When I was a kid, before my younger brother was born, I remember going to a Chinese restaurant in my hometown. I actually live within walking distance of this restaurant now, but to my great sadness, it has since closed. I loved it as an adult because it had cheap lunch specials that were filling and delicious. I loved it as a kid because of the won-ton soup and the appetizer platter. I don’t remember everything on the platter, but I remember the crab rangoon, and I remember the skewers of beef that were set on a sizzling iron grate up on top. Moist, chewy, and very beefy tasting.
I wasn’t expecting these short ribs to taste just like that beef, but it was a very pleasant surprise. Actually, I decided to make this dish because I had never before seen Korean-cut short ribs at our market, and I really wanted to use them. New cuts of meat always excite me. I learned that traditionally, Korean-style short ribs are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, Asian pear, onion, and a carbonated sweet beverage such as 7-Up. Apparently I had forgotten to get the pear and soda when I returned to the market, but scrounging around in my kitchen noticed I had an overripe peach and some strawberry lemonade leftover from a party. Figuring I would be losing an essentially traditional nuance but that a fruit and a sweet drink would more or less do the trick, I did the swap and was very pleased with the results.
Strawberry-Lemonade Short Ribs (2 servings)
- 1 1/2 lb. korean-style short ribs
- 1 ripe peach
- 1 small onion
- 1/3 c. soy sauce
- 1 c. strawberry lemonade, or sweet liquid of your choice – traditionally, 7-Up is used
- 1 tbsp. chili garlic paste
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger or 1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
- Place short ribs in a glass baking dish. Grate the onion and the peach over the top, and then add the remaining ingredients. Give the mixture a little stir on top of the ribs to make sure the ingredients are fairly evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight – flip short ribs once if you remember.
- Preheat your grill to high heat. Remove each short rib from the marinade, allowing excess to drip off, and then set on the grill. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side.