The Best Korean Barbecue You've Ever Tasted!

May  1, 2013
14 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 24 hours
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

This recipe is the best dish I make with love because it relates to my Korean heritage and is a great tribute to my late grandmother, who taught me how to cook the most delicious Korean recipes!! This was one of my favorite Korean dishes to eat as a child and I still love it to this day! My kids, who are 7 and 4, absolutely LOVE Korean food as well because I cook many Korean dishes at home, just like my grandmother taught me as a child. They can't stop eating Korean food, and this is one of their favorites! When we visited Korea (pre-COVID), they never missed a beat and loved eating all the food there, because they were accustomed to eating Korean food at home in America. My grandmother was raised in Gwangju, Korea, located in Jeolla province, which is known for it's delicious traditional Korean cuisine. Hence, this recipe is the best dish I make with love because not only is it a recipe from my grandmother, but it reflects my Korean heritage and gives me something to pass on to my own children.

This is also a wonderful dish to share with others, whether it's a part of a meal train, or just serving for guests in your home! I've delivered this meal for many meal trains helping new moms adjust to life with a newborn because you can freeze the marinated (uncooked) meat until you need it and gives the recipient the freedom to cook it whenever she needs it. It's always wonderful to have "emergency food" in the freezer! —Sarah D

Test Kitchen Notes

Wow! Great recipe. Since SarahD gives varying marinating times, I decided to try the minimum and maximum to see if the flavors changed. This is definitely a dish that gets better over time. I originally marinated the meat for 6 hours, and the flavor was good (a little subdued, but good). The meat, however, was slightly tough. I then tried a batch I'd marinated overnight, which was tender and tasted amazing. There was a big difference between the two versions, and I concluded that it is well worth it to marinate your meat for longer. —figgypudding

What You'll Need
  • 1 large Fuji apple
  • 1 large Asian pear
  • 1 1/4 cups soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 5 pounds LA-style beef short ribs (short ribs cut thinly and across the bone, 1/4-inch thick)
  1. For the marinade: Grate the apple and pear into a large bowl, making sure to catch all of their juices.
  2. Add the soy sauce, sugar, onions, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, and sesame oil, mixing thoroughly.
  3. Add the short ribs to the bowl and mix everything well by hand, ensuring that all the ribs are thoroughly coated with the marinade. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to marinate the meat for at least 12 hours before cooking. (The longer you marinate the meat, the better it tastes! I did mine for about 24 hours.)
  4. If using a grill: Grill ribs for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the meat is browned on all sides. Serve hot!
  5. If using an oven: Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place 7 or 8 strips of meat on a nonstick rack, then put the rack on top of the lined roasting pan. Cook at 400° F for about 12 minutes, depending on your oven. Flip the meat and continue cooking for another 10-12 minutes. Cook the meat in batches until it is all roasted. Serve hot!
  6. If you wish to save the meat for later, marinate it for 24 hours, then place it in plastic freezer bags and freeze until needed. When you wish to cook the meat, remove it from freezer and have it defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • creamtea
  • Jon King
    Jon King
  • Pancho Barnes
    Pancho Barnes
  • robin lewis
    robin lewis
  • Grace Pham Nguyen
    Grace Pham Nguyen

48 Reviews

hllee004 February 22, 2022
I really love this recipe. It tastes very much like my mom’s kalbi marinade but with actual measurements! It’s relatively quick to prepare. The only difference would be that my mom rinses the beef short ribs as a first step to remove the bone fragments from the LA-style rib cuts.
sunjoo8012 April 18, 2020
this is horrible recipe. too salty and too sweet!! do not try it ever!!!
It ruined my family dinner!!!
Sarah D. April 18, 2020
I'm sorry your family didn't like it. This is a recipe that is more common in the Jeollado area of Korea. Hopefully you can find one that you like. :)
creamtea March 14, 2019
I make this marinade a lot, for both beef and chicken (parts, wings, etc.). It's delicious and my family loves it! I'll be marinating some chuck roast overnight to cook tomorrow for guests. Will brown it on all sides after marinating, then braise in the oven. I'm so looking forward!
Sarah D. April 20, 2020
A chuck roast sounds delicious!
Thuy September 25, 2018
Do you just use the fruits juice or the grated meat as well?

Thanks for the recipe, can't wait to try it!
Sarah D. September 25, 2018
Hi! You use both the fruit juice and the fruit in the marinade. Hope you enjoy it.
Thuy September 26, 2018
Thanks so much for your reply and sharing your recipe!
Jon K. April 10, 2018
We just made this quickly in an hour after work. We loved it! And that includes a 9 year old. Used boneless beef and only apple as pears aren’t in season now. Marinaded for maybe 20-30mins while prepping and making sides. Always looking to cut corners. But was still incredibly flavorful, tender, and excellent on top of rice. Just letting everyone know if you don’t plan ahead this is still a very easy and can be quick meal.
brittany January 30, 2018
Has anyone made these in a pressure cooker? I usually prefer my short ribs to really fall off of the bone but I’m wondering if it’s worth it to pressure cook them.
Sarah D. April 20, 2020
I have not tried it in a pressure cooker before, because the cooking time in the oven is not that long.
Pancho B. September 25, 2017
Finally, an authentic recipe. The first one that can hold a candle to my mom's. Thank you!!!
robin L. April 29, 2017
Any suggestions for subbing out the sugar?
LLcsf April 29, 2017
Could you sub the ribs with boneless skinless chicken thighs? Would the marinade need any adjusting? Thanks!
Sarah D. April 29, 2017
Hi! I never tried it with chicken so I don't know what it would taste like.
robin L. November 10, 2016
Would persimmons work instead of apples...?
Sarah D. April 29, 2017
I think the consistency of persimmons is different compared to apples.
Grace P. June 15, 2016
I would like to cook 10lbs of kalbi for a party. Should i just double the ingredients? Also is it ok to marinate for 48hrs? Is the process of submerging the meat in water to draw blood necessary for this dish? Thanks
Sarah D. June 15, 2016
Yes, go ahead and double the ingredients. I'm not sure if marinating it for 48 hours is a good idea, but I guess it depends on how fresh the meat is? I've never submerged the eat in water to draw the blood for galbi, so I don't know if it's really necessary or not. I've only seen a few recipes that say to do that. Sorry I couldn't be much help with the latter...:( Hope you enjoy your galbi!
qtwrjf July 28, 2016
it would be better if you submerging the meat.
not only to remove the blood but also the bonefragment.
Marianna B. November 6, 2015
I usualy use Yoshida marinade for these type of short ribs but went to the store today and bought all the ingredients to make this dish for tomorrow nights dinner. Will allow ribs to soak in this yummy marinade overnight and will let you know what i thought after eating them for dinner tomorrow night thanks for all your great recipes.
Sarah D. November 9, 2015
How did it go for your dinner?
Marianna B. November 9, 2015
It was very good and very garlicky!!!
Sarah D. November 9, 2015
Awesome! ha...Koreans are known for using lots of garlic in their foods...:)
CanadaDan July 18, 2015
I made this last night after marinading for about 27 hours. This was by far the best recipe I've ever made from F52 and I've made lots. They were tender, quick to grill and absolutely delicious. I also strained the thick marinade and used it to baste the ribs on the grill. They only need 5 minutes. Thanks for the recipe this is going in my regular rotation.
Sarah D. July 19, 2015
Your words are very kind! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!! It's one of my favorite things to happy that you like it too!
Gerardo July 15, 2015
I used to make kalbi a different way but didn't know any better. Glad I found this recipe. I've made it 3-4 times already and have enjoyed every bite! Thanks for sharing this recipe from your grandmother!
Sarah D. July 15, 2015
Glad you enjoyed the recipe! We love making and eating this too!!! ^_^
Sarah D. July 15, 2015
I never ate Korean food until I got to college, now I wish I had known about it all my life! Do you have a soondubu recipe too? =P
Sarah D. July 16, 2015
*sigh* My husband wrote this above comment. Yes...his eyes were opened to a new world in college when he was introduced to Korean food. He loves it...hence, that must have been one of the reasons he married a Korean girl. ;)
Gerardo July 18, 2015
oh haha I see. Sounds like he's a lucky guy! Would you happen to have any more recipes from your grandmother ;) I want my er... wife to learn some Korean dishes!
Sarah D. August 1, 2015
You can check out my other recipes. There's one for Galbi Jjim and one for bulgogi. The bulgogi is the same marinade for this one. Enjoy!
AntoniaJames July 1, 2015
What a great looking dish! And how lucky you were to have such a wonderful grandmother, and to have been able to watch her cook over the years.
Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It's on our must-try list! ;o)
Sarah D. March 16, 2015
Hi! You can cook it in batches! I usually cook about 7 strips at a time and then cook some more while we're eating. Hope this helps!
Brian I. January 14, 2015
I stir fried a 2 lb. batch of this last week. I'd have like to grill it, but it was about 10 degrees out - the flavor was fantastic nonetheless. Question - if you're doing this in your oven, with the batch cooking time of 20 - 25 minutes, it seems like you're going to end up with some cold meat by the time your last batch finishes. Do you wrap them and pop 'em back into the oven, or maybe do you cook your batches ahead of the guests arriving, and warm them all together as dinner gets near?
thi October 2, 2014
I was wondering what kind of soy sauce do you use?
Sarah D. October 2, 2014
I use regular Kikkoman soysauce. The one with the red cap. Hope this helps!
thi October 2, 2014
Yes, this helps. I will give this a try. Thank you for sharing.
Jennifer July 21, 2014
This was delicious. I also used only the Fuji apples. Thanks for sharing!
stephanieRD May 12, 2014
Marinating as we speak! I didn't have an Asian pear handy so just used a Fuji apple- hope it turns out ok... Cooking it tonight!
Sarah D. May 16, 2014
How did you like it, Stephanie?
stephanieRD May 16, 2014
Turned out great even without the Asian pear. My only problem was that I don't have an outdoor grill, so my place was quite smoky.