For me, the perfect meal is super soulful and full of flavor. The more rustic, the better. These recipes, inspired by my childhood home, are just that. More focus on flavor than fancy. The famous plate lunches there which are traditionally made up of two scoops of sticky white rice, Hawaiian-style macaroni salad, and a super flavorful protein are a great example of simple and soulful. Often served on a paper plate, piled high. No frills, no fuss. Perfect, really.



3 pounds cross-cut short ribs
For marinade
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 can Korean pear juice*
*(locally found at Gigi’s market in Lakeland or at any Asian grocery)
1/2 medium onion, grated
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
For garnish
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
3 scallions, thinly sliced


Begin by soaking the ribs in cold water for 20 minutes. This soaks out the old blood and makes for much better flavor, and allows the meat to marinate more effectively. Mix all of the marinating ingredients in a bowl. Add the drained short ribs. Marinate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Grill on medium-high heat and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and scallions.