These Kalbi Korean BBQ Short Ribs are a delicious marinated and grilled short rib that the whole family will love! Sweet and savory with a caramelized exterior, kalbi grills up fast and easy with a perfect medium rare center.
Korean Kalbi Ribs
Korean kabli ribs are a traditional Korean beef short rib that can be found at many Korean restaurants. If you’ve ever wanted to try them out, but you don’t have the time, money, or access to them, this recipe will give you a great recipe you can make at home!
Kalbi is the perfect combo of sweet and savory. It’s sweet from the fresh fruits in the marinade, and savory from that soy/ginger combo. They’re cooked hot on the grill to give them a desirable caramelized exterior, with a medium rare interior. Short ribs are generally well marbled and fatty, so they taste super rich and delicious.
This recipe was adapted from Chef Billy Parisi. You can find the original recipe on his site for Kalbi Recipe (Korean Short Ribs). I have adapted several elements of the recipe to suit the flavors my family likes, but his recipe is probably the most authentic on the web.
The secret to these ribs is in the marinade. Here’s what you’ll need to assemble to make this sweet and tangy kalbi marinade for the short ribs (full ingredient amounts are available in the printable recipe at the end of this post).
- Soy sauce
- Asian pear
- Fuji apple
- Yellow onion
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh ginger
- Light brown sugar
- Rice wine vinegar
- Sesame oil
- Coarse kosher salt
- Ground pepper
Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a blender jar with a tight fitting lid. Blend the contents on high speed until the marinade is totally smooth. You don’t want any small pieces or chunks remaining.
Transfer the kalbi marinade into a gallon-sized zip top bag and add the short ribs. I recommend adding the ribs one at a time and adding additional marinade on top of each rib to ensure they are evenly coated.
These ribs can be marinated for anywhere between 8-24 hours, so you can plan ahead and have them ready by dinner next day!
How to Make Korean Kalbi Ribs
These short ribs are beyond easy to make. Aside from the marinating time, they’ll be on and off your grill in less than 10 minutes, making them an incredible option for a weekday dinner! Here’s how to make some awesome Korean kalbi ribs in three easy steps:
- Marinate. Give those beef ribs plenty of time to soak up all that amazing goodness from your pureed kalbi marinade.
- Grill. Fire up your favorite grill to 450-500 degrees F. These can be done on a gas or charcoal grill, but I prefer the flavor from charcoal. Grill the ribs for 3-4 minutes per side and remove when they hit 130 degrees F for a perfect medium rare.
- Enjoy. Finish these off with a little sliced green onions and sesame seeds and dig in.
Did you try this recipe for kalbi out in your own backyard? If so, make sure to leave us a comment with your results!
Tips for Making Kalbi
Here are some tips to keep in mind before diving into making your own kalbi.
- Get friendly with your butcher. Most meat counters only carry the short ribs cut into those 3 inch segments. However, a majority of them are more than willing to cut down a rack of short ribs for you. I ask them to cut the short ribs flanken style (across the bone) at 1/4 inch thickness.
- Give that marinade time. You want these ribs to soak in that tasty marinade for at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours. I’ve tried them in all different variations and my sweet spot seems to be right around 12 hours, but if I don’t want to wake up early, I’ll often throw them in the night before and let them do their thing!
- Go for high heat. Normally with high sugar marinades or seasonings, I tell you to keep that heat low and indirect. That is NOT the case with these short ribs. They are saucy when they come out of the marinade and you need high, direct heat to evaporate that liquid and give you the browning that you need. These are also best cooked to medium-rare, so a hot and fast blast of heat on both sides work the best. They will have great crunchy texture from the char, and a tender chewy inside.
More Beef Ribs Recipes
Did you love this kalbi? If so, you might enjoy these other beef ribs recipes from Hey Grill Hey:
Korean Kalbi Short Ribs Recipe
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Kalbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)
- 3 pounds flaken cut short ribs
- ¼ cup green onions (sliced as a garnish)
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (as a garnish)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 Asian pear (peeled and seeded)
- 1 Fuji apple (peeled and seeded)
- 1 kiwi (peeled)
- ½ yellow onion (peeled)
- 5 large garlic cloves
- 1 1-inch knob fresh ginger (trimmed)
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- Blend the marinade. Combine all ingredients, except for the beef ribs, green onions, and sesame seeds in a blender jar with a tight fitting lid. Blend on high until the marinade is totally smooth.
- Marinate the ribs. Place the sliced beef ribs, one at a time in a gallon zip top bag, pouring some of the marinade in between each rib as you place it in the bag. This will ensure that the ribs are evenly marinated. Place the bag in the fridge and marinate for at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours, turning and massaging the bag halfway through the marinade time.
- Preheat the grill. Preheat your grill to high heat (around 450-500 degrees F). Charcoal is my favorite grill to use for this recipe, but it also works on a gas grill or a grill pan.
- Grill the short ribs. Slowly remove each short rib from the marinade, allowing excess marinade to drip away. Set each rib directly on the grill grates, without letting them overlap. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side, developing nice char marks on each side of the ribs. Use an internal thermometer to check for doneness and pull the ribs off of the grill when they reach 130 degrees F.
- Garnish and serve. Arrange the grilled ribs on your serving platter and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and sliced green onions. Serve immediately and enjoy!