Kalbi BBQ Ribs Hawaiian Style

"This is one of our favorite things to BBQ, everyone here loves sweet meat. I have experimented for years, and this is the best, lots of input from friends, and it started from Korean recipes. In Hawaii, we have alot of mixed up ethnic foods. This is almost always served with steamed white rice and some potato-mac salad and some salted cabbage."
photo by Isuru Perera photo by Isuru Perera
photo by Isuru Perera
Ready In:


  • 5 lbs thin cut tender short rib of beef, cross cut, about 1/2 inch thick (can substitute chuck steak)
  • 2 cups soy sauce (I use 1/2 aloha brand and 1/2 yamasa brand.)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves (pressed or chopped fine)
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • sliced green onion (optional)
  • sesame seeds, toasted until they pop and turn light brown (optional)
  • 1 little red pepper paste (optional) or 1 red chile (optional)


  • Place ribs in a glass dish or a Tupperware marinator.
  • Mix all ingredients except for the optional ones in a pan and warm until the sugar melts, then cool.
  • Pour marinade over ribs, add optional ingredients if you like, and place in the refrigerator 4 hours or overnight, mixing up occasionally to make sure all ribs are covered with sauce.
  • Grill or broil until sizzling, being careful not to burn because of the sugar.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Ali G
    Awesome recipe. I tried it again using brown sugar instead of white; OMG it was even better. The red pepper paste is great. It adds a subtle taste and keeps the ribs from being too sweet. Booyah!!!
  2. Isuru Perera
    This is the best Hawaiian BBQ Ribs recipe ever.I tried it today and it came out so good.This is worth a try.This goes with sticky rice,macaroni salad, and salted cabbage.GREAT RECIPE.Thank You!
  3. Sassy Sandra
    This was a nice tasty change of pace for our household. Instead of marinading and broiling, I heated up the matinade and threw it in the crockpot with the meat on low for the better half of the day. It was very good, and I served it with a pot of rice and steamed veggies. The sauce was great over the rice, just something a little different. I was quite impressed. Give this a try, you won't be disappointed.
  4. Gunnar
    Excelent. I forgot to add da ginger. But was still good. Also, I used a whole head of garlic, jus cuz I like garlic. The half local and half japanese soy sauce is a good idea as sometimes the japanese style is too strong.
  5. Melanie Adrienne
    Almost identical to my usual recipe except I add a little rice wine to the marinade.


I have lived on Maui for 22 years, raising two children, and I am love anything creative, art, gardening and of course cooking.
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