Korean short ribs, known as “Galbi” or “Kalbi,” are a popular and delicious dish in Korean cuisine. Korean barbecue has a historical connection to the Korean royal court cuisine. The custom of grilling meat at the table gained popularity in Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. The technique of marinating meats likely evolved over time, influenced by Korean cultural and regional preferences for combining sweet, savory, and umami flavors in dishes.
Beef was not historically as common in Korean cuisine due to factors such as limited availability and the dominance of other proteins like pork and chicken. However, as Korea modernized and beef became more accessible, Kalbi gained prominence and became a beloved dish, not only in Korea, but internationally. I personally love going to Korean barbecues however many local Korean BBQ joints are all you can eat which can be pricy. Eating in the comfort of my own home with a freshly cooked plate of short ribs is definitely more my cup of tea.
I like to purchase my beef short ribs from local asian marts. For example, H-mart or TnT are local Asian supermarkets that have a butcher section with fresh cuts of meat. From time to time there are special offers on beef short ribs that I would purchase in bulk by weight.
3 pounds beef short ribs, cut across the bone into thin strips
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice wine or mirin
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 onion, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon honey (optional, for added sweetness)
Freshly ground black pepper
- In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine, sesame oil, grated onion, minced garlic, grated ginger, sesame seeds, green onions, honey (if using), and black pepper. Mix thoroughly to create the marinade.
- Place the beef short ribs in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the ribs, making sure they are evenly coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to infuse the meat.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Brush the grill grates with a bit of vegetable oil to prevent sticking.
- Remove the ribs from the marinade and let any excess drip off. Grill the ribs for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until they are cooked to your desired level of doneness, and they have a nice char from the caramelized sugars in the marinade.
- Serve the Korean short ribs hot, garnished with extra sesame seeds and chopped green onions for added flavor.
- This dish is often served with steamed rice, kimchi, and other Korean side dishes. The marinade creates a perfect balance of sweet, savory, and umami flavors. Adjust the sweetness or saltiness according to your taste preference by adjusting the brown sugar or soy sauce quantities.