Japanese Beer-Braised Beef Short Ribs with Mizuna Chips

by Megg

When I’m craving warm, satisfying comfort food, “slowly braised short ribs” is like the dirtiest of dirty talk.  I want it, and I want it now. Spring may be around the bend, but I certainly wouldn’t say it’s “sprung.”  So until that happens, I’m still in need for some tender, falling-off-the-bone beefy goodness.  Aw man, that sounds good.  It’s taking every ounce of self-control for me to resist jumping up from my chair, running to the fridge, and gettin’ me some leftovers right now.  Must-stay…must-keep-writing!

Cabernet-braised short ribs are a favorite of mine, but I wanted to change it up a bit.  I opted for something I hadn’t tried before: beer.  Also, I’d picked up some mizuna without any plan for it, so Japanese cuisine was my inspiration.  I ended up going with a Japanese beer, turnips, and what seemed like the best idea I’d ever had when I thought of it: a mizuna chip garnish.

The beer I chose was Hitachino Red Rice Ale, a Belgian-style ale brewed with red rice.  The flavor is rich and distinctive enough to stand up to the beef, plus it has a sweet label.  What’s not to love?

As for the mizuna chips, I had the idea in the middle of my work day.  I was looking for a way to incorporate the mizuna creatively.  I also wanted to add some color to the dish.  Then I remembered those kale chips I made, and wondered if the process would work for mizuna.  As soon as I got home I tried it out, and hey!  It worked!  Quick, simple, and tasty to boot!  I’ve included the instructions for making them at the end of the recipe.


Japanese Beer-Braised Beef Short Ribs with Mizuna Chips
Serves 5-6 people
  • 4 lbs. beef short ribs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 tablespoons cooking sake
  • 1/4 cup red. sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 3-4 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 3-4 carrots, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3″ long piece of ginger, cut into long, thin slices
  • 2-3 medium turnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1″ squares
  • 1 3/4 cups beef broth (reduced sodium)
  • 24 fl oz (3 cups) Hitachino Red Rice Ale
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Mizuna Chips for garnish (optional — recipe below)
1. Combine the salt, pepper, ginger powder, mirin, sake, soy sauce and brown sugar in a large, shallow bowl or baking pan.  Pat ribs dry and throughly coat with the marinade.  Refridgerate and allow the ribs to marinate, uncovered, for a few hours or overnight.  Let the ribs sit at room temperature for half an hour before cooking.
2. Preheat oven to 375° F.  In a large, heavy, oven-safe pot, heat the oil over high heat.  Working in batches, add the ribs to the pot and brown on all meaty sides, about 1 minute per side.  Continue until all ribs are browned.  Transfer ribs to a plate and set aside.
3. Turn the heat down to medium and add the carrots and onions, sautéing until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and ginger and sauté for about 1-2 minutes more, or until fragrant.
4.  Add the turninps to the pot and stir.  Turn the heat down to moderately low and slowly add the beef broth and beer.  Stir well.  Return the ribs back to the pot, bone side down, along with any juices that have collected on the plate.  Bring liquid to a boil, uncovered.
5. Cover the pot and place it in the oven.  Braise the meat for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is so tender it begins to fall off the bones.
6. Remove the ribs to a bowl or plate and cover tightly to keep them warm.  If necessary, boil the liquid until the sauce has thickened slightly.  Add the ribs back to the pot.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.
7. Serve over rice, garnished with scallions and mizuna chips (see below).

Mizuna Chips
  • Mizuna leaves (choose the heartiest, handsomest ones from the bunch)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Wash and dry the mizuna leaves, careful to keep them intact.  Cut off the tough ends.
2. On a baking sheet, arrange the leaves so that they don’t overlap.  Flatten the leaves to look as you’d like the chips to look (taking a few extra seconds to do this really makes them look so much nicer!)
3.  Lightly drizzle the mizuna with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Place in the oven and bake for 5-6 minutes.  Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
4.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.  You can also refrigerate them in a sealed container for a day or two.  They’re perfect as a garnish, but also make a fantastic, beautiful snack!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  And if you are, please take some time to help out the victims of yesterday’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Just click the link at the top of the page to donate to the RedCross, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to have a $10 donation added to your phone bill.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Japan, and every little bit certainly helps.  Thanks.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04668185205773012090 Cooking Gallery

    Beer braised beef sounds totally delicious…!! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe :).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03608484496354584828 Bentobird

    Lovely comfort food-wonderful and soooo satisfying…and mizuna chips are an inspired notion!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17219875290791522802 Megg

    It's my pleasure to share, CG! Thanks for your comment!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17219875290791522802 Megg

    Thanks Jenn! I was so happy that the mizuna chips turned out.. and they're so good too! I had to keep Steve from eating them all before I took the picture.. hehe.

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