Gluten-free Kal-bi Jerky

Gluten-free Kal-bi Jerky

Gluten-free Kal-bi Jerky

The recipes I have for you are piling up and but I’ve kept my nose to the keyboard working on posts for Chocolate Wasteland because I feel compelled to tell a story that keeps pouring out. Much of this week was spent laying it all out as much and as fast as I could and editing it all daily. It feels really good to be able to sit and write like I used to without worrying about time constraints. Other than making sure dinner is ready at a reasonable time.

If you keep up with me on here, you know after recent testing I made more changes to my diet. The more I learn about yeast allergy/intolerance the more I learn that I need to follow an anti-candida diet (ACD). Some of the recipes I’ll be sharing with you won’t fall under the new changes to my diet but I’m sharing them anyway because of all the time I put into developing them. Besides, not all of you have to eat like I do.

I started making beef jerky last year. It came in handy while traveling to make sure I had a good source of protein on the plane or in the car. One day while making it I realized that I could make it Korean style. I absolutely love kal-bi and nearly lived off of it when I could get it back home. These days I make it once to twice a year because I cannot get Korean style short ribs unless I get them from the Asian market where the beef is not grass-fed.

I finally started messing with my idea and was rewarded with kal-bi nirvana. Gluten-free style! Just don’t eat it all at once. You’ll have a sore tummy. And you might burp a lot. No, it didn’t happen to me.  Really.  *whistling*

Gluten-free Kal-bi Jerky

2 pounds London Broil sliced 1/4″ thick against the grain (your butcher can do this for you)

1/2 cup gluten-free tamari, liquid aminos, or coconut aminos

1/2 cup sherry

1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 ground ginger

pinch of chili flakes

In a medium to large bowl, mix the gf tamari, sherry, maple syrup, garlic powder, and ground ginger. Add the beef and coat it well with the marinade. Or you can place the sliced beef in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it. Let the beef marinate for a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 3 days. Lay the strips out on your dehydrator trays and set your temperature to 180. Let the dehydrator run for 8 hours and rotate your trays every 2 hours.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free and Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker. 

Simple Asian Eggplant

The grill was used nearly every night while I was home.

This is Celiac Awareness Month and while I have always said I have self-diagnosed gluten intolerance, I do believe I have Celiac instead.  The more reading I do and the more I see the symptoms lined up with my own, they fit more with Celiac, than non-Celiac gluten intolerance.  The main distinguishing symptom being diagnosed with another autoimmune disorder.  I lay wide awake last night, attempting to sleep but mentally writing out this blog post.  Then, I woke up to this post about a scam geared towards people with Celiac Disease.  Thanks to Denise O’Deen SanFilippo for sharing Gluten Dude’s emphatic post.  And thanks to Gluten Dude for sharing about the false claims of the product, twice.

There is nothing those of us with Celiac or non-Celiac gluten-intolerance, or any autoimmune disorder, or food intolerance/allergy, want more than to not be afflicted.  It takes us or our loved ones out of the realm of normalcyand into the realm of the unknown.  Okay, me being normal was never normal to begin with.  You get my drift.  Handling social situations gets easier and easier, especially when I can plan for them.  Traveling home last Fall for my cousin’s wedding was easier than I thought it would be.  Traveling home last month and being with family nearly 24/7, not so easy.

Me with my siblings, some of my cousins, and my nieces and nephews.

I have a rather large family when you add in all the grandmas, grandpas, aunties, uncles, and cousins in the entire extended family.  Not just my Dad’s brothers and sisters and their kids, but my Dad’s aunties, uncles, cousins, and their kids.  After almost 14 years of marriage, Chaz still says something like, “How the hell should I know? Your family is HUGE!” when I’m trying to get him to remember who is who when I talk about them.  I grew up with my aunties, uncles, and Dad’s cousins, whom are also aunties and uncles to me.  I babysat some of my cousins when they were little.  We are close which means we stand closer together than most people would.  And, we steal food off each other’s plates.  Well, maybe steal is too harsh.  We share liberally.  It’s nothing for one of the kids to ask for food off your plate.  When Cuz Mooch was a toddler, she’d walk up to you with her mouth open.

Cuz Mooch and her boyfriend, Grill Master

I had to be on my guard constantly.  I had my own snacks.  Dried fruit.  Trail mix.  If I happened to pull some out in the afternoon because I needed something to get me through until dinner, someone wanted some.  I couldn’t just let them stick their hands in my food like I used to.  I had to either pull out the dried fruit for them or pour the trail mix into their hand.  Some of them (*ahem* Dad) gave me momentary funny looks, that disappeared as fast as it appeared.  But I noticed.  A few asked and I simply said, “I don’t know where your hand was.”  That was that.

Cuz Mooch’s boyfriend, Grill Master (I only call him that because he manned the grill every night they were there), did a great job helping out and even problem solving grilling me a steak on the grill, but keeping cross-contact from occurring.  I already knew foil would need to be laid out on the grill for my steak, but when it came to using different utensils, instead of using two sets of tongs, he grilled my steak first so it wouldn’t touch the others until mine was already off the grill.  He’s genius!  Or I was just really tired and jet lagged.  Or both.  I thanked him multiple times for that.  I was able to squirrel the leftovers away to a covered plate in the fridge and put my name on the foil so no one would take it.

It would be nice to not be afflicted and not have to be vigilant of what is going on when I’m with my family in order to prevent an accidental glutening.  But, nothing I can take will make my body accept gluten as a food.  It’s not fun to be on my guard as much as I was, but I did it and I communicated my needs when it came to communal food.  No gluten in my diet means a healthier and happier Debi.  I think most of you would rather have a happy Debi than a miserable Debi any day.

I wasn’t missing a lot of food that I couldn’t have that others were eating until it came to Grill Master putting some kal-bi (Korean short ribs) on the grill.  I love me some kal-bi.  I love it so much that I had to make my gluten-free kal-biversion when I got back to Cincinnati.

Simple Asian Eggplant

I normally make my version of the Korean bean sprout and cabbage side dishes when I make kal-bi.  I love the sprouts, but along with them, I wanted something else.  Eggplant.  I came up with this and even Chaz was happy with it.  I think “really like” was his word choice.

Simple Asian Eggplant – serves 4-6 (depending on other side dish sizes)

1 long Asian eggplant, quartered and sliced

1/4 cup gluten-free tamari

1/2 cup mirin

toasted sesame oil

Heat a wok or large skillet to medium.  While it warms up, mix together the gf tamari and mirin.  Once the wok/skillet is heated, drizzle a little (no more than 2 teaspoons) toasted sesame oil and let it warm.  Add the eggplant and stir fry until eggplant is almost done.  Add your sauce once the eggplant is almost done and make sure to continue to stir while adding the sauce.  You will not use all the sauce.  Use just enough to get the eggplant coated well.  Refrigerate the leftover sauce.  Once your eggplant is fork tender, take it off the heat.  You can serve this warm or at room temperature.

Changing Old Favorites

Gluten-free Kal-bi

I’m going through some of my favorite foods and working on gluten-free versions.  Some of them are fairly easy.  The case of kal-bi was simply changing the shoyu (soy sauce) for gluten-free tamari.  By the way, did you know that not all tamari sauces are gluten-free?  There are tamari sauces out there with wheat in them.  If you are gluten-free or are cooking for someone who is gluten-free, make sure you check those labels.

A week ago, it seemed like the weekend to mess with local foods.  Local foods meaning local Hawaiian dishes.  Well, and Filipino dishes.  I did the pinakbet one night.  The next day I did the scrumptious kal-bi pictured on the left.  Then, I ended the weekend with vegetable lumpia.

Like I said, the kal-bi was a simple substitution.  The lumpia proved to be a challenge.

Gluten-free Lumpia

There are specific lumpia wrappers that are ultra-thin used in making lumpia.  They contain wheat.  So, I began a search online for spring roll wrappers that are gluten-free.  Sure enough I found some and even found them at the Korean market where we usually get most of our Asian foods.  It’s also the only place that sells the right cut of short ribs for kal-bi.

The challenge was in rolling and frying of the lumpia.  I used green beans, carrots, potatoes, mung bean sprouts, and garlic for the filling.  If anyone has used the spring roll wrappers made from rice, you know you have to soak them for a few seconds in water to get it to a workable state.  This is an extra step that isn’t needed for regular lumpia.  But, it was worth the effort to see if it would work out.  I set aside the first one I wrapped in order to wrap another one.  Once I had the second one wrapped, the oil was ready and I picked up the first one to put in the oil.  It was all mushy underneath from the water that was still on it.   That changed my strategy.  I had to roll them right before putting them in oil and not let them sit.  I was waiting for a golden color from them and then I remembered that fried rice noodles are white.  So, okay, watch for it to get white and opaque like fried rice noodles.  I had some trouble at first, but it got easier as I kept going and got the hang of it.

Lumpia Filling

There was no difference in the kal-bi taste when I made it since it was just a simple substitution.  The lumpia was a different story.  The filling itself was the same since I didn’t change a thing.  The wrapper was not only crunchy which made it feel just like the real thing.  Until I kept chewing.  And chewing.  And chewing.  It turns out that fried rice wrappers are quite chewing.  And it sticks to your teeth.  Worth the effort?  Yes.  Will I do it again?  Definitely.  Lumpia isn’t something I make often because of the time involved in it.  I’ll have time before the next time I decide to make it to see if there are any other wrappers out there that I can use that would be a suitable substitution.

I’ll leave you with some recipes in case your mouth is watering.


1/2 cup peeled, grated fresh ginger

8 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup raw local honey

1 cup sherry (use the real sherry, not the cooking sherry)

1 cup shoyu or wheat-free tamari (shoyu is for those of you who don’t need to be gluten-free

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 1/2 pounds thinly sliced beef short ribs (as pictured above)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl to completely cover the meat.  Refrigerate 24 hours to 3 days.  Preheat a broiler.  Place ribs on a rack in a roasting pan and place 5 inches from the coils.  Cook both sides until well-browned and aromatic, about 5 minutes each side.  Or you can grill them.

Debi’s Vegetable Lumpia

1 pound string beans cut on a diagonal

2 carrots, julienned

1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and julienned (do these first and have them soaking in water while prepping other veggies, then drain before cooking)

1 pound mung bean sprouts, washed and drained

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon patis (fish sauce)

1 teaspoon salt (optional)

1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other odorless oil)

1 package lumpia wrappers or gluten-free spring roll wrappers

Heat a large pot on medium and add oil.  Add in garlic and stir for a minute.  Add vegetables and patis.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt the last few minutes of cooking.  Lumpia wrappers are large and the lumpia is traditionally rolled long and thin.  There will be directions on the lumpia wrapper box.  The wrappers will tear and break, but don’t worry.  Just keep rolling.  If you are using the gluten-free wrappers, make sure you are following the directions on the packaging to soak before using.  Heat some oil in a wok and work in small batches.  I only had two lumpia in the wok at a time.  If you are using gluten-free wrappers, you’ll need to keep an eye on them in the wok.  The lumpia will float towards each other and stick together if you let them.  Fry on both sides.  If you are using traditional wrappers, you want a golden color.  If you are using the gluten-free wrappers it should be white and opaque – it may get a little golden, but you want to make sure the entire wrapper is well fried.  Remove from the wok and drain.