Braised Beef Short Ribs_Bibigo

It’s Braised Meat Season: Celebrate with Short Ribs

Braised Beef Short Ribs_Bibigo

Fall is a time for feasting upon braised meat, that is a fact I think we can all agree upon. I’m a big fan of short ribs in particular – when done right, they’re so tender and decadent. Short ribs might seem a little intimidating if you’ve never cooked them before, but they’re really not. Same with this recipe shared to us from our friends at Bibigo – you might be like, “Galbijjim?! What the what?!” but if you just follow along with their instructions, it’s easy! And have you tasted Korean style short ribs? They’re absolutely delicious and a great vacation from your more typical fall beef flavors. Case closed.

Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs

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‘Lite’ At the End of the Tunnel


I’m faced with a dilemma; I live in a land of unbelievable bounty and choice, where an unlimited supply of fresh, affordable and tantalizing food options are available to me 24 hours a day, every day. My car has been transformed into an International Travel Pod, where once exotic and labor-intensive meals and delicacies are now just an arms-length away from my driver’s side window. I merely have to voice my meal mandate out loud in front of a brightly colored menu board full of photographic representations of my deepest food desires. Why, I can even ‘supersize’ my choices, all while sitting comfortably behind the wheel listening to the harmonic melodies of my own choosing.

Up ahead a smiling face awaits at an open window delicately holding my expertly prepared and lovingly wrapped meal, which they conveniently stowed in a festive paper bag. After a quick monetary exchange I’m handed my culinary travel clutche and a tall, cool waxed paper vat of sweet, sweet liquid. “Adios” I reply to my Spanish compadre-in-white. And even before I can merge into traffic my fingers are seeking out one of those golden fried sticks of masterly salted carbohydrates and starch.

Ah, yes. What’s a fat bastard to do?

Man, I am pathetic! I don’t remember what happened to me and my relationship with food but at some point I totally bought in to the  slogans and catch phrases that tell me I deserved it, I’m worth it and that it tastes soooo good! A 1220-calorie Deluxe Breakfast? “I’m loving it!” A 1090-calorie Mesquite Chicken sub? “Mmmm…toasty!” A 590-calorie pack of French fries? “It’s Way Better Than Fast Food!”

I’m to the point now where I call my bib overalls my ‘skinny jeans.’

So it’s back to the lighter fare in this column. I know that it’s not what you eat but how much you eat, however that doesn’t help when I’m making a meal and it turns out so good that before I know it I’m eating it right out of the serving dish and I look up to see my dinner guests sitting around the table staring at me in disbelief. (My friends call it ‘Dinner and a Show!’)

So here it is ESers; a tasty low-cal meal that’s healthy and good for you. Just remember, this serves 6. That doesn’t mean dinner in 6 acts, it means dinner for 6 people or 6 different meals. Just do as I say and not as I do and you’ll be squeezing back into your XXLs in no time! Enjoy.

Katt’s “Now That’s Using Your Noodle” Udon bowl

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Japanese Quinoa Salad

I know quinoa has been somewhat of a divisive subject here on the ol’ Simmer, but that only makes me want to write about it more. So, here’s this! A recipe that my roommate Dayna actually whipped up and I have stolen from her, because it is sooooo good. Healthy, light, and packed with protein (edamame plus tofu plus yep, quinoa), this has become one of my favorite post-workout snacks and a lunch-on-the-go staple. It’s super easy to throw together and keeps well in the fridge for up to about a week.


Japanese Quinoa Salad

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Spicy Bibimbap Oatmeal

Sick of the same old breakfast? Bland old cereal and fruit not doing it for you anymore? Well, today I’m here to spice up your morning routine… literally. Presenting your new favorite way to start the way: bibimbap oatmeal!

The idea for this glorious creation came together last week when I was trying out a new condiment, Gochujang, or Korean Hot Pepper Paste, from CJ Foods. I love anything spicy and/or Asian, so I was curious to see how this product stacked up to beloved old standbys like Sriracha. I gave myself a little taste test and determined that the Gochujang has a bit of a slower, more controlled savory burn that builds up after you eat it, while Sriracha is a bit more of a bright, immediate in-your-face kind of spice. Both are fantastic—and in my opinion, crucial—condiments for any home chef.

Anyway! I was thinking, hmm, what creative new dish can I make with my new chili paste? Then it dawned on me… the spicy oatmeal I read about and pinned from HuffPo last week! If it’s good with Sriracha, I bet it’s even better with Gochujang and Sriracha! And that’s how my Bibimbap Oatmeal was brought into this world. I added some complexity to my dish by combining quinoa and oatmeal, but you could easily make it only with oatmeal or only with quinoa. I made my first version with just the grains, seasonings, and egg, but in true bibimbap fashion I encourage you to mix in sautéed seasonal vegetables and/or some thin-sliced meat. Either way, make sure you have that runny yolk on top, because that makes all the difference.

Spicy Bibimbap Oatmeal

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Feeling Saucy


I currently have three — three! — kinds of soy sauce in my refrigerator.  So why is it that I can’t make a decent stir-fry?

I really do find it astounding that I’m the proud(?) owner of three varieties of the stuff that they give you for free at Chinese takeout restaurants.  But the saltwater that they put in those plastic packages is absolutely vile, so buying myself a bottle of Pearl River Bridge soy sauce was a no-brainer.  If you can get your hands on that brand, I really recommend it!  I’m sure I needed a bottle of dark soy sauce for a teriyaki recipe or something, so I grabbed a bottle of that at some point, too.

But when I pulled a recipe out of my Thai cookbook this weekend, I was required to add to my collection by purchasing sweet soy sauce, also known as kecap manis, which I didn’t even know existed until just now.  I’d go to the trouble of describing for you what sweet soy sauce tastes like, but if you just add some molasses to your regular soy sauce, it’s pretty much just that.

The dish, a Thai take on beef with broccoli in a nam pla/sweet soy sauce, was a bit overly-sweet and generally flat.  Which means it’s exactly like every other stir-fry sauce I seem to try.  I’ve varied all elements…soy, mirin, garlic, sherry, ginger, oyster sauce, sesame oil…you name it.  But I just can’t seem to get a brown sauce that ever measures up to decent take out.

So I’m begging you, dear readers:  Does anyone have a foolproof recipe or set of ingredient ratios that can help me out?  I’m perfectly happy to keep ordering out — I can’t get my scallion pancake as good as they do at China King — but I’d like to be able to whip up a good weeknight chicken and string beans every now and then!

(Photo: FotoosVanRobin)