Korean Kalbi (BBQ Short Ribs, Galbi Gui) recipe

Korean Soe galbi gui (meaning “beef rib grilled” in english) or just kalbi as it is most often called in the west (using the Japanese pronunciation) is a dish of marinated and grilled beef short ribs. Kalbi is one of the most widely loved Korean dishes in the west and one that I am personally addicted to.

I was first introduced to this dish by the Korean wife of my good friend and have never missed the chance to visit when they are serving it. Like all addicts I found myself looking for ways to make kalbi at home to enjoy when ever I pleased and so as not to appear that I only wanted to visit my friends for the food, thus revealing my problem. After trying the store bought brands and wishing to create my own marinade I came up with what follows.

A fairly simple dish to make it takes some time due to the preparation prior to cooking but is worth it in the end and not taking the time will result in not having the full flavor in your ribs. Often served in restaurants at tables with the grill built in so that one may cook the meat themselves this dish has become perhaps the most recognised of Korean foods in North America.

While it is possible to find pre-made Kalbi marinade in most any Asian market, they generally contain preservatives and don’t give the right flavor in my experience. And, while you may have had the BBQ ribs at an AYCE Japanese place you have not had the real thing, so don’t let that experience keep you from trying this delicious dish.

Makes 6 servings


4 pounds of short ribs

For the marinade:

  • 3/4 cup Japanese soy sauce (or Korean ganjang soy sauce if you can locate it)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup rice wine (mirin)
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 Nashi (Asian) pear, peeled, seeded & mashed or grated
  • 4 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 tbsp dried red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Rinse the short rib pieces to remove any small bone fragments.
  2. In a large bowl soak the ribs in water for 1 hour, drain,  pat dry and set aside.
  3. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl (you can also combine using a blender).
  4. Pour marinade over ribs and toss to thoroughly coat.
  5. Cover with plastic film or foil and place in refridgerator over night (or for at least 3 hours).
  6. Remove ribs from the refridgerator and allow to come to room temperature.
  7. Heat the grill on high for 5 minutes or until grates are fully heated (you know your grill better than I).
  8. Reduce heat to medium high and place ribs on grill being sure to let excess marinade drip off first.
  9. Grill ribs until slightly charred on both sides (about 5 minutes total), turning as nessisary (keep an eye on them, flare ups will happen and they can easily over-cook or burn).
  10. Remove ribs to a serving dish and allow to rest for 4 minutes.
  11. Use kitchen shears to seperate ribs just prior to serving.

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