Cooking with Cote: Chef David Shim Dishes on a Korean Favorite

The chef behind the Michelin-starred boîte in NYC breaks down a flavorful galbi bowl recipe and more.

Pictured: Chef David Shim

After seeing the OP community's excited reactions to the 'Cooking with Johannes' series, we've recently asked the chefs of Olivia's favorite restaurants about recipes all of us can recreate at home. "I'll never forget the time when my friend Edward celebrated his birthday at Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse Cote," reflects Olivia, which inspired us to interview chef David Shim himself.

"Before entering the culinary world, I was actually in Brazil pursuing a soccer career," says chef David Shim of New York City's first Michelin-starred Korean barbecue steakhouse. "Somehow [I] ended up taking a tour at Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park...[and] one of the first classes that we stopped for the tour was a class where you learn and improve on your basic skills, such as knife cuts, blanching vegetables. The chef who was instructing that class had a stopwatch [and] it felt like a sport/competition, and something drew me to it." After being accepted and graduating from the Culinary Institute, Shim honed his skills at Long Island City-based M. Wells steakhouse, Gramercy Tavern, and L'Atelier du Joel Robuchon before bringing familial flavor profiles with an haute edge to Cote. "As a kid, I remember we only went out to eat at the end of the month, which was my dad's payday," says Shim. "It was always galbi—marinated short ribs—which I loved, and there is a joke as a kid that smelling like the bbq house/galbi was a sign of affluence." And now, Shim is sharing his recipe, hoping that it inspires the next generation for those who prefer grab-and-go dining. 

Chef Shim's galbi bowl.

Cote is known for its in-house dry-aging room of prime cuts of meat, and Shim suggests, "going to a butcher shop and finding a good source of beef" as the main ingredient for the recipe. Acting as the foundation for the dish, Shim advises that once the beef is marinated, "the best way to execute would be in a thick pan, so the heat distributes evenly." Unlike cooking a steak, Shim says it's ok to move the meat around the pan so that you use the protein to deglaze the pan while achieving a beautiful coating with the reduced sauce. However, a delectable meal wouldn't be complete without the right drink. Shim says, "Soju bombs can be real fun [but] another option is a nice rosé. It's refreshing, has great acidity, and can hold well with some of the strong flavors."

Cote's frosé and soft serve

As Shim and the team at Cote adjust to a new way of working, he finds inspiration in the unity of the restaurant industry. "Everyone is trying their best to keep the business going, supporting the local and people in need." But he's also found distinct ways to be creative. "We make pho with the bones that we get from the short rib, and it's been a hit." And his best advice to those just entering the field? "It is not all about you! It is about everyone else," says Shim, "being able to satisfy others—customers, coworkers, employees—is in many ways more rewarding than satisfying your own pride or need." Now reopened for outdoor dining in New York, Cote is also offering nationwide at-home grill kits, and local delivery/takeout—all of which are offered with the restaurant's signature cocktails or wine pairings. Non-meat lovers, don't fret. There are plenty of options and extras available on the takeout menu, too, including delicious soft-serve icecream and signature frosé.

Chef Shim's L.A. Galbi
- 5 lb Korean style Beef short ribs (1⁄4 in thick sliced)
- 1 cup and 3 tbsp of soy sauce
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of brown sugar 
- 2⁄3 cup mirin
- 2⁄3 cup orange juice
- 1 small onion finely grated, or blended
- 2.5 tsp garlic finely grated, or blended
- 1 tsp ginger, finely grated or blended
-1 cup Asian pear, finely grated or blended.

- Add all the ingredients together and mix well until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Pour the marinade over the short rib and let it sit for approx 6 hrs before use.
- Place the galbi and the marinade in a ziplock bag. Massage the beef in the bag so that the marinade is evenly distributed, and let sit for 4 to 6 hours.
- Cook the whole strip on a thick pan, but be careful because the marinade will burn first if you cook on high heat. Move the meat around to prevent this, and it will deglaze while cooking.
- Cook until the ribs are golden brown with some bits of charred corners.
- The meat should fall clean off the bone when enjoyed.

Pro tip: Save the sauce for later, you can pour some over rice or slice onions and other vegetables and saute it with the sauce to make a side dish.

Credits Photographed by Gary He
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