It’s pretty un-like me to toot the horn of my Asian peoples, but I have to hand it to them, they are geniuses when it comes to using beans. Some times, you even forget that the famous soy sauce, all that liquid umami, is made from fermenting soy beans. Then there’s black bean sauce, also a fermented bean, which is responsible for dishes like Clams in Black Bean Sauce. The Bomb! Lesser known ones like ground bean paste, sweet bean paste, broad bean paste, and more, fill my mom’s pantry. Who would have thought to make all these great sauces from beans? Well, thank goodness somebody did, because they are all vital in a Chinese kitchen.

Doubanjiang Beef Short Ribs 2

I’m familiar with the look of each can and jar, because my mom often sent me downstairs to fetch stuff from our dry pantry for her. (The pantry took up an entire wall with four sliding doors.) Yet, I have definitely not mastered the uses of all of them yet, at least, I’ll never feel like a master next to my mom. But this time, I actually have to toot Lon’s horn, because he’s the genius that took my Doubanjiang (Broad Bean Paste with Chili) and slathered it on Beef Short Ribs. It’s ridiculously good, heightening the beefiness to a whole new level of umami overload. The sweet, salty, and spicy matches up to the grill and it becomes a powerfully flavored main course that seems like it’s Szechuan style, but you can’t put your finger on it. It’s really just heavenly and so so simple. I even thought, this is not a recipe. You really just slather Doubanjiang on the beef short ribs, give a generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and grill to your liking. I did still write a recipe for those who are more comfortable with one.

Doubanjiang

*Doubanjiang, labeled Broad Bean Paste with Chili, is available at Chinese supermarkets.

Doubanjiang Beef Short Ribs
~4 servings

  • 4 thick beef short ribs
  • 8 tablespoons Doubanjiang (Broad Bean Paste with Chili)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • rice to serve

Instructions -

1. Preheat the grill. Set the beef on the counter to come take the chill off.

Thick Beef Short Ribs

2. Slather doubanjiang all over short ribs, about 2 tablespoons per slab. Sprinkle with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.

Beef Short Ribs slathered with Doubanjiang 2

3. Grill to your liking. (I like medium rare.) Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.

4. Cut between the bones and serve over rice.

medium rare beef short ribs 5

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