Skip the Korean BBQ buffets and make these Kalbi Korean Barbequed Flanken Short Ribs from scratch at home! This is one of the easiest Korean recipes to make even if you are a beginner in cooking. You can cook the flanken cut short ribs in the oven or on the grill. Whatever cooking method you choose, this recipe will never fail you!
If you are looking for a good Korean BBQ meat recipe, try these Kalbi Korean BBQ Flanken Short Ribs! You are going to love this recipe because these ribs are as good as those you’d find in a Korean restaurant but not too sweet. It just has the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and tangy notes. The meat is so tender and juicy. No pounding required! Absolutely delicious!
What’s Beef Galbi or Kalbi:
Beef galbi is often referred to as “LA-style’ for Korean barbecue that was popularized by Korean Immigrants in Los Angeles. It’s also called “Flanken-style” at your local butcher shops.
What’s Kalbi Made of:
These Kalbi Korean BBQ Short Ribs are made with flanken-cut short ribs, marinated in a soy sauce-based mixture.
What to Serve with Galbi:
Flanken style of short ribs is cut thin across the rib bones, about ¼- ½ inch thick, and contains three or four pieces of bone per slice. This type of meat cooks quickly on the grill or in the oven.
You can find this cut of meat at Asian or Korean supermarkets. I personally bought mine from Ralph’s for around $7.99 per pound.
Soy sauce-based mixture. This sweet and savory sauce contains soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, Asian pears, onion, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, and black pepper.
Asian pear: It’s a common ingredient in Korean barbecue marinades. It contains an enzyme called ‘calpain’ that tenderizes meat. If you can’t find any Asian pears, use Fuji apple or Bosc pear instead. Asian pears are available at Trader Joe’s, Costco, Ralphs, Vons, and Asian grocers for around $0.99 – $1.99 each.
You can also use kiwi as a tendering agent, just be sure to use a small amount of it and don’t over marinate because it will turn the meat mushy.
Mirin is Japanese sweet cooking rice wine and can be substituted with rice wine vinegar.
Now, let’s talk about the preparation and cooking process.
How to Prepare Flanken Cut Short Ribs Before Cooking:
The preparation process is pretty simple and easy.
Wash the Ribs: To start, you need to soak the ribs in cold water for about 10-20 minutes to remove blood. After that, wash the ribs at least a couple of times in cold water, scrubbing off bone fragments and other debris then pat dry with paper towels.
Make Marinade: To make the sweet and savory sauce, you need to peel and grate the onion, Asian pear, ginger, and garlic. Transfer the mixture to a bowl then add soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, water, salt, and black pepper, stir to combine.
Marinate the ribs: Pour the marinade over the meat and mix well with hands or tongs. Make sure that the ribs are coated with the sauce. Refrigerate and marinate overnight for optimal results or at least 12 hours before cooking. Also, don’t marinate your short ribs for more than 24 hours!
How to Cook Flanken Cut Short Ribs:
You can cook the flanken cut short ribs in the oven or on the grill.
Grilling: These thin short ribs cook very quickly. Each slice of meat should take about 3-4 minutes per side on medium-high heat. The outer part should be caramelized and lightly charred on both sides, and the inside should be cooked through all the way through so the meat will fall off the bone easily.
If you are using a small cast iron grill pan, make sure to work in multiple batches. Do not overcrowd the pan! You also need to clean the pan after every cooking session to remove small residue between batches to prevent it from burning. I know it’s a bit of a hassle, but a clean grill will cook and make food taste better.
Broiling is an alternative to grilling. it’s important to stay close to your food and monitor so it does not burn.
CHECK OUT MORE ASIAN RECIPES:
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- VIETNAMESE CARAMELIZED PORK BOWLS
- CHINESE SAUSAGE FRIED RICE
- INSTANT POT MONGOLIAN BEEF
- SINGAPORE NOODLES (XING ZHOU MI FEN)
- GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN (SWEET AND SAVORY DEEP-FRIED CHICKEN)
- VEGETABLE STIR FRY WITH TOFU
- ASIAN GROUND BEEF STIR FRY
- THAI SALAD DRESSING
- MINCED PORK NOODLES WITH HOISIN SAUCE
- CHINESE EGGPLANT WITH MINCED PORK
- SHRIMP AND GREEN PEAS STIR FRY
- SESAME NOODLES (MA JIANG MIAN)
Kalbi – Korean BBQ Flanken Short Ribs
- 2 pounds flanken cut short ribs
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup mirin or rice wine
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- ¾ cup freshly grated Asian pear (or about half an Asian pear)
- ½ cup freshly grated yellow onion (from a small onion)
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ inch fresh ginger (grated)
- 1½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp kosher salt (add more according to your liking)
- Wash the Ribs: Soak the ribs in cold water for about 10-20 minutes to remove blood. After that, wash the ribs at least a couple of times in cold water, scrubbing off bone fragments and other debris then pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
- Make Marinade: In a medium-size bowl, combine grated pears, grated ginger, grated onion, grated garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin/rice wine vinegar, black pepper, and water. Set aside.
- Marinate: Transfer the short ribs into a large bowl or sealable freezer bag. Pour the marinade over the meat and mix well with hands or tongs. Make sure that the ribs are coated with the sauce. Refrigerate and marinate overnight for optimal results or at least 12 hours before cooking. Do not marinate for more than 24 hours!
- Add Salt: about an hour before cooking, add kosher salt into the mixture and mix well.
- Grilling: Preheat a grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate. Drain excess marinade off beef. Grill short ribs for about 3-4 minutes each side. The outer part should be caramelized and lightly charred on both sides, and the inside should be cooked through all the way through so the meat will fall off the bone easily.
- Serve with rice and Gojuchang! Enjoy!