Best Korean BBQ Short Ribs (Kalbi) - Ultimate Guide!

Best Korean BBQ Short Ribs (Kalbi) – Ultimate Guide!

In todays recipe guide we are going to be learning how to make Korean BBQ short ribs. When you think of American-style barbecue short ribs you’re used to seeing these big old brontosaurus bones. These always coming with a huge hunk of meat on top! What we are using today is very different. With the Korean style BBQ short rib or la galbi you get a lateral cut. These cuts go across the bone very thin.

This recipe is actually very simple. The real magic is all done with the marinade. Right, lets get started. We are going to start with the soy base. Add half a cup of soy sauce and half a cup of water. Add to this 6 tablespoons of brown sugar, 4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup of mirin and some black pepper. Give that a nice whisk and you will see that the sugar starts to dissolve. This marinade has two parts. The second part is fruity and aromatic. For this you will need some unusual ingredients. You will need a couple of Korean pears, one small onion, 6 cloves of garlic and a light drizzle of olive oil. This is all going to get pureed down into a really fine marinade.

Making the Marinade

You want to get all the flesh of the pears and put it in the blender. Next you want to chop the onion and add this to the blender. Take the skin of the garlic. Give it a chop and put it in. Lastly add about a teaspoon of minced ginger and a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil to give it a slight wet feel. Get that blender on and mix everything together into a fine paste. Great flavor comes out of that sesame oil, it is super aromatic and smells amazing. Now you have got your marinade. It should be a nice light creamy brown color.

All of these flavors are going to work amazing together. The saltiness from the soy sauce is going to work to break down and add tons of flavor to the short ribs.

With this prepared we can start on the meat. For this recipe we are using three pounds of short ribs. Get a really long strip. Because they have been cut against the bone it is a good idea to give them a really good rinse in water. Just incase there are any bone fragments left anywhere. Transfer the ribs into your brine bucket and this is when the magic will start. Let the margination happen. Take your marinade and go right over the top. Work it around so that all of your meat surfaces are touching marinade. Get the ribs fully submerged, lock it into place and put in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight is even better.

Beef Short Ribs
Beef Short Ribs

Dipping Sauce

Whilst all of those ingredients are marinating together it is time to make a dipping sauce for the ribs. We are making a Korean dipping sauce called samjang. It’s really simple to make and uses some fermented products. These are fermented chili paste and a fermented soybean paste.

Start off with half a cup of gochujang, this is the fermented chili paste. It has a nice funkiness to it and just a touch of heat. Add a couple tablespoons of the fermented soybean paste, it really adds the umami. Now to bring a little extra heat we are going to add a serrano pepper. This is not a traditional Korean ingredient but sometimes you have use what you have at home. Jalapenos will work as well. Personally I like to keep to seeds in as it brings extra heat.

Next you want to add about a quarter of a cup of green onions. Make sure these are sliced nice and thinly. We want this sauce to have some type of texture to it and this is going to be what really adds some chunkiness to the sauce. This is a very aromatic sauce so add about four cloves of garlic and mince them up finely. It is time for the final four ingredients. Add a tablespoon of sesame oil, mirin, honey and sesame seeds. With all ingredients in a bowl mix them all together and you have a fantastic sauce. Place it in the fridge and leave it until you decide to cook the ribs.

Serve Alone of With a Sauce
Serve Alone of With a Sauce

Time to Grill

With everything ready its time to get on and grill these ribs. Take them out of the marinade and wipe off any excess marinade. Short ribs naturally come with a lot of fat on them. Due to this fat you are going to see some flare ups when you grill them. This is going to cause a fantastic char on them but you do need to be careful that its not flaring up too much and causing you a problem. If you have a grill where you can adjust the height of the grate then set it close to the coals. You can always move it up during the cook if you need to.

The temperature inside the grill should be about 475 degrees if you can. You are going to be cooking over a direct heat. This means that the meat is going to be placed directly over the coals. Place the ribs on the grills and lets get cooking. You should be able to smell the caramelization happening and that’s coming from the brown sugar as well as the sugars in the pear. Close the lid and make sure that the air is flowing through the grill nice and quickly.

If you check after after a few minutes you will see that the ribs have started to shrink. The fat will also start to render out at this stage. The ribs are done when the ribs start to pull apart but it will take a bit of a tug to do this. You are not cooking these to temperature, you should be able to tell by what i just said. The ribs will be much tougher than a brisket. The ribs should have a bite to them, but you shouldn’t have to keep chewing forever just to eat them.

With the ribs done its time for the final stage. You can eat these with rice or any other side that you like. You will get a real explosion in your mouth especially when you dip them in the sauce we made.

If you love these ribs then you should check out our 3-2-1 ribs.


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