Korean Short Ribs (aka 'LA Kalbi') is hands-down my favorite type of Korean BBQ! The BBQ dish is best described as beef short ribs, marinated in a sweet and savory sauce.
LA Kalbi is cut 'flanken style', a lateral cut across the ribs which leaves three bone sections in the meat. Though it is very popular (and expensive) in Korea, LA Kalbi is not native to Korea. According to Wikipedia, the method was first developed by Korean immigrants living in Los Angeles as they accommodated to the rib-eye cuts preferred by American butchers. Regardless of origin, (Korean) short ribs are some of the best type of meat to grill! Take the dust off the old Weber, crack open a beer and welcome Summer with a bbq.
Key Taste Variable: Marinade Sauce.
The key ingredient for Korean Short Ribs is the marinade sauce. The sauce starts with a base of sweetness from the Korean pear, apple and onion. Then there is a layer of saltiness from the soy sauce, followed by a mix of spice from the garlic, ginger and spring onions. Corn syrup is also used to slightly thicken the marinade sauce and bind the flavors together. If this ingredient is hard to find, simply skip it or use honey.
Korean Short Ribs - King of Korean BBQ
- Korean Short Ribs - 1 pound
- Onion - ½ whole
- Apple - ½ whole
- Korean pear - ¼ whole
- Soy sauce - 6 Tablespoons
- Sugar - 2 Tablespoons
- Cooking wine - 3 Tablespoons
- Sesame oil - 1 Tablespoon
- Minced garlic - 1 Tablespoon
- Minced ginger - 1 Tablespoon
- Corn syrup - 3 Tablespoons Honey is ok as well
- Black pepper - few shakes
Prep Short Ribs
- Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water. Place short ribs in the water and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Then drain water and thoroughly rinse off each short rib under running water. Set aside for marinade.
- Put apple, onion and Korean pear into a mixer or blender. Turn on high and add small bit of water to get mixer going. Blend until it turns into a sauce.
- Take out a large mixing bowl and place kitchen towel over it. Place sauce into towel and squeeze towel to get as much juice as you can.
- Then place in all of the other listed ingredients. Mix together thoroughly.
- Place washed beef strips into a large Tupperware. Pour marinade over. Make sure all of the ribs are well submerged. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Place in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 12 hours).
- Take out large frying pan and place on medium heat. Place some oil into it. Note: Before placing the ribs into the frying pan or grill, try to take off any minced garlic/ginger pieces that are left on the meat as they will burn.
- Place onto frying pan or grill and cook to taste. I prefer mine with a slight char.
- Finally, cut the finished ribs into three pieces - it makes it easier to eat. Enjoy!
- Make sure to leave the marinated meat overnight in the refrigerator. If it doesn't have enough time to soak in the marinade (at least 12 hours), the meat will taste bland and wimpy.
- Before grilling, try to also get all of the small ginger and garlic pieces off the meat as they will burn very quickly on the heat.
- The marinade sauce is enough to cover 1lb (~½ kg) worth of short ribs, a serving size of 2. Adjust the portions as you see fit.
- See video below for more details