Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs (Galbi)


Galbi is the ultimate classic in Korean BBQ. If someone is trying Korean food for the first time, this is the dish to start with. The ingredients are relatively easy to find, it’s simple to make and your guests will swoon in gastronomic delight. This recipe can easily be scaled up.

Korean BBQ ribs are usually cooked over a charcoal grill and so you get a beautiful rich, smoky-sweet flavour. They are also incredibly succulent due to the marble cut and tenderising qualities of the marinade.

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

LA Galbi Cut

Galbi (갈비) means 'ribs' in Korean. LA style Galbi ribs (bone in/butterflied) distinguishes itself as much thinner than its traditional Korean counterpart, and is cut across the bone, displaying the rib bone eyes. Not many western butchers offer it, however, the cut is becoming more popular, and so it’s worth asking! Make sure you request a thin slice, no more than 1 cm/0.5 inches. If you can't get the LA Galbi cut, ask for butterflied short ribs, or a rib eye steak, cut into ¼-inch-wide pieces.

Traditional beef short ribs in Korea is cut along the bone and is much thicker. The marinade is exactly the same.


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Serves 2 portions

  • 450g (1lb) bone-in La Galbi cut short ribs (or trimmed boneless rib-eye steak, partially frozen and cut into ¼-inch-wide pieces)
  • 1 Asian or 2 firm but ripe pears, peeled and grated
  • 3½ tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • Large pinch of kosher salt or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for grilling



In a medium bowl, stir together the pears, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper to taste until the sugar has dissolved. Add the beef and massage the marinade into the meat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator, tossing once or twice, for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. The longer you marinate the beef, the better it will taste.

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill until very hot. Lightly brush the grates with vegetable oil. Shake any excess marinade off the beef and arrange the beef on the grill without crowding. Grill for about 30 seconds per side for rare, or longer, if you like.

If you’re using short ribs, cut the meat off the bones with kitchen shears. Transfer the meat to a platter and serve with the lettuce, perilla leaves (if using), rice, and spicy lettuce wrap sauce on the side. To assemble, put a lettuce leaf in one hand and top with a perilla leaf (if using), a spoonful of rice, a smear of sauce, a piece of beef, and some spicy scallion and red onion salad. Wrap the lettuce around the ingredients and enjoy.

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