Archive for the ‘ Grilling ’ Category


This recipe for sweet and spicy pork ribs is one of my family’s all-time favorites.  Seems like every time the warm summer weather rolled around, we could expect my Mom to whip up a batch of these sticky ribs to eat out on the patio on a warm night.  Their flavor is so unique and the dish itself so craveable that I was stunned to learn how simple they are to prepare.  If you have a can of sliced peaches in heavy syrup, a pinch of crushed red pepper and a bottle of supermarket barbecue sauce in the pantry, then you’re in business.  Now, I’m a nut for good, slow-smoked, true barbecue, but if you need to feed a crowd and don’t have the time or equipment needed to produce the genuine article, these will do just fine.  Serve with some baked beans and grilled corn and you’ve got a dang good BBQ dinner.

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You know that smell you catch a whiff of during those warm summertime evenings when everybody and their uncle is out in the backyard barbecuing?  I’m not talking about that run-of-the-mill grilled hamburger smell that wafts over your neighbors fence every weekend, I’m talking about that intoxicating, exotic aroma of soy and garlic marinated beef mixing with the sweet smell of wood smoke.  Haven’t smelled it?  Well, odds are you don’t have a large Korean population in your neighborhood, so let me frame this scenario a little differently.  You know the Korean spot in your local mall’s food court?  You know that ridiculously enticing aroma you smell each time you walk by?  That’s probably kalbi, or marinated and grilled beef short ribs.

While beef short ribs have grown in popularity over the past few years, I’m surprised to learn that many people have never had them prepared in this style.  They are a notoriously tough cut of meat that benefits from long periods of slow, low-heat cooking, but when cut in the flanken style (perpendicular to the bone), marinated in a sweet and salty aromatic mixture for a couple of days and cooked quickly on a hot grill, you have a whole different experience at hand.  This is the type of eating that is perfectly suited for the backyard.  In fact, this is the type of dish that allows one to get in touch with their primordial ancestry.  This isn’t filet mignon were talking about, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.  Kalbi requires a good set of chompers and a willingness to get your hands (and face) dirty pulling the sweet, succulent meat from the three tiny bones that run the length of the rib.  In my mind, a little messiness is well worth the experience of eating these sweet and savory morsels.  Not only do they pack an incredibly beefy flavor, but the perfect amount of charring on the grill will bring out the soy, garlic, sesame oil and sugars in the marinade, perfuming the air with a mix of aromas that are certain to get your salivary glands flowing.

Next time you’re looking to grill something a little bit out of the ordinary or spot some beautiful flanken-style beef ribs at the grocery store, do yourself a favor and try out this recipe.  Your neighbors are guaranteed to be jealous.

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Warm Marinated Flank Steak SaladI’d been eating Thai food for a while before a friend of mine insisted that we order Nua Yang Nam Tok, or Waterfall Beef Salad as a starter. While I’d had American beef salads before – usually romaine lettuces topped with freshly grilled strip steak – I had never come across one in which nearly the entire “salad” was the beef. Having already familiarized myself with the typical (and sometimes boring) Thai staples of Pad Thai and Chicken Satay, this dish caught me by surprise with its intensely refreshing impact on the palate.  Its been years now since I first experienced Thai beef salad, and there is seldom an occasion when I do not order this salty, sour, and fiery dish before a Thai feast.

I’ve sampled and cooked many versions of this salad in the past, and I can honestly say that Andy Ricker’s of Pok Pok restaurant in Portland, Oregon is one of the most authentic tasting I’ve ever come across. If you’re ever in the Portland area, do yourself a favor and stop by his restaurant for some of the most amazing Thai BBQ (and Fish Sauce Chicken Wings) you may ever enjoy in the United States.

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