This Korean kalbi short ribs recipe is one of the best ways to serve up this cut of beef! Delicious and fun to eat, these short ribs are tender, have a sweet and salty flavor, and cook up in no time after marinating overnight (which is key).
Kalbi (or sometimes spelled "galbi") basically means "ribs" in Korean, and the dish uses a flanken cut of beef where thin slices are cut across the bones instead of parallel to the bones.
This cut of beef has three to four small bones next to a strip of beef that is often marbled with fat (which is what makes this cut so tender and tasty!). The P.S Short Ribs (Flanken/Galbi) cut is sold here.
Besides the usual Asian marinade ingredients like soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free), garlic, ginger, sesame oil, etc., this marinade also has a special ingredient: Asian pear!
While offering a bit of sweetness to the marinade, the pear also acts as a tenderizer for the beef. If you don't have access to Asian pears, I have read that Bosc pair will also do the trick. All you need to do is grate the pear and mix it right in (juices, too!) with the other marinade ingredients.
Place the short ribs and marinade in a ziploc bag or shallow container, making sure all the meat has been well-coated on all sides, and let everything hang out overnight!
Serve these ribs with simple sides like leafy greens and rice. Alternatively, you can make this more of a Korean style meal by serving them with Korean Sweet Potato Noodles (Japchae) and have some Korean Chili Sauce (Gochujang) on the side if you want to add some spice to the meat!
How to cook!
▢ 2 lbs. (908g) beef short ribs
▢ ⅓ cup soy sauce, tamari for gluten-free
▢ ½ Asian pear, grated
▢ ¼ cup mirin (Instead of mirin, use pomegranate juice)
▢ 2 tbs honey
▢ 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
▢ 1 teaspoon grated ginger
▢ 1 teaspoon sesame oil
▢ ½ teaspoon black pepper
Combine all marinade ingredients and mix well.
In a ziploc bag, combine the beef short ribs and marinade, making sure the marinade coats the meat well.
Seal the bag, squeezing out most of the air, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove beef short ribs from ziploc bag and discard marinade.
Preheat oven broiler.
Place short ribs on a baking rack and broil short ribs for 3-4 minutes each side until sizzling. Keep watching them to make sure they do not burn!
Preheat oven 450 deg F (230C).
Place short ribs on a rack on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat and fry short ribs, a few strips at a time, for 2-3 minutes each side. Repeat with remaining pieces.
Grill for 2-3 minutes each side.
Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
You can easily find short ribs at your local Asian supermarket. Some other markets may also sell them and they might be called "flanken" cut ribs.
Gluten-free substitutes for the soy sauce in marinade are tamari, coconut aminos, or liquid aminos. Be wary of bottles labelled "gluten-free soy sauce" as they often contain other ingredients like sugar.
Marinating the meat overnight is best, but if you are short on time, marinate for 4 hours at a minimum.
If you can't find Asian pears to use for the marinade, I have read that Bosc pears are a good substitute.