Saturday, March 21, 2015

KoMex Fusion! Beef Short Rib Asada with Miyeok Guk and Cactus Fruit Cut Noodles











     KoMex!  Korean-Mexican Fusion Cuisine!
     KoMex is a popular new Las Vegas cuisine trend.  A Komex Express Restaurant and a Komex Food Truck currently are doing business in the Las Vegas Valley.  Customers rave about the KoMex flavor combinations.  Adventurous gourmands are interested in this new Korean-Mexican Fusion Cuisine! 
     Korean bulgogi seems to the key to early success in the KoMex frontier!  Bulgogi is rated as one of the top ten best tasting recipes of all time.  Bulgogi is not the only food in Korea, just like tacos are not the only food in Mexico!

     Asada basically is a Mexican style roasting technique.  The Spanish explorers introduced their asada cooking style at many ports around the world.  It was the Central American Achiote and Mexican chile peppers that made asada one of the best tasting roasting methods for cooking meat.  As the Spanish found out, asada was a cooking style that natives already knew.  Pork asada is popular, but beef asada is a good selling at Mexican restaurants too.  

     Kalbi Beef Rib is an old favorite recipe in Korea.  L.A. Kalbi is a modern version of traditional Kalbi.  L.A. Kalbi is Korean style thin beef short rib steaks that are cross cut through the bones.  
     American beef short ribs are thick and meaty, as you can see in the pictures above.  American beef short ribs look nothing like thin L.A. Kalbi Ribs.  For thick and meaty short ribs, the Mexican Asada cooking style is a good choice.  Asada Style Short Ribs turn out plump, juicy and tender.  

     The short ribs are the Mexican component of today's KoMex recipe.  What are the Korean components?  Miyeok Guk and Cactus Fruit Flavored Cut Noodles!
     Miyeok Guk is a very good tasting healthy Korean seaweed and beef broth soup.  Miyeok Guk is renowned for sharpening mental clarity.  Miyeok Guk provideds vital nutrients for pregnant women and this soup is a good source of Iodine for the body's thyroid system.  
     Iodine rich seaweed rids the thyroid gland of radioactive isotopes.  Iodine is a proven cancer fighter.  Iodine and electrolyte producing minerals in Miyeok Guk generate mental clarity.  Korean college students will attest to the benefits of Miyeok Guk when studying for college final exams!  Miyeok guk tastes great too!
     There are many variations of Korean Miyeok Guk recipes.  Most use beef broth.  Some have beef in the soup.  I published a traditional Korean Miyeok Guk recipe in one of my other food websites a few years ago.  For those who have not tried Miyeok Guk, it is hard to imagine just how great that beef and seaweed taste together.  It is simply a must to experience!

     Korean or Chinese "Cut Noodles" are made by stacking thin sheets of noodle dough, then cutting the stack into thin strips.  Asian noodles of any kind are usually boiled, then shocked in ice water, so the noodles develop a chewy texture.  
     The Cut Noodles in today's recipe are flavored with Dried Powdered Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit.  Prickly Pear has a nice light strawberry flavor. 
     Fresh chilled Cactus Fruit Cut Noodles can be found fresh in Korean food markets or Asian food markets.   I purchased several portions of these noodles while shopping in Korea Town, Las Vegas.  Korean Cut Noodles are not difficult to make from scratch.  Drying and grinding prickly pear cactus fruit to a powder can be easily done too. 

     *This entire recipe yields 1 serving!

     Mexican Asada Style Roasted Beef Short Ribs:
     Select 4 American style meaty beef short ribs.  The total weight should be about 10 to 12 ounces, including the bone.  
     Step 1:  Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of rice vinegar.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of lime juice.
     Add 1 teaspoon of sugar or piloncillo.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground anatto.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of coriander.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of ancho chile powder.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of New Mexico Chile Powder.
     Add 2 tablespoons of water.
     Add the short ribs.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 2:  Marinate the ribs in a refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.
     Step 3:  Lightly brush a roasting pan with vegetable oil.
     Remove the short ribs from the marinade and place them on the roasting pan.
     Slow roast the short ribs in a 300ºF oven, till the meat shrinks back slightly from the ends of the bones.  (Roast till the short ribs are fully cooked and tender, but not dried out.)
     Allow the Costillas de Res Asada to rest for 1 minute, before serving.

     Miyeok Guk:  (Korean Seaweed Beef Broth Soup)
     This recipe has no beef meat in the soup, just beef broth.  There is plenty of beef meat on the short ribs.  The soup should be started when the marinated asada beef short ribs start roasting.
     Step 1:  Rinse some Dried Fresh Salt Packed Wakame Seaweed under cold running water.  About an 8" to 10" long strand is plenty.  (Salt Packed Dried Wakame has a dense soft texture and it is still alive!)
     Place the wakame seaweed in a bowl and cover the seaweed with water.  
     Allow the seaweed to reconstitute to its original size.
     Cut the wakame seaweed into wide strips.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of pure sesame oil.
     Immediately add 3 minced garlic cloves.
     Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of minced ginger.
     Briefly sauté for a few seconds, till a fragrant aroma develops.
     Step 3:  Add the reconstituted slices of wakame seaweed.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of thin soy sauce.
     Add 1 teaspoon of Spicy or Mild Red Chile Paste (Sambal).
     Stir as the hot soy sauce marinates the seaweed as it reduces and almost evaporates.
     Step 4:  Add 3 cups of rich dark beef broth.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Bring the broth to a gentle boil.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Gently simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes.  Allow the broth to reduce to a volume of about 2 1/2 cups.  
     Keep the Miyeok Guk warm over low heat.

     Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Cut Noodles:
     These noodles can be found in Asian food markets.
     Step 1:  Boil a pot of water over high heat.
     Add 1 portion of Fresh Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Flavored Cut Noodles.
     Stir the noodles occasionally, till they are fully cooked.
     Drain the hot water off of the noodles.
     Step 2:  Immediately place the noodles in a container full of ice water, to shock the noodles.
     Stir the noodles by hand, till they feel stiff, chewy and rubbery.
     Drain the ice water off of the noodles.  
     Set the noodles aside and let the noodles reach room temperature.

     Beef Short Rib Asada with Miyeok Guk and Cactus Fruit Cut Noodles:
     Mound the  prickly pear cactus fruit cut noodles on the center of a large deep soup bowl.
     Ladle the Miyeok Guk soup broth and wakame seaweed around the noodles, till only the peak of the noodles can be seen.  Be sure to pour some broth over the noodles.  (The hot broth will reheat the noodles!)
     Place the 4 Beef Short Rib Asada against the sides of the mounded noodles, so the short ribs are only partially submerged in the soup.
     Sprinkle thin sliced green onion on the soup broth as a garnish.

     A tasty KoMex creation!  The combination of flavors in this Korean Mexican Fusion Cuisine entree are interesting beyond belief.  Korean food and Mexican food are both chile pepper cuisines.  This truly is a KoMex recipe that is worth trying!

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