A Kalbi Worth Proposing For

May  3, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 8-12
Author Notes

When I asked my friend Vince for his kalbi recipe, it turns out that he got it from one of his Korean friends, whom he ended up dating and then proposing to. Yup, this recipe is that good. ^_^

Perhaps the hardest part about making kalbi is finding the right cut of meat. You want to get beef short ribs that are cut across the bones (flanken cut), not with, which is how they're usually sold in American grocery stores. The only place I've found this cut is at a local Korean grocery store, but you could probably ask your local butcher for this cut.

Vince also notes that if you don't have all 3 kinds of fruit, you can just use 1 or 2 of them. —Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy

What You'll Need
  • 6 pounds flanken cut beef short ribs
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 red apple, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
  • 1 pear (preferably an Asian pear), peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup peeled garlic gloves
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1/2 can 7-Up, Sprite, or Sierra Mist
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, washed
  • Cooked white rice
  • Ssamjang (Korean spicy bean paste)
  1. Cut the kiwi in half and remove the meat using a spoon. Add the kiwi meat to a blender along with the onion, apple, pear, garlic, mirin, and soda. Puree using the blender. Measure out 3 cups of this mixture into a medium mixing bowl and add the soy sauce and sugar.
  2. Arrange the ribs in a baking dish (you may have to use two depending on the size of your dish) and pour the marinade over them, making sure that all surfaces are exposed to the marinade. Alternatively, you can use two gallon-sized freezer bags.
  3. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, turning the ribs around a few times so they marinate evenly.
  4. Grill the ribs over high heat. I do about 3 minutes on each side because my ribs are cut pretty thin, but you may have to grill yours longer if yours are thicker. If you don't have a grill, you can also pan-fry or use the broiler to cook the ribs. I used my electric grill and cooked it outside because the smell is heavenly, but not something you want to stick around for days.
  5. Serve with washed Romaine lettuce leaves, cooked rice, and ssamjang (Korean spicy bean paste). Each person should remove the meat from the bones and wrap the meat in the the lettuce along with the rice and bean paste. Don't forget to gnaw on the meat in between the bones; it's hard to get to, but oh so worth it!
  6. If you're not planning on cooking the ribs right away, you can freeze them in the freezer bags after adding the marinade. When you're ready to cook them, defrost overnight in the refrigerator.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • dymnyno
  • Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
    Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
  • pierino

3 Reviews

dymnyno May 3, 2013
Most butchers will gladly cut the flanken ribs but sometimes you have to explain what they are. They sound delicious, but what about the bones! You can't see them.
Joy H. May 4, 2013
Sorry, for some reason when I first uploaded the recipe it cut out steps 3-5! The meat should be removed from the bones before rolling up with the rice and lettuce.
pierino May 4, 2013
A tip on flanken aka LA cut ribs; traditionally you would would slice these with scissors in between each bone segment and munch on them.