This is Korean braised pork ribs cooked my family style – quite salty and spicy and not at all sweet. Eating this dish always brings back my childhood memories – my absolute favorite but it also was a bit of a torture eating these because they were so spicy. It could be that I simply couldn’t handle the heat but I really think the Korean chili peppers were a lot spicier than the ones I get today in California. After eating about two ribs, my lips would start to hurt and then would start throbbing because it was so spicy and salty. Towards the end of the meal, my lips were basically numb. But I couldn’t stop eating…it was just too good…. my mouth is watering now just thinking about it! Unfortunately, I never learned how to make this dish before I left home. But kudos to my sis #2 for making this for me and giving me the recipe.
I don’t think I ever saw this dish served at a restaurant anywhere and I thought it was just one of those Korean foods that are made at home and not at restaurants. But when I searched on the Korean internet for Dweji Kalbi Jorim (braised pork ribs) recipes, I was surprised to find that there were no recipes similar to ours. Our ribs have no sweetness at all whereas all of the recipes I saw had some sugar and cooking wine which means there is added sweetness. They also usually have garlic which I don’t find necessary. In terms of ingredients, this recipe has very few – only 5 not including water. So this would be a great recipe for students or singles who really don’t (or even want to) have an extensive pantry of seasonings and ingredients.
Servings: 4 Time: prep 5-10 min + cooking 1 hr 15 min Difficulty: Easy
- 2 lb pork spare ribs
- 3/4 C + 2 T regular soy sauce (Kikkoman)
- 1 oz ginger (about 4 slices, each 1/4 in thick)
- 8 Korean green chili peppers (풋고추 putgochu) – use less if using spicier pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 3/4 C water
- 1/8 ~ 1/4 tsp ginger powder (optional)
The pork ribs I used in this post was bought at Whole Foods Market (because they had a great sale!) but you can use your favorite ribs from your local store.
These St Louis style (breast bone removed) spare ribs didn’t have too much fat and was not too big – perfect for our jorim.
1. Slice the ribs into individual pieces and soak them in cold water for 5-10 minutes to draw out the blood.
2. Prepare the ginger by peeling and cutting 4 to 5 of 1/4 inch thick slices.
3. Cut the Korean green chili peppers into half or thirds (approx 1 1/2 inch long pieces).
I like to use Korean peppers because of their sweetness and milder taste. If these are not available to you, you can substitute Jalapeno peppers. Since Jalapeno peppers are considerably hotter than the Korean peppers, the amount should be reduced to 3-4 peppers depending on how spicy you want it.
3. In a pot, add the pork, water, soy sauce, ginger and black pepper. And optionally add the ginger powder.
- Bring it to a boil on medium high heat.
- Lower heat to medium, cook for 10 min.
4. Add about half of the chili peppers.
- Lower heat to medium low and simmer for 25 min.
- Taste a little of the sauce to make sure it’s not too spicy for you. If it’s ok, add the remaining chili peppers and simmer for another 20 min. The sauce should taste really salty – the meat will taste much less saltier so don’t worry.
This picture was taken when it was about half way done. Right after I added the rest of the peppers. And now you are ready to enjoy this wonderfully spicy, salty but the most mouth watering pork ribs you will ever have! Sprinkle some fresh green peppers on top to add some color.
- Because pork ribs have a lot of fat, you will see a lot of fat on top of the pot when it’s fully cooked. You can skim off the fat with a spoon if you are going to eat it right away. If you have some time, let it cool in a pot overnight or in the fridge and you will see the fat solids form on top. This is much easier to take out. But don’t take out all the fat – you need some for it to taste good.
- This dish is quite salty so you definitely need some rice to help you out. Serve a sweet and tangy salad or a creamy potato salad with this dish (and of course, kimchi) and you will be in heaven!
- The ribs will actually taste better when you reheat them the next day or the day after. Remember to add a bit more water every time you reheat.