Explore Korea’s classic meals and snacks during the holidays
The living room is filled with laughter as the entire family crowds in. Bustling mothers in their breathtaking Hanboks (Korean traditional attire) prepare the big feast while grandparents with silk pouches hand out pocket money to their grandchildren. All these heartwarming scenes can be witnessed during the biggest, most festive season of the year in Korea: Seollal, or Korean Lunar New Year.
Seollal is a holiday for celebrating the future and waving the past goodbye. However, the most memorable part of Seollal is undoubtedly the food, one of the many aspects that makes it distinct from other Asian countries that also observe Lunar New Year. While Korea is famous for a variety of dishes, one of the most iconic Seollal staples is “galbi-jjim,” otherwise known as braised beef short ribs.
Seollal and Galbi-jjim: An Inseparable Duo
Every year during Seollal, Korean families gather and prepare a feast to celebrate together. Some of the main dishes include tteok guk, kimchi dumplings, modeum jeon(assorted Korean pancakes) and the much-anticipated dish: galbi-jjim.
Galbi-jjim is a nutritious meal that is historically associated with affluence and abundance, making it perfect for celebrating the New Year. Traditionally viewed as an aristocratic cuisine, it stands out amongst other Seollal dishes due to its mild, sweet and tender meat that falls off the bone. Paired with a generous serving of vegetables including golden oak mushrooms, carrots and potatoes, it is all braised in a sweet sauce.
Delve into this hearty meal with our recipe to recreate the Seollal classic in the comfort of your own home. From selecting the finest beef short ribs to infusing the dish with a harmonious blend of sweet and savory notes, this slow-braised stew is a masterpiece that is ready in just a few hours.
- 2 1/2 pounds short ribs, in 1 1/2–2-inch pieces
- 1/2 small yellow onion, cut into chunks
- 1-inch ginger, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2–3 scallions, divided
- 4 dried golden oak mushrooms
- 1 1/4 cup bibigo Original BBQ Sauce
- 8 ounces Korean radish, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 dried jujubes
- 12 ginkgo nuts, peeled
- 1/3-pound Korean rice cakes (Optional)
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Soak short ribs in cold water for 30 minutes and wash excess blood from the bones.
- Add short ribs to a large pot along with onion, ginger, garlic, the white parts of the scallions and the golden oak mushrooms. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered for 10 minutes, skimming and discarding residue from the top. Remove the short ribs and mushrooms and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Strain the stock and discard the remaining aromatics. Skim the excess grease from the stock and set aside.
- Rinse the pot and return to the stove. Add the cleaned short ribs, bibigo Original BBQ Sauce, and 3 1/2 cups of the reserved stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium heat and simmer, covered, for 30–40 minutes. Cook thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients. Use a vegetable peeler to trim off and smooth the edges of the radish and carrot. Cut golden oak mushrooms into quarters. Slice the remaining scallion greens into small pieces and set aside.
- Add radish, carrot, golden oak mushroom and jujubes to the pot, bring back to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Boil, covered, for 30–40 minutes. Add ginkgo nuts and rice cakes. Then boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes until the sauce is thick and shiny.
- Transfer stew to a serving bowl and garnish with scallion pieces and sesame seeds.
Elevate Your Galbi-jjim With These CJ CheilJedang Products
A highlight of this Lunar New Year, the sweet and succulent galbi-jjim is a dish any meat lover will relish. To make for an even more flavorful dish, add bibigo Original BBQ Sauce that offers the “best flavor for beef,” as one Amazon reviewer put it.
To add a savory, nutty taste to the table that goes perfectly with the sweetness, try CJ CheilJedang’s multigrain series: Sotbahn. Sotbahn is a traditional high-fiber and high-protein Korean snack which comes in four variations including mushroom, sweet yakbap (rice with dried food and nuts), root vegetable and grain.