How to make Korean BBQ Short Ribs step by step recipe

Korean BBQ Short Ribs (Galbi)

7 hours 25 mins
Vadim Rachok
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The BBQ Marinated Beef Short Ribs (Galbi) is a standout dish that is part of the world-famous Korean barbecue. Korean BBQ marinades fill dishes with magical flavor and possess exceptional tenderizing abilities. They can tenderize tough cuts like short ribs, resulting in a succulent, sweet, savory, and garlicky taste.

Having honed my skills in Korean cuisine over the years, I've always been captivated by the transformative power of a well-crafted marinade, especially when it comes to BBQ Beef Short Ribs. This recipe encapsulates the essence of Korean BBQ – a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and garlicky flavors that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also tenderizes the meat to perfection. The key to this dish's magic lies in the traditional marinade, a testament to Korea's rich culinary heritage. As a chef, I've seen firsthand how the right balance of ingredients like nashi pear, garlic, and soy sauce can elevate the humble short rib into a culinary masterpiece, making it a dish that's close to my heart and a favorite among those I serve.

Korean BBQ Marinated Beef Short Ribs

When people think of Korean food, one of the first things that comes to mind is Korean barbecue. It’s famous all around the world for good reason! I love that it’s not only a meal but also a social event. People gather around a table with a grill where they cook marinated meats, seafood, and vegetables.

Korean Short Ribs stand as one of the most famous marinated barbecued meats, highly valued by Koreans for their rich beefy flavor. The marinade not only adds flavor but also tenderizes the meat and encourages delicious caramelization as it barbecues.

Korean Short Ribs feature a distinctive cut where the meat rolls out into a long, thin flap, still connected to the bone. This allows for better absorption of marinade and faster cooking time while also making it easier to consume.

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

Korean Barbecue Marinade for Beef Short Ribs

The distinctive flavors of Korean BBQ stem from the use of traditional Korean marinades.

  1. Exceptional tenderizing effect – Korean barbecue marinades often include fresh fruits like nashi pears, regular pears, apples, kiwis, and pineapples, which have natural tenderizing properties. These fruits break down the fibers in otherwise tough meats, such as today’s short ribs, rendering them exceptionally tender—even when overcooked!
  2. Distinctive sweet-savory flavor – These dishes have a familiar yet unique Asian flavor. They often have a strong garlic taste, as Korean food tends to have it, with a leaning towards a sweet yet savory taste. Unlike some Western sauces that are sugary-sweet, their sweetness comes from fruits, making it different. They are also complex and contain ingredients, like grated onion, that add a great boost of savory flavor and body to the dishes.
  • Nashi pear or normal pear or apple – Korean Barbecue Marinades contain a unique ingredient, nashi pear, along with other fruits that have natural tenderizing qualities. These ingredients can soften the fibers of even the toughest cuts of meat. Normally, you slow-cook beef short ribs until they become fall-apart tender. However, the marinade allows you to barbecue the meat while still keeping it suitable for consumption, as demonstrated in this recipe and this recipe.“Nashi” The Japanese word for pear is “nashi”. It has several other names, such as Korean pear, Asian pear, Chinese pear, apple pear, and sand pear.Its shape resembles a round apple but with a texture and taste similar to a crisp pear, and even juicier and tastier than most pears.Nashi pears are usually available from autumn to late spring.Best substitutes: Normal pears and red apples have a very similar flavor and tenderizing effect in the end result.
  • Garlic – Korean cuisine is famous for its generous use of garlic, and Korean marinades are no exception.
  • Ginger – The garlic is dominant, but ginger adds a fragrant note. Ginger is recommended but not essential.
  • Onion – An essential savory ingredient, finely grated for a unique flavor.
  • Mirin – Japanese sweet cooking wine that adds depth and complexity to the marinade and, well, anything it comes into contact with!
  • Soy sauce – For flavor and salt;
  • Sesame oil – Koreans love sesame oil just as much as they love garlic, and that’s something we can definitely appreciate!
  • Sugar – Adding more sweetness enhances the terrific caramelization on the beef.
  • Black pepper – To add a cozy feeling.

Korean BBQ Short Ribs Recipe

Beef Short Rib cut used for Korean BBQ

Beef ribs are thick, meaty cuts that are slow-cooked in Western cuisine until they are tender. One example is Beef Ribs in Red Wine Sauce.

When it comes to Korean BBQ, chefs cut beef short ribs in a variety of ways for cooking. You might find the ribs served boneless as small, ready-to-grill, bite-sized pieces. Alternatively, they can be served with the bone still attached, which can be done in one of two ways.

There are two types of beef ribs. The “flanken cut” has small pieces of rib per slice, while the “English cut” has a single, longer rib bone section per slice. Korean butchery cuts are smaller than those found in Australian shops. The beef is butterflied and unrolls into a long, thin piece while still attached to the bone.

I can see that the text is already clear, and there are no apparent errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation. The text talks about using butterflied beef short ribs, which are not commonly found at Western butchers. You can find them at Korean or Asian butchers. However, there is an easily accessible substitution available, which will be mentioned below.

How to make Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs

One technique that sets Korean marinades apart is the use of finely grated onion and fruit, such as nashi pear, to maximize flavor in the marinade.

  1. Finely grate. First, chop onion, nashi pear, ginger, and garlic. Then, mix them with the rest of the ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Unroll  The Korean-cut butterflied beef short ribs.
  3. Place the beef in a ziplock bag or container, and then add the marinade.
  4. Marinate Marinate beef short ribs for 24 hours to ensure tenderness. Do not shortcut the marinating time.
  5. Cook When it comes to cooking beef, I prefer to use a BBQ. However, if I’m indoors, I’ll use a stove instead. If I’m using a BBQ, I cook the beef strips whole so they look nice. But if I’m using a skillet or pan on the stove, I cut the beef into smaller pieces. On a hot BBQ, it takes about 2-3 minutes to caramelize each side of the beef, which technically means it’s overcooked, given its thinness. But don’t worry, this is intentional because the marinade keeps it tender. In fact, I cooked it for over 10 minutes, and it was still very tender.
  6. Remove from the grill or stove and serve. This beef distinguishes itself from other Korean BBQ meats by being infused with flavor, eliminating the need for a dipping sauce.

Galbi Ribs Recipe

What to serve with Korean Marinated BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Korean cuisine is famous for its wide range of delicious, simple, and primarily vegetable-based side dishes, known as banchan, that accompany the main course. The number of banchan dishes can vary, from a few simple ones in a home setting to as many as a dozen in some restaurants, filling every available surface on the table with an astonishing variety of sides in individual dishes. Think of the person who ends up washing all those dishes!

Kimchi, whether store-bought or homemade, is a must-have in Korean cuisine. Potato salad is also a common side dish. Additionally, a simple salad of lettuce with canned corn kernels and thinly sliced onion typically accompanies the main dish. The Asian sesame dressing would be a perfect complement to this salad. Stir-fried vegetables are also great accompaniments to the richly flavored Korean mains. The individual vegetable preparations in bibimbap are essentially mini-banchan recipes.

  • Bean sprout or soybean sprout salad
  • Pickled radishes (easy)
  • Korean Sesame Spinach Salad
  • Sweet Soy Potatoes

Korean BBQ Short Ribs (Galbi)
Author:Vadim Rachok
Here is a simple recipe for making Korean short ribs. If you prefer, you can use chicken breast or sliced rib-eye instead of short ribs. If you decide to use chicken or rib-eye, make sure to add thinly sliced green onion tops. You can also broil the meat in the oven for the same amount of time.
How to make Korean BBQ Short Ribs step by step recipe
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
7 hrs
Total Time:
7 hrs 25 mins
Ingredients you will need
1.25 kg/ 2.5lb beef short ribs, butterflied Korean style
1.25 tbsp vegetable oil
1.25 tbsp vegetable oil
0.31 cup brown sugar
2.5 tbsp mirin
0.31 cup onion
0.31 cup nashi pear
2.5 tsp garlic
2.5 tsp ginger
2.5 tbsp water
1.25 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1.25 tsp black pepper
Let’s start !
1 To prepare the marinade, mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl using a whisk.
2 For a perfect marinade, put beef in a ziplock bag, glass, or ceramic container. Add marinade and mix well to coat. Cover and let it marinate for 24 hours.
3 After marinating the beef, take it out of the marinade and dispose of the marinade.
4 To cook beef on the BBQ, first heat it on high until it’s smoking hot. Then, brush the grills with vegetable oil. Place the beef on the BBQ and cook for 2 minutes on one side until it’s caramelized. Turn it over and cook the other side until it’s also caramelized. Once done, remove the beef from the BBQ and loosely cover it with foil. Cook the remaining beef the same way.
5 Cut beef into pieces that fit the skillet. Heat skillet with oil. Add beef and cook 2 min each side until caramelized.
Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 5
Calories: 710
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 56g71%
Saturated Fat 22g110%
Cholesterol 112mg37%
Sodium 2231mg97%
Total Carbohydrate 23g8%
Dietary Fiber 1g4%
Total Sugars 17g 
Protein 29g 
Vitamin C 4mg18%
Calcium 53mg4%
Iron 4mg23%
Potassium 430mg9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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When preparing Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs, one of my go-to techniques is to ensure the marinade is thoroughly worked into the meat. Don't just coat the surface – massage the marinade in, ensuring it penetrates every fiber of the ribs. This not only maximizes flavor absorption but also enhances the tenderizing effect of the fruit enzymes. Also, for an extra layer of flavor, consider lightly toasting the sesame oil and garlic before adding them to the marinade. This small step deepens the umami and aromatic profile of the dish, providing a richer and more complex taste experience. Remember, patience is key – a full 24-hour marination will reward you with ribs that are not just flavorful but melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Vadim Rachok
Vadim Rachok
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