Many years ago my friends introduced me to a restaurant called The Hat that serves enormous portions of chili cheese fries for only $4.00. When I say enormous I talking about a large tray overflowing with fries that I can only finish a quarter of, and I’m no stranger to eating! A couple times after visiting the eatery, I realized that they also serve gravy fries with melted cheddar cheese on top. The warm turkey gravy blanketing the crispy french fries that are finished with melted shredded cheddar cheese is even better than their chili cheese fries, and that’s really saying something.
After falling in love with this simple yet sinfully delicious dish, I discovered that Canadians have a similar dish called poutine. Poutine consists of french fries also covered with gravy but has the addition of cheese curds. Adapting this idea, I created galbi poutine – a fusion of Asian and Canadian!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
As mentioned before, poutine is a dish that originated in Canada. It started with just french fries and cheese curds; the gravy was added on later to help keep the fries warmer longer. Many restaurants and bars now serve variations of poutine, adding bacon, pulled pork, rabbit confit, caviar, foie gras, and even truffles. Since foie gras is no longer legal in California and truffles are too pricey for my budget, I decided to add Korean bbq short ribs to the dish instead.
You can purchase already marinated galbi at Korean markets if you wish, but if you have the time, why not make your own batch? The beef short ribs that are used are cut in thin slices across the bones to allow the marinade to penetrate the meat quicker. This also means the cooking time is shortened since the cut is so thin.
For the gravy, stick to lighter gravies that are prepared from chicken, turkey or vegetarian. The gravy needs to be light enough to help maintain the crispiness of the fries. This explains why thicker beef or pork gravies are rarely used for poutine.
For more advice on how to prepare the perfect fries, check out my post here. Double-fry the french for perfect crispness.
Now the cheese curds are what makes poutine so different than gravy fries sold in the United States; however, they are almost impossible to find here, especially in Los Angeles. What are cheese curds exactly? They are the solids parts of soured milk (sounds appetizing no?) with a mild taste. To compensate for this item, I substituted it with fresh mozzarella cheese.
Since mozzarella cheese doesn’t melt as quickly as cheese curds, I added it to the hot gravy for about 15 seconds before pouring the mixture on the french fries. Top with the cooked galbi and serve immediately.
As expected, this dish was insanely delicious. The tender slightly sweet galbi with crispy french fries, gooey melted mozzarella, and savory gravy, what can be better? I don’t think I have to convince you that you should try this dish immediately!
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.