Korean Short Rib with Crushed Avocado and Pickled Vegetables on a Sesame Rice Cracker

by Nickel & Nickel Executive Chef Trevor Eliason


Ingredients (Serves 8)

Recipe-KoreanShortRib

Marinade

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons chili sesame oil, or plain sesame oil and sambal
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, grated
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, smashed and rough chopped in 3-inch long pieces

Pickled Vegetables

  • 2 cups yellow and orange carrots, sliced into matchsticks using a mandolin with teeth
  • 2 cups cucumbers, deseeded and sliced into matchsticks using a mandolin with teeth
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Japanese seven spice (Shichimi Togarashi)

Crushed Avocado

  • 4 avocados
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Sesame Rice Cracker

  • 6 cups of vegetable oil for frying (rice oil or peanut oil are our top picks for frying)
  • 2 containers of Banh Da Me Den, a Vietnamese rice cracker with black sesame seeds
  • 3 pounds boneless short rib, sliced ¼ inch thick by your butcher
  • 1 clam shell container micro cilantro or micro arugula, for garnish

Method

Beef Marinade Preparation
You can prepare this marinade a day in advance. In a large bowl, add the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, rice wine vinegar, chili sesame oil, grated ginger, grated garlic and lemongrass. Whisk the ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.

Pickled Vegetables Preparation
Place the matchstick carrots and cucumbers in separate, tall glass jars. In a small stainless steel pot, add the rice wine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and Japanese seven spice. Bring the liquid to a simmer and then turn the heat off. Pour the pickling liquid over the carrots and cucumbers. If the liquid doesn’t quite cover the vegetables, press them down so they are completely submerged. Let the liquid cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for two hours. The pickled vegetables will last for up to two weeks in the refrigerator if properly covered.

Crushed Avocado Preparation
Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl and season with salt and lime juice. Mash with a wooden spoon or potato masher and set aside.

Fried Banh Da Me Den Preparation:
These rice crackers can be prepared one day in advance. Just keep your finished crackers in a container with a well-fitting lid and wrap plastic over the lid. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil to 350ºF. Cover a sheet pan with paper towels and have a pair of tongs handy. Place one rice sheet into the hot oil at a time. These cook very quickly—about 30 seconds. The sheets will expand and change form when they are done frying. Set each fried rice sheet on the pan to cool. Continue this process until all the rice sheets are fried, and then carefully break the puffy rice sheets into squares.

Korean Short Rib Preparation
Heat the grill to a medium-low setting— keep the heat low because this marinade tends to have flare ups that can burn the beef. Make sure your grill is clean and oil up the grates. Place the sliced beef into a dish and pour the marinade over beef. Remember to have tongs and a sheet pan ready to set the finished slices down. Grill the beef for one to two minutes on each side. Continue cooking in small batches until finished. Once all the beef is grilled, layer them on a cutting board and slice into ½-inch pieces. Set aside in a bowl.

Presentation
To assemble the appetizer, have all your ingredients in front of you: the sliced beef, crushed avocado, pickled carrots and cucumbers, microgreens and rice crackers. Take the pickled vegetables out of the jars and place them on a paper towel to absorb the extra liquid. Lay the rice crackers out, 12 at a time. Top the crackers with a teaspoon of crushed avocado, a heaping tablespoon of beef, three matchstick carrots and three matchstick cucumbers, and finally top it all off with the microgreens. Arrange on a beautiful platter, and share with a bottle of Nickel & Nickel Sori Bricco Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon!