Korean Grilled Short Ribs -Kalbi

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Korean Grilled Short Ribs -Kalbi

Published: May 1, 2007
Serves 4 to 6

If pressed for time, a 1-hour marinade will provide sufficient flavor, but it will not tenderize the meat as well as a longer marinade. Make sure to buy English-style ribs that have at least 1 inch of meat on top of the bone, avoiding ones that have little meat and large bones. Two pounds of boneless short ribs at least 4 inches long and 1 inch thick can be used instead of bone-in ribs. Alternatively, 2 1/2 pounds of thinly sliced Korean-style ribs can be used (no butchering is required; see step 5). For a spicier marinade, add 1/2 teaspoon or more hot red pepper flakes. Serve with steamed rice, kimchi (spicy pickled vegetables), and, if available, a spicy bean paste called gochujang. Traditionally, all these ingredients are wrapped in a lettuce leaf and eaten like a taco. In order to maximize heat on a gas grill, keep all burners on high and remain vigilant about flare-ups, spraying flames with water from squirt bottle if necessary.


  • 1 medium pear (ripe), peeled, halved, cored, and roughly chopped
  • 6 medium cloves garlic , peeled
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 scallions , green and white parts sliced thin
  • 5 pounds bone-in English-style short ribs , meat removed from bone, trimmed of excess fat, sliced widthwise at angle into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick pieces and pounded 1/4 inch thick (see illustrations below)
  • Vegetable oil for grill rack


1. Process pear, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, oil, sugar, and vinegar in food processor until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Transfer to medium bowl and stir in scallions.
2. Spread one-third of marinade in 13 by 9-inch pan or other suitable container that will hold ribs in 2 layers. Place half of meat in single layer over marinade. Pour half of remaining marinade over meat, followed by remaining meat and marinade. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Marinate ribs for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours, turning meat once or twice to ensure that it marinates evenly.
3. Turn all burners to high, close lid, and heat grill until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape cooking grate clean with grill brush and wipe with wad of oil-soaked paper towels, holding towels with tongs.
4. Grill half of meat directly over burners, with lid down, turning 3 or 4 times, until well browned on both sides, 10 to 14 minutes. Move first batch of meat off heat onto platter and keep warm while repeating browning with second batch. Transfer second batch of meat to platter. Return first batch of meat to grill and warm for 30 seconds; transfer to platter and serve immediately.
5. For Korean-Style Ribs:
Korean-style ribs are fattier than English-style ribs, so watch for flare-ups at the grill. Follow recipe above, substituting 2 1/2 pounds Korean-style beef short ribs that are trimmed of excess fat and cut no more than 1/4 inch thick.

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