Can a young, iconoclastic Korean-American chef show us the future of American food? At New York’s Momofuku, Dave Chang mixes funky Korean food and down-home country cured Kentucky hams with serious wines, loud music and communal tables. Watch as this self-confessed ‘bad-ass’ chef forces east to meet west, and old to meet new – and gets away with it.
Make the marinade for the short ribs: Combine the water, soy, pearand apple juices, mirin, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, onion, carrot, spring onions, and garlic in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat so the liquid simmers gently and cook for ten minutes. Strain the solids out of the marinade and cool it in the refrigerator. It can be stored, covered, for up to a few days.
Combine each short rib with ½ cup marinade in a vacuum-sealable bag and seal it, then seal the bagged rib in a second bag. Add the apples and pears into the bag. (If one of those bags pops, your rib is toast, and it’ll make a mess of everything, so better safe than sorry.) Put the bagged ribs in a water bath and set your immersion circulator to 60°C. Cook the ribs at that temperature for 48 hours.
When the ribs are cooked, remove them from the warm water bath and plunge them – still in their bags – into a large bowl of ice water. After they’ve been cooled, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a few days or frozen for a few weeks (defrost them over night in the refrigerator).
Cut the ribs and fruit out of their bags over a mixing bowl to catch the braising liquid; set the ribs and fruit aside.
Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil over high heat and reduce it until you have about two cups, no more than ten minutes. Reserve, covered (in the pan is fine), until you’re ready to plate the dish.
Meanwhile, slide the bones out of the short ribs. Trim off any large obvious pieces of fat, and trim the ribs into neat cubes (or rectangles) that weigh about 85g each.
Blanch the spring onions for the garnish: Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the spring onions and blanch for ten seconds, then drain and cool in an ice bath or under cold running water. Drain well and reserve.
Heat a litre or two of oil to 180ºC in a high-sided pan over medium high heat. Line a plate with a double thickness of paper towels on which to drain the beef. Fry the short rib chunks in batches as necessary, so as not to crowd the pan, for three to four minutes; they should be mahogany brown outside and warmed all the way through. Remove the fried ribs from the oil and drain on the paper towels for a couple of minutes.
Adapted from Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan.
Copyright © 2009. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.