Kalbi (Korean BBQ short ribs) is made with thinly sliced beef short ribs marinated overnight in a delicious blend of garlic, green onion, pear, fresh ginger, rice wine, and rice wine vinegar. Simple to make, kalbi grills quickly and is the perfect dish for your next barbecue or cookout.
Known as gogi-gui in Korean, I love a good Korean BBQ, and kalbi, also known as galbi, is my favorite. I mean, what’s not to love about a plate filled with tender, mouthwatering marinated Korean beef short ribs?
What is Kalbi?
Kalbi is a popular Korean dish made with thinly-sliced marinated Korean-style short ribs that are grilled or broiled. The marinade typically includes a combination of different ingredients, such as Asian pear or kiwi, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and green onions. It’s often served at Korean barbecues or as a main course at Korean restaurants and served with side dishes such as rice, kimchi, and various vegetables.
The full Ingredient list, including measurements, is found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Beef short ribs: The two most common types of short ribs are English short ribs and flanken short ribs. English short ribs are thicker and cut along the bone, whereas flanken short ribs, also known as “LA kalbi,” are thinner and cut across the bone, exposing 3-4 bones along the long edge. Kalbi is made using flanken-style short ribs as they are widely available in Asian markets and allow for optimal marinade penetration and a faster cooking time.
- Asian pear, regular pear, or kiwi fruit: The fruit tenderizes the meat. It also sweetens the marinade.
- Liquid ingredients: Here, we’re adding mirin (rice wine), rice wine vinegar (also known as just rice vinegar), soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil. An optional (though popular) addition includes gochujang (Korean chili paste) for a little heat.
- Aromatics: Aromatics are arguably the most important part of any marinade. This kalbi marinade includes fresh garlic, ginger, and chopped green onions. As tempting as using jarred garlic or ginger may be, the flavor doesn’t compare to freshly grated aromatics.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds a rich, caramelly sweetness. So yummy!
How to Cook Kalbi
The full recipe instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1. Combine the ingredients for the kalbi marinade in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Marinate the Korean beef short ribs for at least one hour or up to 12 hours.
3. Remove the short ribs from the marinade and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side. Use a hot, preheated gas grill, electric grill, or grill pan set over medium-high heat.
4. Serve with rice, kimchi, and lettuce wraps.
Leftovers and Reheating
Korean kalbi is best when enjoyed hot off the grill but still makes for amazing leftovers. Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and arrange the leftover ribs on a baking sheet in an even layer. Heat uncovered for 6-8 minutes or just until heated through.
How to Serve
At home and in restaurants, serve kalbi with cooked white rice, kimchi (fermented cabbage), pickled vegetables, and lettuce wraps.
More Delicious Dinner Recipes
- Beef and Broccoli Recipe
- Braised Short Ribs
- Korean Fried Chicken
- Asian Garlic Noodles
- Pho Recipe (How to Make Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
- Easy Teriyaki Chicken Recipe
If you try making this Kalbi Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Kalbi (Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs)
- 5 cloves garlic - minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger - peeled and grated
- 1 bunch green onions - chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 Asian pear, regular pear, or kiwi fruit - shredded or grated
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup mirin - (rice wine)
- 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- 6 flanken beef short ribs
- Prepare the kalbi marinade: In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, green onions, fruit (Asian pear, regular pear, or kiwi fruit), soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and dark brown sugar.
- Marinate the short ribs: Transfer the short ribs to a large heavy-duty plastic bag and pour the marinade over the meat (you may also marinate the short ribs in a large baking dish). Seal the bag and gently rotate the bag to cover the short ribs completely in the marinade.
- Marinate the steak for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.
- Approximately 30 minutes before cooking, remove the marinating short ribs from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature, and heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
- Remove the ribs from the marinade, discarding any excess marinade (see notes). Without crowding the grill, place the ribs on the grill and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until they are cooked through. Repeat with any remaining short ribs.
- Serve with kimchi, white rice, and lettuce leaves. Garnish with freshly sliced green onions if desired.
- Instead of tossing the marinade, bring it to a rolling boil in a small saucepot over medium-high heat. Skim off the surface layer and enjoy it as a glaze or dipping sauce.
- Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)