Make Korean BBQ short ribs at home using my tried-and-tested recipe for the perfect galbi marinade. You can grill the marinated short ribs over charcoal, broil them in the oven, or pan-fry.
You can enjoy delicious Korean barbecue at home. It’s all about the marinade and good quality meat, and it’s easy to prepare! Galbi (or Kalbi, 갈비), Korean beef short ribs, is one of the most popular barbecue dishes in Korean homes, especially for special occasions and gatherings. Here’s my tried-and-tested recipe for the perfect galbi marinade!
Marinated in a perfectly balanced sweet and savory sauce, the galbi meat is tender and succulent while still being nicely browned and caramelized on the outside.
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, for which 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, for which the 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). LA galbi is now highly popular even in Korea.
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 isKorean/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. If using kiwi or pineapple, use a small amount so you don’t over-marinate the meat as these are very strong tenderizing agents.
For convenience, you can blend the fruit, onion, garlic and ginger together in a mini blender.
Don’t rush the marinating part! The ribs should really be marinated for at least 6 – 8 hours. Overnight to 24 hours is better. The thicker the meat, the longer you’ll want to marinate.
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 sometimes broil them in the oven or simply pan-fry.
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.
What to serve with
Aside from rice, any of the traditional side dishes (banchan) on my site will do, but pickled dishes, such as pickled garlic and kkaennip kimchi, complement the fatty meat especially well.
I often serve the short ribs with fresh kimchi salad type of dishes, such as fresh kimchi or bok choi kimchi salad. Japchae always goes well with meat dishes too. Still can’t decide? Check out my collection of 15 Korean Vegetable Side Dishes.
Last but not least, as with any Korean BBQ, serve with red or green leaf lettuce in which to wrap the meat, along with ssamjang (쌈장) or simply gochujang. Perilla leaves (kkaennip, 깻잎) and crown daisy (ssukgat, 쑥갓) are great vegetables to add to your wraps, if available.
More Korean BBQ recipes
For more Korean cooking inspirations, follow along on YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)Main Course
- 3 - 4 pounds cross-cut beef short ribs about ⅓ - inch thick
- 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 You can blend the pear together with the next 3 ingredients.
- 1/2 medium onion, grated
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 plump cloves)
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger (about 1 inch chunk)
- 3 scallions thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds optional
For the ribs:
- 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.
Cooking the ribs
- 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.)
This LA galbi recipe was originally posted on this blog back in August 2009. Here, I updated this time-tested recipe with new photos and a recipe card.
Hi can you tell me what brand and type you use for soy sauce and sesame oil. I don’t want to put Chinese versions if it changes the flavor
See here: https://www.koreanbapsang.com/korean-pantry-seasoning-ingredients/
This was so good! Unfortunately, I was unable to find Asian pears in My local supermarket. I just skipped it. I made a huge batch. After 10 hours the meat was slightly tough but still delicious. I froze the rest, including the marinade. The frozen meat was incredible.
Hello! Your recipes are always amazing! I accidentally used about 1/8 cup of rice vinegar instead of rice wine! And then realized I read it wrong and used 1/8 mirin. I haven’t cooked it yet. Do you think I ruined the flavor?
Probably not. That’s not a lot of vinegar, so I’m sure it will cook off. Enjoy!
They turned out delicious! My family ate every last rib! Thank you for all your recipes!
Nari H. says
Works and it’s delicious! One question though – why add water? I find most recipes don’t add water, and my mom never did. But I tried this one and it was just fine. Any reason as to why you add water in this recipe?
Actually, it’s pretty common to dilute soy sauce with water for the galbi marinade. The resulting galbi can be dark in color otherwise. I like the ribs to be soaked in a thin, light marinade. I think it helps the marinade penetrate the tough meat better, enriching the flavor and tenderizing the meat.
Thank you so much for the recipe which I followed today (with a bit of tweaking). I used the water to blend the onion, ginger, garlic, apple (I didn’t have pear) and even the green onions. Just waiting for the bed to be marinated. Can’t wait!
Great recipe – I can tell that you spent a lot time getting the proportions right to create a traditional taste yet evolved it into a dish for modern times also. Your recipes are always solid. Thank you for all the work you put into it!
oh that’s amazing to hear! Thank you so much!!!
Wow! I didn’t have a pear or shallots, but this tastes exactly like the restaurants in Canada! I will definitely cook this again! Thank you for sharing your recipe!
I made this for a BBQ yesterday and they turned out AMAZINGLY good. The flavours were what I remember growing up with and eating in Korea. It was a huge hit and I am so tempted to have another BBQ just to make them again. Thank you for sharing!
May I know what is the longest time I can marinade the meat before they lose their texture?
They are fine up to 3 to 4 days, although I don’t think they would the texture even after that.
Aleixa Jerome says
Hello! I was wondering if we can preserve the marinade after using it.
Thank you for sharing the recipe!
You can boil it and use as a sauce, but I wouldn’t recommend reusing it as a marinade. It’s diluted so it will not be as effective as a marinade.
“1/2 medium onion”. Do you use a white or yellow onion?
Any onion is fine. I generally use sweet onion for marinades.
Annie M says
This recipe was fantastic! Followed it pretty closely and let sit overnight. My boyfriend and I both loved them. Thank you for sharing. We had ours with jasmine rice and snow peas. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.
Hello! I was just wondering, is there any difference between LA galbi and traditional galbi besides the cut? Are the marinades the same? I’m unsure as to which type of cut I should buy.
The main difference is the cut. You use the same marinade. LA galbi will be convenient as the other cut will require butterflying. Please see more here:https://www.koreanbapsang.com/galbikalbi-korean-bbq-short-ribs/
Felicia Lee says
Hi, I’ve tried many of your recipes and they are all so good! May I ask for this galbi, how long do I need to grill them each side if I am using a normal grill pan on the stove?
Hi Felicia! 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Enjoy!
This is so delicious! I’ve made it many times already, it’s a well loved dish by my family and friends! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂
Reminds me of my childhood and church barbecues in the park! Really great recipe.
Mark Blans says
I used a Fuji-Apple, added a few tablespoons of Teriyaki and used finelily sliced green onions and then marinated it over-night and through most of the next day.
Incredible stuff, even under the broiler.
Easy and delicious
This was amazing marinade- didnt require oil to cook! We had pear to pair with the ribs too. The ribs we had were very fatty, but not sure if it isnt fatty will it still be good?
Great to heat that! Short ribs always have some fat. If they were well marbled, then you had good ribs. Short ribs with a little less fat should taste still good.
This is our family’s go to short rib marinade. It compliments the natural flavor of short ribs perfectly and we have made it many times. We usually sub an apple for the Asian pear, triple the recipe, and freeze it in portions for later use. Thank you so much for posting it! It’s one of our favorite dishes! ❤️
Awesome! I’m so happy to hear that. Good idea to freeze them!
This is our family’s go to short rib marinade. We have made it many times and it’s one of our favorite dishes. It compliments the natural flavor of short ribs perfectly. We usually sub an apple for the Asian pear, triple it and freeze it in portions for later use. Thank you so much for posting it! ❤️
Jim L says
Followed the recipe exactly as written and we had the best kalbi – tender and savory! Thank you so much!
Can I use a normal pear instead of an Asian one?
Yes you can. Bosc pear is good.
Hi! Can you use vinegar mixed with sugar instead of Mirin?
I would not use vinegar for the marinade. It’s better to leave it out if unavailable. Hope this helps.
Lisa Simon says
The flavor is great but I think I will use something else for tenderness. I used a Korean pear and it came out less tender than when I don’t use one at all. Maybe it would have worked better if the pear was sliced rather than grated.
Nichole Renkewitz says
This is such a great recipe, thank you so so much for sharing it! I’ve made this several times using several different thicknesses, it was a banger each time. The thin sliced ribs were definitely the best, it caramelizes better that way but it wasn’t awful on thicker cuts. Thanks again, there’s no way I was trusting anyone on Allrecipes with this one, I’m very grateful.
Nice stuff. First time making korean food bbq and nailed it on my cast iron skillet
Christine Yoon says
If you’re using the all purpose marinade, what should you add to it and how much marinade should I use?
Can I double and freeze half?
Hi Christine – I explained it in the all purpose marinade post. Yes, you can freeze the ribs, but the marinated meat may not taste as good as freshly made.
Thank you for this recipe. Since an Asian grocery store just opened in my town, I can get the right cut of meat plus some really good kimchi to serve too. I’m making it for the second time tonight. It’s such a big hit in my family. Thank you!!!
Happy to hear that! Thank you for using my recipes and taking the time to write me the feedback!
Your La Galbi is the best… just loved the flavor.
Aww so happy to hear that! Thank you so much for the great review!
Ann flagg says
My korean born husband loves this recipe thank you so much I know he misses his traditional food since his mom passed and I’ve been trying to learn. So far I do a pretty good bulgoki, japchae and kimchi-chigang (sp) but now this too thanks again!!
aww that’s awesome! Thanks for letting me know and for the rating! Hope you find many more recipes you and your husband.
This marinade is delicious! Thank you! Will make these ribs often!
Great to hear! Thank you for trying it out and for the feedback!
Sterling Jarden says
They are all soooooo good!
My grand mother and mother have used this cut of meat for their okinawan(recipe) bbq ribs since the 1940’s maybe earlier. We simply called it bbq short ribs growing up.
As for kalbi? It wasn’t main stream in L.A till the mid1980-90’s. In Hawaii the first stop for the majority of korean immigrants arriving in United States. Kalbi thus was already established in Hawaii circa 1970’s in the Korean restaurants there. So I’m not sure why so many people call it L.A kalbi? Any true Korean will know, that it was in Hawaii that kalbi(lateral cut) type was established way before any mainland cities including L.A. Another thing traditionally, kalbi is cut along the bone and not laterally against the bone. Imo, kalbi of the lateral cut should be called as such
“lateral cut kalbi” if anything?
I have 3-4 lbs of thinly sliced chuck roast…I would like to use this recipe, but do you think it would work for the type of meat that I have?
Yes it will, but if it’s thinly sliced, you’d be better off to use the bulgogi recipe: https://www.koreanbapsang.com/2010/05/bulgogi-korean-bbq-beef.html. Enjoy!
Lol..I always thought LA meant lateral not Los Angeles! I’m Korean, originally from LA!
Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ve tried twice now and will my go to recipe for galbi because it’s just so delicious! My family loved it too 🙂
That’s awesome! Thanks for letting me know.
Regarding marination: do you marinate overnight in th refrigerator or in the freezer? If in the refrigerator, what’s the maximum number of hours can it stay in refrigerator only?
Marinate in the refrigerator. It should be okay for up to 2 days.
This marinade is also good on chicken and pork..I’ve tried both but beef is still the best match. My kids loved it everytime I cook it. Thanks for a great recipe.
You’re welcome! I’m thrilled to hear your kids love it. Happy cooking!
Halena shinn says
I made this twice. The first time turned out great as I used it right away. Second time, I froze the marinade in advance and it wasn’t as tasty. Do you not recommend freezing the marinade?
Do you know if this marinade would be good on chicken?
I definitely try out this recipe. I love galbi and usually buy Korean BBQ galbi sauce but now with this recipe, I can make it from scratch. Wow!
I will update you how my galbi turns out. I always buy the LA galbi cut, which is more tasty and authentic than the English cut.
Thank you very much for sharing the recipe.
Anne – I’m so glad to hear you’ll make you own marinade. It’s very easy and will be much more fresh and tasty! Enjoy!
Looks really delicious! !
Annyeonghaseyo! Just letting you know that your marinade’s really good. Followed your recipe last night but I also added half a kiwi for a little extra enzyme action. Grilled the ribs up for lunch earlier and everybody enjoyed them. I love grilled meat and the Korean way of eating it as ssam makes me feel like I’m eating healthier and a little less guilty 🙂
Oh by the way, this is off topic but when I watch Korean drama/variety shows, I sometimes see people eating brown eggs usually on trains or at the sauna. They look like boiled eggs but they’re brown after peeling. How are they cooked?
Hyosun Ro says
Annyeonghaseyo! That’s great! Thank you for letting me know. I have never made sauna eggs but remember one of my fellow bloggers posted about them. Here’s her link: http://mykoreankitchen.com/2013/03/06/how-to-make-korean-sauna-style-eggs/
Ah so that’s how it’s made. Interesting. Thank you for the info.
Yuna Hutchison says
Oh my gosh! I’m so glad I found your blog. I have a husband who loves korean food so much. Specially galby!!! I was getting tired of cooking galby in the grill and now I know how to cook in the oven and It’s great!!!! Thanks for sharing this 🙂
Hyosun Ro says
You’re welcome! Hope you and your husband enjoy many of my recipes.
The ribs! I could eat a heaped plateful 🙂 Thanks for the information about the two types of cuts.
Hyosun Ro says
Thank you, Cynthia!
kumars kitchen says
such beautifully grilled and addictive summer treat,looks luscious with that yummy marinade 🙂
Hyosun Ro says
Hi Hyosun! Can I use mool yut (sp?) instead of honey? If so, clear or brown? Thank you! Kara
Hyosun Ro says
Hi Tara – Yes you can. Either one is fine. Thanks for trying it out!
Hyosun Ro says
Hi Tara – Yes you can. Either one is fine. Thanks for trying it out!
Fern @ To Food With Love says
Hi Hyosun! These short ribs look so juicy and tasty, the photos have done them justice 🙂 I’ve been looking around for these short ribs at the butcher, though have yet to find them. These will be great for bbq with summer coming up!