Grilled beef galbi (Korean short ribs)

All photos for this recipe are from Erin Hungsberg (IG: erin_hungsberg)

Some dishes just remind you of your childhood, and this is definitely one of them. Growing up with a Korean mother, she would serve grilled beef galbi on special occasions. It’s one of my favorite dishes of all time and I’m pretty much addicted to Korean food. If you’re not familiar with galbi, it’s beef short rib marinated with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, scallions, and Korean pear among other things! It really produces a flavor packed bite.

Grilling the short ribs intensifies the flavor as you get those beefy charred bits. Meanwhile, the marinade caramelizes onto the meat. It’s a dish that packs that overall balance of great Korean bbq. I hope you’ll feel the same after you make this recipe!

What kind of beef is galbi made from?

Galbi literally translates into English as rib and is made from beef short rib. Sometimes, they are called flanken cut short rib depending on how they are sliced. The short rib used for Galbi are typically cut really thin across the bone. Thus, they really absorb the flavors of the marinade and cook quickly.

What to serve with beef galbi?

As this is a main meat dish, you can serve many sides with galbi – Koreans have a ton of side dishes called Banchan. I like to eat galbi with steamed rice and kimchi. Sometimes I’ll make lettuce wraps using the beef with rice, gochujang or Ssamjang. Basically creating a Korean taco!

Preparing the short ribs

To ensure there are no bone fragments loose from the rib bones, place ribs in cold water for an hour or up to overnight before marinating. This also helps draw any blood from the meat. I put them in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place them into my fridge. This step isn’t absolutely crucial but if you have some extra time, its a good practice. 

Firing up the grill

The absolute best way to cook beef galbi is to grill them. The flavor from the charcoal and the fire as it kisses the meat is unmatched and gives you the best results. For me, charcoal is preferred, but feel free to use a gas grill and you will still get great results. However, you can cook these on the stove top in a hot pan if that is all that you have. Just make sure to heat a good cast iron pan to get that smoking sear. That’s the best part. 

Fire up the grill to medium heat (around 350°F) and place them directly over the heat. Then flip them back and forth until cooked to about 135°F internal. They don’t take long to cook, but it will vary depending on the thickness of the meat. I use a good instant read thermometer to monitor temps.

Ingredients for marinating grilled beef galbi

There are a good amount of ingredients that go into the marinade but each one plays a part in adding the deep umami flavor you get in galbi.

  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame seed oil
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Asian pear (Can use Bosc pear)
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • White onion
  • Brown sugar
  • Light beer (Optional)

How to make grilled beef galbi

First, combine all the marinade ingredients together in a food processor and pulse together. It should resemble a liquid paste consistency.  Then, pour the marinade over the beef ribs and marinade for 12-24 hours. If the ribs are on the thicker side, I recommend 24 hours.

Pro tip: You can save some of the excess marinade for brushing on the meat while they are on the grill for the best galbi. 

Once the ribs have been marinaded, fire up your charcoal grill to medium heat and grill the ribs directly over the heat, flipping occasionally. They should cook pretty fast. I look for a nice brown color, caramelization, and a little char. All of this adds layers of  flavor to these Korean short ribs.

Once you remove them from the grill, garnish with toasted sesame seeds and scallions. Then serve with your traditional Korean sides like rice and kimchi. A lot of times I will take kitchen sears and cut the meat into bite-size pieces to make it easier for guests to eat. 

Be ready for a flavor explosion and a recipe you’ll be coming back to over and over again! If this is your first time trying galbi you are in for a treat. If you love Asian flavors, make sure you check out my Creamy Spicy Garlic noodles with Shrimp. It’s another go to of mine!

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Grilled beef galbi (Korean short ribs)

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 34 pounds of beef short ribs (LA or Flanken style) 

Marinade

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil 
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar 
  • 1 Korean pear rough chopped  (Can use Bosc pear) 
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger 
  • 1 medium white onion rough chopped 
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/4 cup light beer (Optional)

Garnish

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoon of sliced scallions (Green onion) 

Instructions

  1. Combine marinade ingredients together in a food processor and pulse until you get a liquid paste like consistency. 
  2. Pour marinade over short ribs and refrigerate covered for 12-24 hours. 
  3. Fire up your grill to medium heat and grill short ribs until they reach an internal temperature of 135°F. Flip occasionaly for even cooking and to get a nice sear on both sides. 
  4. Remove beef ribs from grill and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and scallions. 
  5. Serve with rice, kimchi and your favorite sides. 
  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Korean

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5 Comments

  1. That look so delicious so i try make my self , friends and family loved it .
    Great recipes.
    Thank you






  2. One of my favorite things to grill! Surprisingly easy and full of flavor. If you haven’t tried this yet, go make it asap!






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