Foodie Friday: Korean-Style Beef Stew

I have been doing trial and error with many dishes that the family likes to eat - some success, some failures. Family members have different preferences, and unfortunately for me, I need to plan / prepare / cook at least two dishes every meal time.  On occasion, I try slow-cooked dishes like stews.  When I am able to buy good cuts of meat and get inspired by what I find in the grocery, I cook family favorites, like this beef stew which I learned from my mother (but hers is always better!).

I was very surprised that many people liked this the photo of my beef stew which I posted on Instagram and Facebook (click photo above) three weeks ago. Several of my friends also asked for the recipe. I've been cooking without measuring for the longest time - I just eye-ball everything and taste as I go.  I know that's the reason why my dishes are also inconsistent, hehehehehe! For the food posts I share here, I do try my my best to measure to get close to my desired taste and flavor and be able to give you a decent recipe to try (and pray you'll like it!). =) Ultimately, I encourage you all to taste as you cook and adjust everything to your preference. Yumminess is, after all, subjective.

Confession:  I failed to re-create this and realized I have to post this now. Hence, measurements below are just approximate as I recall how I cooked this.  Be sure to have a standby boiling-hot water so you can adjust to your desired amount of sauce.


1.5 kilos beef short ribs, cubed
1 tablespoon rock salt
1-2 liters water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons sliced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 small onion, cubed
1 small carrot, cubed
1 Korean pear, cubed
1/4 cup Kikkoman soy sauce
1 - 2 stalks leeks, sliced diagonally
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

To prepare:
Boil about 1 liter water in pot, add salt once boiling.  Put in beef and cover. Simmer for 1 hour.
(Make sure water is enough for beef cubes to be all submerged.  This rinsing process of the meat in salted boiling water with half-cook the beef, and also remove fats and impurities.)
Slice ginger and leeks, set aside.
Lightly toast sesame seeds on non-stick pan for a few minutes. Set aside.
Boil a liter of water in a kettle, on stand-by.
After 1 hour, remove from heat and throw out water with floating beef fats.
Save about 1/4 of the boiled water, set aside.
Remove and drain beef.

To cook:
In the same or separate pot / casserole, heat oil in medium heat and sauté ginger until fragrant.
Add soy sauce and sugar to the ginger, garlic, onion, carrots and caramelize for a few minutes, until syrupy.
Mix in the beef short ribs until well coated and continue to caramelize for about 5 minutes.
Add pears and leftover beef broth, and pour a few more cups of water from the kettle until beef are half-submerged.
Mix and cover pot. Simmer.
Check after 45 mins. if water has reduced to a thicker sauce.
If desired, and add more water to thin the sauce, add Kikkoman and/or sugar by the tablespoon, and adjust to your taste.
Add sesame seeds and half of the leeks.
Cover pot and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, or until beef is fork-tender.

Serve in a deep dish and garnish with extra sesame seeds and leeks. Enjoy with steamed rice!

When I cook beef cuts like this, it usually takes at least 2 hours to boil and simmer to tenderize. I don't have a Crock-Pot or pressure cooker. How do you cook your stews?

Hope you like this beef stew! =)

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