Today, we’re making Korean Salt Ribs.
In Korea, it’s called Sogeum-Gui-Galbi (소금구이갈비).
Typically, Korean-style ribs are marinated with soy sauce.
But for this salt ribs, we’ll skip marinating the meat all-together.
Instead, we’ll enjoy the natural juices and flavors of the meat, alongside a few dipping sauces.
I first tried Korean Salt Ribs at a K-bbq restaurant in Itaewon, Seoul.
Semi-cooked ribs were brought from the kitchen and placed over wood charcoal to finish.
As the ribs cooked, the oils dripped out of the bone tips and sizzled on the grill pan.
A few minutes later, I took my first bite, then another and within a few seconds... the rib was clean.
I was so impressed with the simplicity of the ribs - no heavy sauces or overpowering seasoning.
The natural taste of the pork ribs with the chewy texture was great!
Simple & satisfying.
I also tried dunking the ribs into a light, ponzu sauce.
And it was perfect! The tangy, umami of the ponzu sauce with the salty ribs was memorable.
Today, I’ll show you how to make these delicious Korean Salt Ribs at home.
It’s a 2 person recipe - so it try it first, and add more ribs if you like it.
We used 1.2 kg of ribs (2.5lbs) but use up to 1.8 kg (4lbs) for 3-4 persons.
Cooking notes for Korean Salt Ribs:
Remember to remove the silverskin membrane from the ribs if it hasn’t been already removed.
If you don’t have mirin on hand, it’s okay to skip - but don’t skip any of the other ingredients when boiling the ribs.
Instead of soju, you can also substitute it with cheongju (청주) or sake.
If you don't have an espresso machine, you can use 1 packet of instant black coffee.
If you have a pressure cooker pot, use it to save time:
- Place ingredients into your pressure pot, cover the pot and bring it to high pressure
- When the steam-jiggler starts to go around, set a timer for 10 minutes
- After 10 minutes, take it off the heat and rapidly release the pressure by opening the air valve
- Note: If left for longer (12 minutes), the meat may turn soft and fall off-the-bone… so use a timer and set it for 10 minutes!
- Then carefully open the pressure pot lid, and remove the ribs to cool… then continue to next steps in the recipe
Rubbing the ribs with the sesame oil mixture will not make the ribs taste nutty - don't worry! The olive oil balances the nutty taste of the sesame oil and produces a more elegant taste.
Don’t forget to generously salt the ribs at the end - remember, we haven’t seasoned the ribs with anything else during this entire recipe.
Note: If you don’t have lemon-pepper salt in your pantry, you can also use freshly cracked black pepper.
If the ribs taste slightly bland to you, add on a few more pinches of kosher salt.
But importantly, don't forget the Ponzu Sauce.
It's work beautifully with ribs - light, tangy, umami & refreshing.
You can also pour-out some buffalo hot wing sauce as a secondary dip.
Alternate between the two dips - and watch the ribs quickly disappear (heh).
Also, don’t be scared to eat the ribs… with a bowl of hot rice!
That’s how we do.
Neighbors - one thing.
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And if you're cooking alone tonight, no worries! Listen to our latest podcast as you prep 😀
- 1.2 kgs Baby Back Pork Ribs
- 1 Onion
- 10 Garlic Cloves
- 2 small Ginger Pieces (each about ~2cm)
- 4 Tablespoons Soju (Or use cheongju or sake)
- 3 Tablespoons Mirin
- ½ Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 shot Espresso (or 1 packet of instant black coffee)
- 4 Bay Leaves
- 1 Tablespoon Whole Black Peppers
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
- Generous shakes of Lemon Pepper Salt (Or cracked black pepper)
- Generous shakes of Kosher Salt (or Flaky Salt)
- Ponzu Sauce
- Hot Wing Sauce
- Remove the silverskin membrane from the ribs if it has not already been removed. Cut ribs into individual pieces.
- Take out a large pot. Place the ribs in.
- Then quarter onion into 4 pieces.
- Place into the pot: Onion (4 pieces), Garlic (10 cloves), Ginger (2 small pieces), Soju (4 Tablespoons), Mirin (3 Tablespoons), Sugar (½ Tablespoon), Espresso (1 shot), 4 Bay Leaves & Whole Black Peppers (1 Tablespoon)
- Then fill the pot with hot water - just enough to submerge the ribs (reference video).
- Place on a lid and bring the pot up to a boil. Once it's boiling, set a timer for 40 minutes.
- (If using a pressure cooker pot, please reference cooking notes)
- After 40 minutes of boiling, the ribs should be soft enough to bite through. (It should not be fall-of-the-bone tender)
- Now, use a sieve and take out the ribs. Let them cool on a plate.
Apply Oil Coating
- Before we begin, please preheat your oven. Place on a "broil" setting. [Note: If you don't have a "broil" setting, place on bake at 230°C / 450°C.]
- Mix Olive Oil (2 Tablespoons) & Sesame Oil (2 Tablespoons) together. Add more later... if needed.
- Place on plastic food gloves. Then dip a part of your glove into the into oil mixture and then thoroughly coat each rib (all sides).
- Neatly arrange the coated ribs onto your oven rack.
- Place into oven for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, take rack out and flip the ribs over to the other side.
- Then place back into the oven for another 3 minutes.
- After a total of 6 minutes in the oven, take the ribs out. We'll now finish the ribs with a food torch - to give it more color and fire flavor.
- Gently scorch BOTH sides of the ribs for added color & taste!
- Apply a generous shake of lemon-pepper salt over BOTH sides of the ribs.
- Then shake-on a generous amount of kosher salt over BOTH sides of the ribs.
Serve with dipping sauce
- These ribs taste amazing with Ponzu Sauce!
- Pour some ponzu sauce onto a a plate and serve it with the ribs.
- Or you can also serve Buffalo Hot Wing Sauce.
- Eat with a bowl of hot rice.
- Bon Appetit ya'll.
We made this for dinner tonight and my two sons gnawed the bones clean. We’ll be making this for their halmuni and haraboji this weekend as a surprise cause it’s just that good. Thanks you two from the states!