kalbi recipe to work in a slow cooker, turned it (and the rice cooker for steamed rice) on timer when I left home in the morning, and returned to the most AMAZING smells that reminded me of the smells that used to come from my mother’s kitchen.

OMG…the “Crock Pot” is where it’s AT!

I am always looking for new ideas and crock pot recipes that can be made in three steps or less (because as you may know, I really dislike cooking, so the less steps, the better). I have spent the past few nights combing through Pinterest and pinning recipes that I’d love to try, but if you have any good recipes, PLEASE share the with me! Bonus points if it’s NOT a tomato-based stew (as hubs does not like tomato-based liquid foods…).

In honor of my recent culinary adventures, here is the recipe that started my new slow cooker cooking kick:

Kalbi-Jjim (Slow Cooker Style)

Traditionally, these are made with short ribs, but I was unable to find what I wanted, so I just used beef roast and cut it into large stew-sized chunks which, admittedly, is not as rich as short ribs…but they got the job done. 

3 pounds beef short ribs (~2 lbs of roast if you end up having to use that instead)
2 to 3 scallions, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 inch of ginger, chopped
1 small onion, sliced
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
1/2 lb of Korean radish (if you cannot find Korean radish, which tends to be round, you can use daikon radish), cut into square chunks.**
1 small Asian pear (or 1/2 medium), sliced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil

If you have time ahead of time, soak the ribs in water for about a half hour, then remove from water and pat dry. If time is not available, soaking is not needed.

** I have heard that some people use potatoes, but I’ve never tried it.

Mix all wet ingredients, brown sugar, scallions, garlic, and ginger together. Place meat in slow cooker, place carrots, radish and pear on top and pour sauce on top. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Serve spooned over steamed rice. DELICIOUS!



4 thoughts on “Slow Cookin’ the Old Fashioned (Ethnic) Way

    1. Be careful…if you have a dog (I THINK you do??), your dog WILL go bonkers and try to jump up on the counter the entire time this is cooking. I have to put the crock pot ALL the way back to the wall so that the dog cannot get to it. The smells are just so tempting…

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