Recipe by Estelle Chait

Grilled Kalbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

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Meat Meat
Easy Easy
4-6 Servings


- Soy - Sesame
5 Hours

When I was a teenager, my taste buds were already veering to the more exotic side of  things. While my friends would stop off on the way to our camping trip in the mountains for a quick bite to eat and opt for the fast and cheap foot-long sub, I would step into the L&L Korean barbecue restaurant and spend twice as much on a plate of kalbi ribs. I’d wait until we got out of the car so I could sit on the grass with my styrofoam box filled with  ribs, making sure to get every last bite of meat off the bones and mop up any leftover sauce with pristine white rice. Now, living halfway across the world, the smell of kalbi brings me back to that precise moment in time — a savory sweet bite, a night out with friends, a perfect summer. Serve these on a long platter as pictured, or go for finger-food style, cutting each rib into pieces for that perfect snackable bite.


Grilled Kalbi

  • 8 to 12 cross cut short ribs (ask your butcher for Korean-style short ribs or Miami cut ribs)

  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions, plus additional for garnish

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or 4 cubes Gefen Frozen Garlic

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 kiwi or 1/2 Asian pear (also called a sand pear), peeled and grated

  • 3/4 cup Glicks Soy Sauce (use a wheat-free version for gluten-free)

  • 1/2 cup Haddar Brown Sugar

  • 1/4 cup mirin (Japanese rice wine)

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper



Using a sharp knife, score the meat on both sides of each short rib in a criss-cross pattern, making sure not to cut all the way through the meat; scoring the meat helps the marinade penetrate.


To prepare the marinade, combine green onions, garlic, ginger, and kiwi or Asian pear (the fruit helps tenderize the meat) in a large Ziploc bag or wide container. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, water, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and black pepper and mix to combine. Add ribs and massage the marinade into the meat.


Let the ribs marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for at least four hours. (If using a kiwi, don’t marinate for longer than 24 hours or the flesh of the meat will begin to break down.) Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to high heat (alternatively, you can use a grill pan, but that will not impart the same smoky flavor).


Grill each rib for three to four minutes per side, leaving space between each one so the steam can escape and the meat can caramelize, until cooked through with nice grill marks.


If desired, cut each rib between the bones with kitchen shears for bite-size snacking. Serve on a large platter topped with additional green onions.


Photography by Malky Levine

Grilled Kalbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

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