Mother Sauce: Kalbi Marinade

Roy Choi

Lesson time 10:01 min

As he teaches you how to make his versatile kalbi marinade, Roy shares the concept of “mother sauces,” which can be used in various recipes and will help you build an arsenal of flavor.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Find Your Mother Sauces • Blending Your Kalbi Marinade


Warning, this class contains some bad -ing-- [BLENDER WHIRRING] --language. [MUSIC PLAYING] This is called a kalbi marinade, but really what it is is a Korean barbecue marinade. Kalbi means barbecue short rib, but it's not limited by Korean barbecue short rib. We're going to use these for vegetables. We can use these as a base. When you add different vinegars and lime juice and chili powder and other aromatics to it, it can become a sauce. There's so many things to do. It can become a braising liquid. It's a vinaigrette. It's a glaze. But the most important thing is it's also a cooking liquid. That's why it's a mother sauce. If you would have asked me, before I went to culinary school or before I came a chef, what mother sauces were, I would think you're talking about my mom. That's all I know, the sauces my mom makes. That's my mother's sauces, you know? But the whole concept of mother sauces are that these are the base. As you learn and become a chef, you're taught to believe that the mother sauces are bechamel, velouté, brown sauce, hollandaise. And those are the mother sauces that are built from Escoffier, and Careme, and French cooking. The reason why those four sauces were considered mother sauces is because within the world of Escoffier, for example, you could make so many different derivatives from one velouté. If you just make the base voluté and then you add in pureed spinach or you add in different spices or you add in different vegetables, those things become different. You can take that velouté, for example, and that can become the base for like a chicken pot pie. Not only can it become a chicken pot pie, it could also become a gravy. So it really allows you to take that that one mother and then make derivatives off each one. But what I didn't realize, that the mother sauces can be the mother sauces of your life. So I found out after many years of cooking that my four mother sauces are a koji vinaigrette, a kalbi marinade, a salsa verde, and a scallion dipping sauce. And these are very, very different from how I was trained as a chef. And it took a long time for me to be okay with that. And I want you to figure out what your mother sauces are, but you can start with mine. Let's get started with the kalbi marinade. That was my best MasterClass voice. That was for y'all. All right, here we go. So here's the basis of the kalbi marinade for my mother sauce. This is a very contemptuous recipe, because this is one of those recipes where everyone has their version of it and their mom did it the best or their region or their neighborhood did it the best. And people are very, very critical. Oh, that doesn't taste like my kalbi. That doesn't taste like the kalbi I grew up with. That doesn't taste like my mom's kalbi. All I can say is, I'm not your mom. I'm your instructor, and this is my mother sauce, and I hope at least thi...

About the Instructor

Roy Choi wasn’t trying to start a revolution when he took tacos, kimchi, and more to the Los Angeles streets with the Kogi BBQ taco truck. He just wanted to make what he loved and knew by heart: immigrant-influenced all-American food. Now he’s teaching you his recipes, sauces, and techniques. Learn how to cook with your instincts using equipment you already have—and start adding your own twist to tried-and-true favorites.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Roy Choi

Food truck “godfather” Roy Choi teaches you his signature recipes and mother sauces—then empowers you to make them your own.

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