48 hour Sous Vide Short Ribs (Momofuku)

momofuku 48 hour sous vide short ribs
This post is part of a larger post titled Foodbuzz 24×24: Culinary Tour Around the World – Sous Vide Style. In that post, I created a 3-course dinner showcasing the sous vide technique on a variety of cuisines. These short ribs were the “Korean” portion of that meal.

I decided to pick this dish for my third entree in my crazy sous vide filled dinner for a few reasons. First, I wanted to challenge myself by trying to make dishes that come from well-known, well-respected chefs. Second, I wanted to choose dishes that spanned several different cultures.

Thus, I was thrilled to find a sous vide recipe in David Chang’s new book, Momofuku.  Perfect! Not only is David Chang;s Momofuku empire one of the hottest out there right now, his food is Asian, which is different from most of the French things you see in the sous vide world.

This interesting dish is David Chang’s modern take on kalbi, a traditional Korean marinated shortribs dish.

This recipe is not really horribly hard except for the fact that you have to plan well in advance. The cooking alone takes 48 hours, and then you still need a few days to prepare the other components.

48 hour Sous Vide Short Ribs (Momofuku)
adapted from David Chang’s recipe in Momofuku

2 2/3 cups (600g) water
1/2 cup plus 2 T (150 g) light soy sauce (usukuchi)
3 T plus 1 t (42 g) pear juice
3 T plus 1 t (42 g) apple juice
2 1/2 T (23g) mirin
1 T (13g) Asian sesame oil
1 1/4 cup (250g) sugar
10 grinds black pepper
1/2 small onion
1 small carrot
3 scallions (whites only)
2 garlic cloves
8 pieces bone-in short ribs (5-6 ounces each; 140-170g) trimmed of any silverskin and cut into individual ribs
Grapeseed or other neutral oil for frying

Scallions, daikon, pickled mustard seeds, maldon salt, pickled carrots
Step 1: (upper left) Make marinade: combine water, soy sauce, pear and apple juices, mirin, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, onion, carrot, scallions, and garlic in a large pot and bring to a boil over high eat. Reduce heat so liquid simmers gently adn cook for 10 min.

Step 2: (upper right) Strain solids out of the marinade and cool in refrigerator. (can be stored, covered, for a few days.

Step 3: (lower left) Cut short ribs into similarly sized 3-4 inch long pieces

Step 4: (lower right) Combine each shortribe with 1/2 cup marinade in vacuum sealed bag. Double bag!! You are cooking this thing for 48 hours. You don’t want to risk the bag breaking and ruining everything.

vacuum packed short ribs
A Note on Vacuum Packing Liquids
Traditional home vacuum sealers typically are not able to vacuum pack liquid. In commercial kitchens, they use chamber vacuum sealers. There are a couple ways around this. You can freeze the liquid and then vacuum seal the solid liquid chunks along with the meat.
vacuum packed short ribs
Or, you can try to seal the liquid-filled bag by hanging the bag down as far as possible (see photo above). This allows most of the air to be removed before the machine starts trying to suck up the liquid, at which point you manually turn the machine off.

sous vide short ribs

Step 5: Cook in sous vide supreme at 60 °C (140.2 °F) for 48 hours.

48 hour short ribs ice shock
Step 6: Remove from Sous Vide Supreme and plunge in ice water – store. (or use right away)
48 hour sous vide short ribs
Step 7: Cut ribs out of the bags, making sure you save the braising liquid.
filtering short ribs sauce
Step 8: Strain liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a small sauce pan. Boil over high heat and reduce until you have about 2 cups (10 min max). Set aside until plating.

Step 9: Slide bones out of the ribs. Trim off obvious pieces of fat and trim ribs into neat cube/rectangles about 3oz each

Step 10: Blanch scallions (10 seconds) in salted water. Immediately cook in ice bath. Set aside

Step 11: Heat 1-2 quarts of oil to 365 °C in high sided pan over medium-high heat. Line plate with double paper towels. Fry short rib chunks in batches (don’t crowd the pan!) 3-4 minutes. “They should be mahogany brown outside and warm all the way through.”

Put reserved braising liquid in the center of each white plate. Lay pickled carrot across pool of liquid & nestle braised daikon disc up against it.Lay green part of scallion across carrot. Shingle the sliced chuck of short rib (3-4 3/8 inch slices) over scallion green (I forgot to slice mine!). Wrap scallion back around the meat, put a dollop of mustard (I used Grey Poupon, David Chang makes his own from mustard seeds) on top of daikon, and sprinkle with sea salt.

I would definitely recommend slicing it (against the grain) before serving. It looks much better and actually is easier to eat.

momofuku 48 hour sous vide short ribs

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  1. Bryan says

    Hmmm … I might try this although I have a rule of never cooking any dish that requires more than 7 ingredients. I’m just too lazy to make the effort. I’ve also read that some experts recommend Sous Vide-ing meat in nothing but its own juices, with some salt and pepper, at the very most. Then add the spices and sauces to the cooked meat. Apparently, marinating is useless since it doesn’t penetrate the meat in Sous Vide. Regardless, I think I’ll try this minus a few ingredients. It’s weird that I love Chinese food despite hating many of its main spices. I detest ginger, scallions, 5 spice powder, cilantro, etc. yet I eat Chinese almost twice a week (after picking off the offensive ingredients :) ).

  2. Peo says

    This looks really good, and i would love to give it a try.
    Do you know of a place, were in can find the recipe for the pickled carrot and the braised daikon?

    Thank you!
    PS: I think there is a typo in step 11 “Heat 1-2 quarts of oil to 365 °C in high sided pan”. Should that not be 365 °F?


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