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My Friend Sue's Famous Easy 'Kal Bi'

Easy 'Kal Bi' marinated beef short ribs
T. Susan Chang for NPR /

This is adapted freely from Sue's recipe. Any errors or disappointing results are my fault alone. Sue serves it with an array of delicious sides traditionally used with kal bi, which simply means "ribs" in Korean. I'm usually so desperate to gobble down the meat that I just serve some rice and the easiest green vegetable I can find.

Makes 1 marinade for 4 to 6 servings. Can be doubled, tripled, etc.

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 3-inch knob ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/3 cup rice wine or light beer

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons sesame oil

3 pounds beef short ribs, cut a half-inch thick across the bone ("flanken-cut")

Drop the garlic and ginger into a food processor and pulse briefly with the rice wine or beer until it's coarsely pureed. Add the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil and blend briefly again. Pour the marinade into a gallon-size zip-top freezer bag, add the meat and zip the bag shut, squeezing out as much air as possible. Massage the bag briefly to distribute the marinade evenly over the meat. Marinate at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Preheat the grill until very hot. If using gas, heat only one side of the burners. If using charcoal, place the charcoals all to one side. When the grill is hot, start grilling the meat in batches over the hottest part of the grill. Sear the meat until nicely browned on both sides, but don't let the flames flare up and char the meat. When the meat is browned, move it to the unheated side of the grill. (Keep it on the far side of the grill if you just want to keep it warm; move it to the center if you'd like it a little less rare.)

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