Galbi (Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs)
In this Korean BBQ galbi dish, thinly sliced pieces of short rib are marinated in a sweet and savory sauce and grilled to perfection.
I feel like galbi (갈비) may be the most well known Korean dish among non-Koreans, and for good reason. The marinade for these beef short ribs is a perfect balance of sweet and savory, and the thin cut of the meat makes it easy to both cook and eat. At restaurants, it is usually grilled over charcoal right at your table. It’s still possible to get a nice char and caramelization by cooking it on a stovetop or by broiling in the oven, but this dish is definitely something fun to grill outdoors in the summer with some friends and family.
BEEF SHORT RIBS
Galbi, which means ribs in Korean, can be prepared with two different cuts of beef short ribs. In Korea, the short rib is typically cut along the bone resulting in a strip of meat attached to one large piece of bone. Outside of Korea, it is hard to find this cut. However, it is easier to find or even just request for flanken cut short ribs with 1⁄4” thickness. In the flanken cut, the short rib is cut across the bone, resulting in a strip of meat with four small pieces of bone. Galbi made with this flanken cut is called LA galbi. Some believe it’s called LA galbi because Koreans in LA first thought of using this flanken cut. I use the flanken cut in my recipe.
You’ll find galbi recipes differing mostly in the ingredient(s) they use to tenderize the short rib. The most commonly used meat tenderizers are Asian pears, pineapple, kiwi, and soda. Since Asian pears are not so easily accessible, I use Bosc pears in my marinade. I like to marinate my galbi for two days to get the most flavor and find that pineapple and kiwi tend to over-tenderize the meat at that point. I’m also not a huge fan of using soda because I like to stick with natural sweeteners (e.g., honey, coconut sugar) and tenderizers.
You can also eat galbi wrapped in leafy vegetables with some ssamjang (쌈장) and slices of raw garlic. I also like to eat it with a green onion salad called pah muchim. You can find my recipe for pah muchim here.
I like to save some uncooked galbi in my freezer to grill later whenever I’m craving some Korean BBQ. This is great when you want a quick yet delicious meal. Since I use the same marinade for my bulgogi, I usually prepare and freeze both bulgogi and galbi at the same time. I let the meat thaw and marinate in the fridge for a couple days before cooking on the stovetop.
Hope you enjoy!
MISE EN PLACE
PAIRS WELL WITH:
Galbi (Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs)
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup mirin
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 85 g yellow onion, chopped (about 1/4 of large onion)
- 200 g bosc pear, cubed (about 2 pears)
- 1 tbsp garlic, crushed
- 2 g ginger, julienned (about 1 tsp)
- 3 lb beef short rib flanken style (about nine 1/4" thick slices)
- Blend the pear, onion, and soy sauce until it forms a purée, and transfer the mixture to a medium size bowl.
- Stir in the mirin, sugar, honey, toasted sesame oil, black pepper, ginger, and garlic.
- Place the short ribs in a gallon-sized, freezer storage bag.
- Using a ladle, carefully scoop the marinade into the bag.
- Seal the bag, squish the bag around to make sure the marinade is evenly distributed and coating the meat.
- (You can place the bag in the freezer at this point if you would like to save the meat to cook for a later meal. Just let the frozen galbi thaw in the fridge overnight before cooking.)
- Let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight. However, you’ll get the most flavor if you let it marinate for 2 days in the refrigerator.
- Heat a skillet on medium high heat.
- Place some of the ribs onto the skillet and avoid overcrowding.
- Let it cook for about 4 min or until there is a nice char, and then flip to cook the other side for another 3 min.
- Transfer the cooked ribs to a plate and cover with foil. Let it rest for a couple minutes before serving.