Galbijjim (kalbijjim) is a Korean traditional braised beef short ribs dish in a rich sauce. You can make these tender, succulent short ribs at home with this easy, authentic recipe!
What is galbijjim
Galbijjim (or kalbijjim, kalbi jjim) is braised beef short ribs, which is typically served on traditional holidays and special occasions in Korea. I make these ribs for my family quite often, especially for my elderly parents. It’s a definite favorite!
Look for short ribs with the most meat and less fat. Traditionally, this dish is made with bone-in short ribs. Although meat cooked on the bone tastes better, use boneless meat if that’s all you can find. Even high quality short ribs will have some fat, which is expected for short ribs. Trim off any thick layers of fat from the short rib, but do not remove the thin, tough skin that holds the ribs together.
Cooking times can vary depending on the size and thickness of the ribs.
How to make Korean braised short ribs
In contrast to the braising method typical of Western cooking, Koreans traditionally do not sear the meat before braising them.
Instead, the ribs are first parboiled in water with some aromatic vegetables before being braised in sweet and savory braising liquid. Parboiling is a technique used to remove excess fat and blood from the ribs. I boil the ribs in a small amount of water and use the resulting stock in the braising liquid after removing the fat.
Searing, however, is commonly done in modern Korean cooking. If preferred, feel free to sear the ribs to add that rich browned meat flavor. I do it sometimes as well. The results are equally delicious in slightly different ways.
To prevent the vegetables from turning too soggy, I braise the ribs first, and then add the vegetables about halfway through.
Chestnuts, jujubes, pine nuts, and gingko nuts are customary garnishes that make this dish look very elegant, but the ribs will still be delicious without them if they are unavailable.
These succulent ribs, in a rich sauce, will be perfect for any of your special occasions! Then again, why wait for a special occasion to make this tasty comfort food?
More braised rib/meat recipes:
Galbijjim (braised beef short ribs)Main Course
- 3 pounds meaty beef short ribs
- 1/2 onion
- 3 - 4 thin ginger slices (about 1-inch rounds)
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 white parts of scallions
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar 3 tablespoons for sweeter ribs
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup rice wine or mirin
- 1/2 medium Asian pear grated (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 small onion grated
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated or juiced ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 10 ounces Korean radish cut into large chunks (about 1-1/2-inch cubes)
- 3 - 4 dried shiitake mushrooms soaked and quartered
- 1 large carrot cut into large chunks (about 1 inch long)
- 2 green parts of scallion
- 6 - 8 peeled fresh chestnuts
- 6 dried Korean dates/jujube
- 10 - 12 gingko nuts or 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- Trim off any excess fat. Rinse the ribs and let them sit in cold water for about 30 minutes to draw out excess blood. Drain.
- In a large pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil over high heat along with the onion, ginger, garlic and scallion white parts. Add the short ribs, and bring it to a boil, uncovered, skimming off the foam. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove the ribs to a plate, reserving the stock.
- Strain the stock, and skim off the fat. (Refrigerating the stock will help the fat solidify for easier removal. If you have room in the freezer, the process will go faster.)
- Mix together all the braising liquid ingredients, except the sesame oil. Return the ribs to the pot. Pour the braising liquid over the meat and stir. (You can prepare the ribs up to this point the day before, and finish braising when you need to serve.)
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and optional garnish.
- Add 2-1/2 cups of the reserved stock to the ribs. Cover and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the ribs. Stir in the radish, mushrooms, and carrots. Continue to boil, covered, for about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the optional garnish ingredients. Return to boil, uncovered this time, for an additional 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thicker and the meat is tender but not falling apart. Add the green parts of scallions and the sesame oil and stir gently before turning the heat off.
This galbijjim recipe was originally posted in October 2011. I’ve updated it here with new photos and minor changes to the recipe.