LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

Make the best LA Galbi (or kalbi), Korean BBQ short ribs, at home using my tried-and-tested recipe for the perfect galbi marinade. It’s best to grill the marinated beef short ribs over charcoal, but you can easily broil them in the oven too.
 
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Just in time for Labor Day weekend or end of summer grilling, I am updating my post for LA galbi (or kalbi, 갈비), grilled beef short ribs. This galbi recipe was originally posted on this blog back in August 2009. I decided to retake photos to update this time-tested recipe that I use all the time and everyone raves about.

Marinated in a perfectly balanced sweet and savory sauce, the galbi meat will be tender and succulent while still being nicely browned and caramelized on the outside.

Cut of meat — galbi (beef short ribs) 

As I previously explained in another galbi post, there are two different cuts for beef short ribs.
 
The first one is the English cut, which is when the ribs are separated and cut into short lengths. The English cut is used for galbi jjim (braised) or butterflied for grilling.
 
The second one is the flanken cut, which is when ribs are cut thin across the bones. To Koreans, the flanken cut is also known as “LA galbi,” supposedly named after the city where early Korean immigrants started to use this cut to make galbi gui (grilled short ribs).

Galbi marindade

These days, people use all sorts of things to tenderize short ribs, which are a tough cut of meat, including kiwi, pineapple, cola, etc. My favorite is Korean/Asian pear, which is a traditional ingredient used for galbi. Grated onion and alcohol, in the marinade, also tenderize the meat. These ribs have a smooth balance of sweet and savory flavors!

If you cannot find Asian pears, use an apple instead. Some Korean chefs swear by kiwi or pineapple but you will have to make sure you don’t over-marinate the meat as these are very strong tenderizing agents.

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Don’t rush the marinating part! The meat should really marinate the meat for 6 – 8 hours, otherwise it will not be as tender and flavorful as is could be. The thicker the meat, the longer you’ll want to marinate.

 
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It’s best to grill LA galbi over charcoal or wood charcoal (sootbul, 숯불), but a gas grill or a grill pan over the stove top works well too. I often broil galbi in the oven as well.
 
To broil galbi in the oven, set the oven to broil and preheat. Lay the meat in a single layer in a broiling pan and place it on the top rack of the oven, usually about 6 inches below the broiler. Cook until the ribs are slightly charred and caramelized, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip them over and cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes. Watch closely not to burn them.
 

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Which side dishes shall I serve along with my LA Galbi? 

Aside from rice, any of the traditional side dishes (banchan) on my site will do, but pickled dishes complement the meat especially well as their acidity enhance the meat’s umami.

Try my Cucumber Kimchi, my Bok Choi Kimchi Salad , or my Green Onion Kimchi.

 

Did you make and love this LA galbi recipe? Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars in the recipe card or with a comment! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on PinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

 

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LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

4.58 from 57 votes
Main Course
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating: 8 hours
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 - 4 pounds cross-cut beef short ribs about 1/3-inch thick

Marinade

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup rice wine or mirin
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 Korean/Asian pear grated
  • 1/2 medium onion grated
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds optional

Instructions

  • Rinse the ribs to wash off bone dust, and drain well. Pound the meat lightly with a meat tenderizer, or stretch it out with your hands. This step helps tenderize the meat, but you can skip it if you want.

For the marinade:

  • Mix all marinade ingredients well. Marinate the meat for 6 – 8 hours (overnight for best results). The thicker the meat, the longer you’ll want to marinate.
  • Preheat the grill over medium-high heat. Grill the short ribs, turning only once, 2 – 3 minutes on each side. It’s best to grill over charcoal or wood charcoal (soot bul), but a gas grill or a grill pan over the stove top works well too. (See note for the oven broiling method.)

Notes

To broil galbi in the oven, set the oven to broil and preheat. Lay the meat in a single layer on a broiling pan and place it on the top rack of the oven, usually about 6 inches below the broiler. Cook until the ribs are slightly charred and caramelized, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip them over and cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes. Watch closely not to burn them.
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