Braised Beef and Kimchi Sandwich Recipe

A Korean-inspired sarnie. With lots of tender rib meat.

by Max Halley
Jan 4 2017, 10:46pm

Servings: A lot
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 4 hours


for the short ribs:
4 beef short ribs
1/2 yellow onion
6 garlic cloves
1 bunch spring onions
2 ribs celery
1 carrot, halved
1 (3-inch) piece ginger, thinly sliced
soy sauce
fish sauce

for the sandwich:
1 shin ramyun packet
a handful of sweet potato starch noodles
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup denjang
1/4 cup gochujang
1 carrot
1 eggplant
1 zucchini
1 yellow onion
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
apple cider vinegar, to taste
2 big heaped teaspoons of salted fermented shrimp
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 mango, peeled and finely chopped
1 cucumber, grated
kosher salt, to taste


1. Heat the oven to 300°F|150°C. Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high and cook the ribs, turning as needed, until browned all over. Place them in a large roasting dish or Dutch oven.

2. Chuck in half an onion (skin etc still on), some garlic cloves in their skin (crushed completely with the base of your hand), any manky old spring onions you've got lying round, perhaps a gnarly bit of celery, definitely an unpeeled carrot chopped in half, a huge piece of ginger chopped into a few bits. Scraggy bits of parsley in the "chiller box" or whatever it's called. In they go. Then a big slug of light or dark soy sauce, an even bigger slug of vinegar (whatever you've got, literally anything. Malt? Yup? Balsamic? Fuck it, chuck it in) and any spices you want. Some star anise you've had in the cupboard five years or that woeful bit of cinnamon, a load of dried chili flakes, and a massive tablespoon of black peppercorns and coriander seeds into the water. Put shit loads of fish sauce in too. As much as you dare. Stop at 2 tablespoons if you're really devil-may-care (this is in lieu of salt). Bring back up to the boil again, then turn it down to 1/4 of the gas power and let it tick over. Blub, Blub. A gentle simmer shall we say!?

3. Make a cartouche: basically, a circle of grease proof paper that can be pressed onto the top of the water all over its surface and running up the inside. This traps all the steam in. Out of grease proof? Pop one of those cheap little side plates you probably have, upside down, straight in the pan on top of the ribs to keep them submerged. I'd make a cartouche. Pop it in the oven and cook it for 2 to 3 hours, until it is super tender. Pull the meat off the bones and set it aside.

4. Sieve the cooking liquid into another pan and start boiling the hell out of it. You want to reduce it down until it's nearly gone, a mere shadow of its former self. Once this has happened whack it in a pot or a bowl or something and keep it. I guess it'll be about 100ml.

5. When you want to make the sarnie, put as much meat as you fancy into a saucepan with a blob of the reduced cooking liquor and some water and heat it till it's steaming and very soft and broken down all nice.

6. To make the crispy noodles, take one pack of instant potato starch noodles. Deep-fry the noodle cake whole until it goes really golden. Fish it out and rest on kitchen roll before breaking into crumbs and small chunks and setting aside. Sprinkle half the powder from the little pack the noodles came with and keep the other half for later. Do the same thing with the vermicelli noodles. Wait. For a moment you think nothing's going to happen then BAM they go crazy and come out of the oil like snakes from a charmer's basket. Lift them out and sprinkle the remaining half a packet of the pre-pack ramen-type noodle powder on the naughty little snakes.

7. I make my own mayo but I don't see why you should fucking bother. Take a bowl and slap a load of the Hellman's in it. Mix Equal parts of denjang and gochujang into the mayo. How much of each depends on how strong or hot you like it. I like it really hot and really strong.

8. Slice a carrot, an eggplant, and a zucchini and a peeled kept whole onion as thinly as possible. Wafer thin. I used a mandolin but your normal vegetable peeler'll do the job fine apart from on the onion which you'll have to do with a knife. Put your griddle pan on the heat for a full ten minutes, so it's so hot you're afraid of it. Put the strips of veg in the pan and burn them, actually burn them, on each side and put them in a bowl.

9. Once they're all burned, toss them with the sugar and start liberally adding vinegar (I used Korean apple vinegar). How much vinegar? Difficult to say. Once you given the thing a really good stir, it should be a little mushy in a nice way. Try it. It should be sweet and sour. If it isn't balance it yourself with sugar and vinegar. Add the fermented shrimp, sesame oil, and mango. Be careful with sesame oil it's easy to make everything taste of it, like cloves. Toss the cucumber with salt and let it sit for 5 minutes before squeezing out all of the liquid. Toss that in with everything else and give it a stir.

10. Once all the components are ready, cut your bread. Smear a proper naughty quantity of the mayo all over every bit of the inside top face. Pile the meat up on the bottom making sure it covers every bit. Squeeze a bit of lemon or drizzle some vinegar on the meat. Salt it if necessary. Sprinkle the deep fried packet ramen type noodles all over the beef for crunch. Add the kimchi and burnt veg salad all over that. Break up the snakes a little and get them on top of that and some lettuce. Squish the lid on and cut in half. Eat. Close eyes and think of Korea. Over and out.