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.
How to butterfly the short rib meat
- Your butcher may be willing to butterfly the short ribs for you. To do it yourself, you will need a sharp knife.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 ofssamjang (쌈장) or simply gochujang (Korean red pepper paste).
More Korean BBQ recipes
Galbi (Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs)Main Course
- 3-4 pounds beef short ribs (good quality English cut)
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.