Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

galbi recipe 11 - Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

Make delicious Korean BBQ short ribs, galbi (or kalbi, 갈비), at home! This galbi recipe will give you a smooth balance of sweet and savory flavor!

Beef short ribs

The word galbi literally means “ribs,”and the full name of this dish is galbi gui (grilled). It is the most popular backyard/outdoor BBQ dish in Korean homes.

Galbi short ribs come in two different cuts – flanken cut (ribs are cut thin across the bones) and English cut (ribs are separated and cut into short lengths). Interestingly, Koreans call the flanken cut “LA galbi,” named after the city where early Korean immigrants started to use this cut for galbi.
 
While LA galbi is convenient and increasingly popular in America and even in Korea these days, the butterflied English cut is classic for grilled galbi in Korea

How to butterfly the short rib meat

  1. Your butcher may be willing to butterfly the short ribs for you. To do it yourself, you will need a sharp knife.
  2. Holding the bone part firmly, slice the meat lengthwise close to the bone almost to the other end (1/4 to 1/2 inch from the edge). Do NOT cut through. Open it up like a book.
  3. Starting from the middle, run the knife through the meaty part, 1/4 to 1/2-inch from the bottom, almost to the other end. Open it up.
  4. Repeat if necessary to open the meat into a long thin strip. This might take some practice, but it’s totally worth it. If this does not work, simply slice the rib meat into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick rectangles.

PicMonkey Collage galbi - Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

Galbi marinade

Short ribs are a tough cut of meat and need to be tenderized for grilling. Traditionally, grated Korean pear is used as a tenderizer. It also adds a subtle fruity sweetness to the marinade. You can certainly make galbi without a pear, but to me, it takes the galbi to a different level.

If you don’t have a Korean/Asian pear, use an apple instead. If using, kiwi or pineapple, use a small amount as these are very strong tenderizing agents. 

The key to creating delicious galbi is to find the right balance between saltiness and sweetness. Using generous amounts of garlic and sesame oil is important to create authentic flavors. The ribs should be marinated at least for 6 to 8 hours or overnight for best results. 

How to enjoy Korean BBQ short ribs

The best way to enjoy Korean BBQ meat is to wrap a bite size piece in a lettuce leaf with a dollop of ssamjang (쌈장) or simply gochujang (Korean red pepper paste).

For other side dishes, serve the short ribs with fresh kimchi salad type of dishes, such as fresh kimchi or bok choi kimchi salad and any of 15 Korean Vegetable Side Dishes.

More Korean BBQ recipes

Have you tried this galbi recipe? Please rate the recipe below and leave a comment! Stay in touch by following me on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

galbi - Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

Galbi (Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs)

4.12 from 18 votes
Main Course
Servings: 4
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds beef short ribs (good quality English cut)

Marinade:

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup rice wine (or Mirin)
  • ¼ cup about 1/2 of a medium Korean/Asian pear grated
  • ¼ cup about 1/2 of a medium onion grated
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Rinse the ribs and drain water. Trim excess fat. Butterfly the short ribs so the meat is 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. (See below for the instructions.)
    galbi5 e1551678887794 - Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)
  • Mix all marinade ingredients well. Marinate the meat for at least 6 hours (overnight for best results). The thicker the meat the longer you'll want to marinate.
    galbi1 e1551678428515 - Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)
  • It's best to grill over charcoal or wood charcoal (sootbul), but a gas grill works well too. Grill over medium high to high heat, turning only once, 2 - 3 minutes on each side. Make sure to preheat the grill for nice grill marks.

Notes

Galbi can be broiled in the oven. Set the oven to broil and preheat. Lay the meat in a single layer on a broil pan and place it on the top rack of the oven, usually about 6 inches below the broiler. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Flip them over and cook for an additional 3 -4 minutes until nicely charred.)
Tried this recipe?Mention @koreanbapsang or tag #koreanbapsang!

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Comments

  1. is the galbi recipe broken? it looks like a 3d images before you put on the 3d glasses.

    • The recipe card issue has been fixed. Try to clear your browser cache if you still see double lines. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  2. Eric Wolfe says

    One thing I’d add that helps with the high heat grilling is resting the ribs after the initial contact (both sides) of the meat with the hot grates, remove and rest in baking dish of butter, garlic, lemon juice flipping around for a minute or two, go back to the grill kissing the ribs with flames just adds a subtle layer of goodness to the final product.

  3. Jeannie Kim says

    I am going to make about 18 pounds of ribs so I plan to multiply everything by 5x. Do you think I really need 5 cups of water? It seems like a lot!

    • That’s a lot of ribs! I suggest you keep the soy sauce to water ratio, but you may not need 5x marinade. Try 4x (similar to economies of scale concept?).

  4. Did I understand the recipe correctly, you only grill for approximately 8-10 minutes?

  5. Hello! I’d really love to make this for Christmas, but I am unsure what you mean by rice wine, is it simply rice wine or rice wine vinegar? with that, there’s seasoned/unseasoned vinegar, etc. help! Lol

    • It’s rice wine, not vinegar. Either one (seasoned or unseasoned) is fine. Seasoned one (mirin)is usually a little sweet, so just taste the marinade and adjust sweetness to your taste. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. Enjoy!

    • Hi, when we go for korean bbq, there’s often a sauce (like soya sauce but much lighter and a little sweet) for dipping the barbecued meat, what exactly is that sauce made of?

      Thanks
      Teresa

    • Hi Teresa – Sorry about the late response. I’m sure every restaurant has its own recipe, but it basically is a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, sugar and some sort of flavorful broth which is made with aromatic vegetables and sometimes fruits such as apples. Anchovy or dashima (dried kelp) broth can be used as well. Hope this helps.

  6. I plan on trying this recipe this week! Thank you for sharing! But I wonder… can I substitute apple for pear?

    • You can simply omit pear if you don’t have one. Apple won’t hurt either. Thanks for using my recipe! Enjoy!

  7. Miriam Choi says

    I’ve tried making different types of kalbi for my blog too (prettyntasty.com) but never tried it with honey. I will definitely try it.

  8. Thank you, Nami! Hope you try the recipe and let me know how you liked it.

  9. Nami | Just One Cookbook says

    I was browsing your site and encounter this post. This is a nice tutorial for short ribs! We love Korean short ribs… I already bookmarked it and can’t wait to try it soon. I wish I found this recipe sooner! Thanks for the awesome recipe!!

  10. That was great ! A tip on slicing if you put the ribs in the freezer for an hour or 2 before slicing it makes it easier to slice.

  11. Hyosun, Goodness..this is my absolute favorite. When it comes to BBQ, the taste is just right and delicious for me!! ha ha ha…even if i can prepare and cook this myself, I still sometimes buy the ready mix one they have in the groceries. Thanks for sharing the recipe..korean food is trully magical!!

    Ciao
    Chakachan

  12. Hyosun Ro says

    Judy and Lauren – Hope you try the recipe and let me know how it turns out for you. Thank you!

  13. Lauren @ Delicateflavors.com says

    I love Korean BBQ but had always used the jar marinade because I never found a good recipe. The Asian pear sounds great. I will have to try it out. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  14. I have been secretly waiting for this post! 🙂 My family looooves galbi! Yours looks so delicious. Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. Hyosun Ro says

    Cinda – Hope you try it! It’s easy to make. My family and friends love my short ribs. Thanks for checking my recipe out!

  16. This looks so good. I would love to try this out.

  17. Hyosun Ro says

    Denise – I believe good Korean restaurants do use pears, but you’re right it’s subtle, unlike citrus fruits. Pear does make a big difference in galbi. I wish I can say it’s my secret ingredient (lol), but it is classic for galbi in Korea. I really hope you get to try this recipe. Thanks always for stopping by!

    Melissa – Please try it! The marinade is very easy to make. Pear is commonly used by Koreans. Use it if you can easily find one, but it will taste still good without it. Marinate it overnight for best results. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Thanks for visiting and hope to see you here again soon!

  18. thehungryartist says

    Thanks for posting this recipe!!
    I want to try this the next time we grill. I never knew there was Asian Pear involved.
    🙂

  19. denise @ quickies on the dinner table says

    I’ve eaten Korean bbq Ribs in Korean restaurants countless, countless times, but I never picked up on the Korean pear!! Maybe they don’t use it at the restaurants? Or maybe it’s too subtle…

    Thanks for sharing your recipe – though I’ve always found bbq ribs a little daunting to make at home, it’s nice to know there’s a great recipe waiting for me should I want to attempt this!

  20. Hyosun Ro says

    Try it and let me know how it turned out for you. Thanks for stopping by!

  21. Carol Egbert says

    I love bulgogi from our local Korean restaurant. I’ll have to try this. Thanks.