Galbi: Korean BBQ beef short ribs are sweet, addicting, fall-off-the-bone tender, and finger-lickin’ good!
Galbi is Korean-style short ribs that are marinated in a sweet Korean BBQ sauce. You may hear Galbi referred to as L.A. Galbi (yes, as in Los Angeles) because it is thought to have originated from Korean immigrants who moved to L.A. This style of short rib is unique because it is cut length-wise across the bone, leaving a long handle of bone for ease of holding and eating. This cut is much thinner (approx 1/2 inch) than traditional American style short ribs, allowing the marinade to easily penetrate and flavor the meat.
How to make Galbi:
There are many Galbi recipes out there and everyone makes it a little differently. But, my all time favorite is this Korean Barbequed Beef Short Ribs recipe courtesy of Judiaann Woo. The ribs turn out perfectly sweet and sticky every single time! These short ribs can be found pre-cut in Asian markets. Or, just ask your local butcher to cut the short ribs thin, across the bone.
Step 1: soak the meat
My sister starts by soaking the meat, her own variation on this recipe, so I do the same. Soaking the meat in cold water for 20-30 minutes removes excess blood and allows the sugar rub to soak right into the meat. The meat will look a little gray after the water bath, and that is okay!
Step 2: rub with sugar
Pat the ribs dry with paper towels then rub brown sugar all over. The sugar will dissolve into the meat like magic!
Step 3: make the BBQ marinade
Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin (rice wine), water, garlic, ginger, and scallions in a bowl. Finely chop or puree the onion and add it to the mix. The Asian pear is that special something that gives this marinade a natural sweetness. Puree the pear in a food processor or along a grater and add it, juices and all to the rest of the marinade. Now, marry the marinade with the ribs and seal all that goodness in a ziplock for a few hours or even better, overnight.
Step 4: grill it baby!
Because the meat is so thin, it only needs 3-4 minutes to cook on each side. Dinner will be served in no time!
What does Galbi taste like?
These ribs are surprisingly sweet! The pear and sugar sweeten the ribs and the soy sauce darkens and helps caramelize the meat. It’s tender and moist and easily tears from the bone.
How to eat Galbi?
I don’t mind getting a little dirty so I pick it up by the bone handle and dig right in. But, for smaller portions, take kitchen scissors and cut between the bone into three separate pieces. Nothing goes better with Galbi than a heaping side of rice and kimchi. This is my favorite way to eat it. Or, wrap the meat in red leaf lettuce for a fresh and healthy bite.
These ribs are a hit with even the pickiest of eaters. So, your kids will love them too!
- 2 pounds
Korean stylebeef short ribs
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup water
- ⅛ cup mirin
- ½ cup finely grated/chopped sweet onion
- ½ cup finely grated/chopped Asian pear
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger (optional)
- 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp chopped scallion
- Soak the short ribs in cold water for 20-30 minutes.
- Pat dry and using your hands, rub the brown sugar all over the ribs and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Mix together the marinade ingredients by combining soy sauce, water, mirin, sesame oil, onion, pear, garlic, ginger, pepper, and scallions.
- Place the short ribs into a resealable freezer bag and add the marinade. Remove any excess air and seal closed. Turn the bag several times to allow the marinade to coat the ribs evenly.
- Let sit refrigerated for at least 4 hours or at least overnight.
- On medium heat, grill the meat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
- Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds and serve immediately!