Easy Sweet & Savory Korean BBQ Grilled Beef Short Ribs (Kal

"This is probably the best homemade Korean grilled beef dish EVER, no exaggeration. I guess you can think of it as a Korean-style beef teriyaki. It is my daughter's favorite way to eat meat and I've never met an American who didn't like it. I was surprised not to find any other kalbi recipe on the zaar, though there are many for braised short ribs and the other korean bbq beef, bulgogi. Kalbi is simple and delicious. Growing up, I typically only had kalbi on special occasions, family holiday dinners, church picnics, and the like. In a restaurant, it can get very pricey but it's a real treat of an experience to have kalbi cooked right at the table and have all sorts of side dishes to eat with it. This recipe is also very flexible: easily doubled; any sweeteners can work in place of sugar (pear juice, honey, brown sugar); easily fried in a skillet or broiled in the oven or grilled... You can serve with just rice, or go all out restaurant-style and serve with red lettuce leaves for wrapping, spicy bean paste, slices of garlic cloves, sliced up scallions and kimchi. It's up to you! The only important thing to remember is the proportion of sugar to soy sauce to water that will result in the best combination of sweet and savory. Prep time does not include marinating time."
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Buddys Kitchen photo by Buddys Kitchen
Ready In:




  • Rinse short ribs under the faucet to get rid of loose bone bits. Soak the short ribs in water for 10 minutes to drain out some of the blood. They can be soaked in a roasting pan, ziploc bag, or large bowl--- whatever container you would like to use for marinating.
  • In your marinating container, combine sugar, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, onion, garlic, sesame seeds and scallions. Dissolve the sugar into the mixture as much as possible, but it will likely not become totally dissolved.
  • Lay rib pieces in the marinade, dispersing onion slices between and on top of the meat and submerging the meat as much as possible.
  • Let the beef marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes, and ideally overnight.
  • Line the grill with foil and poke holes in the foil. On medium high heat, grill the short ribs 5-7 minutes on each side until the meat is cooked medium-well and the bones do not bleed. In my opinion, this particular dish is best with a bit of burnt edges and near-well-doneness.
  • Serve with rice.
  • Alternatively, add extra flair! Wash and break off whole leaves of red lettuce and place on a serving plate (note: red lettuce is not actually red and is widely available in grocery stores). In a small bowl, toss long thin slices of scallion with sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Serve short ribs cut into thirds or about 1 inch squares (kitchen shears work best). In a small dish, place spicy bean paste or hot sauce. To assemble, wrap each piece of meat in a red lettuce leaf with scallion mixture and a dot of the spicy sauce.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Sophisticated Taste
    This recipe is truly great, yet I would add change to a quarter cup of toasted sesame seeds and a half a cup more soy sauce. This is a really great way to marinate short ribs, I know this would be great with pork ribs too. DON'T FORGET TO KEEP THE MARINADE FOR BASTING WHILE COOKING ON THE GRILL! The marinade is top notch excellent.
  2. Kasha
    I marinated dino ribs in this for a day and a half, then roasted them in the oven for about 2.5 hours as we don't have a grill. We pulled the meat off and wrapped it in lettuce leaves with condiments. Very good.
  3. Flaca
    easy and tasty. use this for a large group - it got rave reviews. i pulled back on sugar though and substituted with italian tomato paste - i wanted to add a bit more texture. wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing!
  4. Jonathan Melendez
    These short ribs were amazing! Full of flavor, the marinade is bomb. I served it as recommend with rice and wrapped in lettuce. It's so good!
  5. Sa W.
    This was DA BOMB! We go out for Korean bar-b-que all the time, and this recipe tastes just as delish as what we get in the restaurants. It was so easy, what a hit. Will be making this marinade again and again.



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