Why Braised Short Ribs Are the Ultimate Korean Meat Dish — K-Town


Part of what makes L.A. great, is that these strip malls are actually where restaurants can thrive. There are like, 15 restaurants
on this single block. And one of the best ones here is a place called Sun Nong Dan. They specialize in these huge cauldrons of bubbling, hot galbi jjim. Oh my gosh, this dish is so amazing. There are piles of braised short ribs, rice cakes, potatoes, and of course, I’m joined by a professional carnivore, Mr. Nick Solares, from New York City. If there’s one place I bring
people from out of town, this is it, and I’m super
excited to have you try, I think the ultimate Korean
meat dish, that’s not barbecue, is this hulking pile
of freaking short ribs. Well, listen. I have profound respect for the way that Koreans treat short ribs. Profound? Profound respect. Okay. What I love about these places is yes, they’re meaty, but also, there’s a conviviality that you get in a Korean restaurant. I mean, no one– Like, before you know it, like, there’s shared soju with the next table, and like, these guys are like, helping you with their short– You know, it’s like
there’s something really, sort of, culturally
rewarding about eating here. You can’t even, you can’t
order this thing for yourself. It’s automatically for four. Whoa whoa whoa. Speak for yourself. Okay, one! The thing about this place, they literally go through thousands of pounds of meat a week. Just your style. Oh, tons. Literal tons! Yes, literal tons of meat. When you go to Korea,
if you order galbi jjim, it can, you know, they
try to doctor it up, so that it looks like a lot, but it’s usually like, four little pieces. And it’s a hundred dollars. But in America, because we’re America, and we do it big, they can
serve you basically like, a $500 portion in Korea, but
it’s like, 60 bucks here. What they do here that I like, is that they don’t just put a little bit of vegetables in there. They put some potatoes, and some carrots. They also put some rice cakes in there. – [Nick] Wow. – [Matthew] That’s somethin’. Tell me a little bit about short rib, the cut itself. It is a piece that really comes from right underneath the rib section, which is where prime rib and rib steaks, it’s really expensive. The short rib is kind of
an off, not an off cut, but it’s not part the main primal system. It’s got incredible flavor. It’s got incredible marbling, but it also has a lot of collagen, that needs to be broken down. That’s what makes, once
you break that down, they become gelatin. That’s what gives you that
really lush mouth feel. And it will eat, it’s
got a nice chew to it. I think that’s what I like about it, is that, I mean a lot, steak, steak has it’s own quality, right? But I think what’s good about short rib is it’s a little fattier and chewier. Yes. I think that’s what you’re gonna see here. (slow-groove dance music) – [Matthew] We’re eating for four, but it’s just the two of us. (Nick laughs) It’s like, when they plop down the steak, and the steakhouse, they warn you like, “Don’t touch this.” I think you shouldn’t touch this. Yeah, I think– Oh, wow. Koreans can touch it. (laughs) This is actually stone right here. This thing is stone. Oh, oh, wow. Yeah, that’s amazing. You can see the– Stone bowl. And what’s cool is that basically, the sauce will continue to reduce. This is it. This is the only thing we order here. And this is what– It looks like you ordered everything. I mean, what else could
you, what could you need? I honestly, I’ve been
thinking about bringing you this dish for years,
so I’m super excited. Well listen, I’m very happy that you think of me in this way. (upbeat dance music) It’s so interesting. It’s so tender, like a braise. They’re putting a bit of
a crust on the outside. So, it’s not like a piece
of stew, which like– So it has a mild reaction? Careful. (Matthew laughs) Commenters are gonna get upset. I had this dish at my wedding. I mean, this is the ultimate like, I mean, this would actually
only be reserved for kings. Galbi jjim is like,
the pinnacle of Korean, ’cause it’s like, who
can afford cattle in the, you know, mid-1500s in Korea? Except, unless you’re the king. So, in modern day Korea, this is like the ultimate
dish you can bring out, and be like, “I love you, “and I want you to have the best.” So, it’s like a status symbol? Totally. It’s like the American porterhouse, the Peking duck, right? I don’t find this actually to be searing, but of course, we’ve gone,
if you’ve watched my show, The Meat Show, we’ve done (mumbles)– (Matthew laughs) I’ve done jerk seasonings, and I think those are much more abrupt, and sort of much more up front. And they kind of linger. I like this because it is, it does, it’s not insubstantial, right? You can tell, it’s got some heat. – [Matthew] Yeah, I mean, it adds flavor. But you can taste the beef. – [Matthew] Yeah, exactly. That’s the thing, like, we don’t wanna mask the flavor of the beef. All right, so this is kimchi? Yeah, this is the traditional
Napa cabbage kimchi. And this is, these are sort
of like, Korean chives. So they give you almost
like a stalk of green onion. Good crunch. Mmmm, mmmm. This is sort of like the ginger at a sushi restaurant, right? – [Nick] Right. You’re like, oh, I wanna go back to the– It’s like a palate cleanse. – [Matthew] Yeah. Mmmm. – [Matthew] It’s good. It’s so refreshing. Okay, what’s this? – [Matthew] So this is
Korean daikon radish, that’s also been fermented.
And this is gonna be spicy? It’s not gonna be too spicy. Mmm, but vibrant. Yeah, I mean it has, if anything, a little bit more of that acidity. (grooving dance music) This is much more of a nurturing dish. It’s something that your mother would give to you after coming home from a hard day at work, or a hard day, you know, in the winter time. Korean barbecue, I love it. Don’t get me wrong, like that sea of beef. But there’s something about this, when you cook meat slowly over time, it develops a really
profound layer of flavor. It does taste more like a roast, or like a stew, but at the same time, because of the flavor profile, you have this really like, this nice, acidic punch from the peppers. It’s much more– You don’t get tired of eating it. I mean, don’t be afraid
to have some carrots. It’s okay. Wow. The carrot transformed, apparently. This is bizarre. It tastes like cilantro almost. Like, I don’t know what’s going on there. This, to me ranks in like, the upper echelon of short
rib cooking preparation. It’s unquestionably a beef dish, right? It’s just as satisfying from a carnivore’s point of view as eating like, a big slab of shortrib
at Black’s Barbecue, or eating like, you know a sous vide thing from some fancy chef in the city. This is my secret weapon. I bring people to K-Town, boom. – [Nick] Yeah. Thanks so much for watching. If you guys wanna see more
of my K-Town adventures– Forget that, you should
watch The Meat Show. That was the first father and son trip. I had a very good upbringing, and I ate very well. Yeah, and I take full credit for that. (laughter)

100 thoughts on “Why Braised Short Ribs Are the Ultimate Korean Meat Dish — K-Town

  1. This guy dont know nothing about Korean food in Korea. Four pcs of that galbi jimm is not a100 hundred bucks in Korea. He always makes it seem that Korean food is superior in the states compared to Korea. Its not true. I wonder where he ate out in Korea? The strictly dumpling guy who is chinese american knows korean food alot more than this dude.

  2. I've never seen a co-host on an Eater video handle Nick as well as Matt did. Usually, whoever Nick is paired up with gets stomped all over by Nick's constant interjections, his long ramblings about umami this or platonic dry-aged that, and general refusal to let others talk, (not to say that I don't like the guy, but he has some issues as a host that I've noticed after re-watching some of his old stuff). But, Matt seemed to really hold his own and maintain the leadership on his own show. Perhaps this is due to Nick's lack of knowledge on Korean cuisine or more likely due to Matt calling him out some of his "nick-isms" probably throwing him off his game.

  3. I just had Korean last night! I had short ribs too 😂😂 it was delicious! By the time I finished all the side dishes, I was completely full. Such big portions for a nice price.

  4. You had me at rice cakes; HOWEVER, you cannot beat a well aged bistecca fiorentina or a cowboy tomahawk. But I'd dip it in the galbijjim braise….

  5. Fire the korean guy. He adds nothing because for somebody who is korean, he resorts to knowledge that's common to even foreigners and at best, he's inaccurate.

  6. Kang might look like a trisomal Psy but at least he doesn't say "maillard reaction" all the time like some other Eater hosts.

  7. Two from the best hosts in this channel. More of these two and less or that Chick who eats food like she smelt fart on the way.

  8. Before the ''great consumer electronics crash of 2007" I did sales events and kept tract of my Companies merchandise to make sure places like Best Buy etc gave them the exposure they paid for. We would have training in LA every year and I used my housing allowance to stay in K Town, the food was better the rooms far cheaper than at the Hilton and I was away from everyone after hours–every one that is but the Koreans who came to observe the 4 day training sessions. They were stunned to see me in the K Town Motel they were in. Took my husband and I to dinner a couple of times each session but they wouldn't let us return the hospitality.

  9. No, the guys at the other table don't help you with your kalbi. Never happens. I mind my own kalbi and they mind theirs. The Meat Show guy is lame.

  10. I knew I saw this guy before! I was literally there with 2 friends and when they were filming we spent our entire lunch trying to figure out who the guy with the tats was. LOL.

  11. Matthew is like the asian girl with a white boyfriend, takes the white guy to asian restaurant and the white guy is surprise and say everything is so unique.

  12. both the Korean Braised Short Ribs dish (with ALL the accompanying kimchis!!!) and the Solaris Guide to St. John's Restaurant are the most delectable culinary experiences i've seen in a loooooong time. now i want to savor bubbling veal marrow lathered on crunchy toast with fresh parsley salad and gritty salt, creamy lamb sweetbreads bathed in butter, and slivers of beef heart bathed in their own juices and served with beets and horseradish creme fraiche. i've already memorized the dishes …

  13. hey Matt, you should take Nick for some good old gamja tang. I know he's more of a beef guy but I'm very curious as to what he would think of that.

  14. IN THE EXTREME GENESIS OF THIS EPISODE OF "K-TOWN": Paris Baguette is no Korean joint although it's situated in this Korean-themed plaza in the City of Angels.

  15. They passed on the melted cheese torched table side? I did as well. Most everyone orders it this way. I thought I was the only one.

    Sun Nong Dan's galbi-jjim is a little sweet for my tastes. It's amazing when it comes out hot, but when it cools down it starts to taste sweet. Almost too sweet. I ordered it spicy. It wasn't very spicy. I'm curious to see if ordering "extreme" would make it better. Other than that, meat was good quality and there are nice vegetables. Their rice cakes are delicious. Very good banchan.

    Sun Nong Dan is a tiny restaurant. It can have a pretty long wait. Even on slower nights, there are always large crowd outside. Patrons are rushed and there's no alcohol served. I don't think their galbi-jjim alone is worth the hype. I'm curious to come back and try the sullungtang (oxtail soup).

  16. My friend actually wrote the Chinese version of this restaurant's menu. It is an amazing restaurant by all account.

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