Galbi: Korean LA-Cut Short Ribs

You’ll see the name spelled Galbi, and you’ll see it spelled Kalbi.

Due to the fact that I’m still not driving after surgery, I didn’t follow the following recipe exactly.  My inspiration recipe is from Maangchi’s “Real Korean Cooking” book,page 226.  It is a little bit different than the one I ran into that she posted online a few years before the cookbook came out.

Galbi, Kalbi, Korean, Short Ribs, recipe, gluten-free

Galbi for wraps. You could also use daikon sticks in addition to cucumber. I had more lettuce waiting in the wings, for wrapping.

I used apple instead of pear in the marinate – I’d recommend pear, but I still have a collection of apples that I obtained from farmer’s markets late last fall.  And while I do have honey, using the coconut palm sugar was more efficient for me.  While Maangchi uses a soybean paste dipping sauce for which she also provides a recipe, I eliminated that this time, since I don’t have the ingredients to hand.

Galbi, Kalbi, Korean, Short Ribs, recipe, gluten-free

Making the marinate, ingredients diced up.

I did decide to add in red Korean pepper (since I didn’t have the spicy soybean paste dipping sauce), and I think I’d double the amount next time.

I used a little less sugar than called for.  But I am a noted un-sweet individual!

Galbi, Kalbi, Korean, Short Ribs, recipe, gluten-free

Marinating the short ribs

Prior to surgery, I had gone to H-Mart near White Plains, New York, and had picked up a variety of items, although it was more of a rush job buying things that struck my fancy than following any detailed list.  I saw the LA-cut beef short ribs, and decided to take them home, where I froze them until I wanted them.  (I don’t tend to buy pork or beef this way; I’d rather get those meats from farmer’s markets, but I don’t know any local butcher who cuts them to the Korean specification.)  Anyhow, I know LA stands for Los Angeles, as in the city, but I don’t know the background as to how the name got associated with this cut.  (But speculations can be fun!)

Galbi, Kalbi, Korean, Short Ribs, recipe, gluten-free

So, anyhow, let’s get cookin’!!!

Galbi, Kalbi, Korean, Short Ribs, recipe, gluten-free

And, its a wrap!!!

Prep Time:  20-30 minutes + 1 to 24 hour marination time.
Cook Time:  No more than 12 minutes.
Rest Time: Not essential. 
Serves: 4
Serve with:  Rice, various banchan (Korean small sides), and/or kimchi.
Leftovers?: Yes. I opted to cook only what I planned to eat, and let the rest marinate for the next day, but you can cook them all and then reheat leftovers.


Galbi:  Korean LA-Cut Beef Short Ribs

  • 1.5 – 2 pounds of LA-cut (flanken) Beef Short Ribs.  Ideally these should be very thin, about 1/4th inch thick.  
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari.  I used San-J low sodium and gluten-free.
  • 5-6 teaspoons coconut palm sugar (or use honey).  
  • 1 large apple, or preferentially, 1 medium Asian pear, or 2 Anjou pears – peal, core  and chop.  
  • 1/2 medium onion.  
  • Technically, 6 normal-sized garlic cloves.  Mine were huge (again, farmer’s market produce) so I used three.
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Korean red pepper powder (I’d up this to 1/2 teaspoon or perhaps more, depending on your tastes).  
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  • 2 teaspoons toasted (preferentially) sesame oil.  
  • Lettuce leaves for serving.
  • Cucumber sticks for serving.  (Peel the cuke, make approximately 2-inch sticks discarding the seedy centers.  English cukes are the best for this, but you can make do with regular cukes.)

Mix everything together except the beef, the sesame oil, lettuce, and cuke sticks.  Use a hand stick or a food processor on pulse to blend these items coarsely together.

Add the sesame oil, and mix with a spoon.

Wash the short ribs… because of all the bone-cutting, there may be small shards of bone to rinse away.  Pat them dry, then combine them with the marinate you’ve made in a suitable bowl.  With your hands, coat all parts of the ribs, and then cover the bowl and place in the fridge to marinate.

Allow to marinate for 1 hour, up to 24 hours.

You can grill these on a hot grill, but in this case, I used the broil feature on my oven.  Set the oven to broil and allow to come to temperature.

Prep the lettuce for wrapping – a good leaf lettuce, or perhaps Romaine, will work.  Prep the cucumber.

Lay the ribs out flat in one layer in the broiling pan.  Add a little extra sauce to them.  If you can broil/grill them all at once, go ahead and add most of the rest of the sauce.  Reserve some for when you flip them.

Broil 4-6 minutes, then flip.  Add the rest of the sauce, or as desired.  Broil another 4-5 minutes.

Remove from oven, and place with the lettuce and cucumbers on a serving platter.  (Since I was just serving myself, I put all that I cooked on my dinner plate.)  You can cut off, or remove the bones with your fingers.  Wrap into portions of lettuce, along with a few cucumber slices, and eat as you make each one.  This seems to be a dish that your family or your guests would make their own lettuce wraps for themselves.

If you do have a dipping sauce, use it.  I found it good enough to use the marinate sauce left in the pan for this purpose – it’s been cooked, and it is tasty.

Galbi, Kalbi, Korean, Short Ribs, recipe, gluten-free

The Korean red pepper. I can’t read Korean, but I wonder if the words say “Red Pepper Nice Tasty”, the English words below??? Just curious.

Since the 1.6 lbs of short ribs I prepared in marinate was more than I could eat at a time, I only cooked up what I wanted to eat for dinner.  The next morning (today, actually), I decided I wanted to get my blog written up, so I had some for breakfast.  Marinated longer (and with a little extra red pepper), I cooked up some as previously described.  But instead, this time, I shredded up some lettuce, and placed the finished meat upon the lettuce, along with whatever pan dripping marinate, and then dotted it with cucumbers.  I used more cuke than depicted, but hey.

Very tasty this way, too!

Galbi, Kalbi, Korean, Short Ribs, recipe, gluten-free

Breakfast can be unique in these here parts…

Galbi, Kalbi, Korean, Short Ribs, recipe, gluten-free

Couldn’t decide which photo I like better, maybe this one?

For Paleo:  Use coconut aminos instead of the soy/tamari.   I find coconut aminos to be sweet, so you may want to cut back on the honey that you’ll probably prefer to use over the coconut palm sugar in the recipe.

We’re sharing this post over at Fiesta Friday.  Our cohosts this week are Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Petra @ Food Eat Love

Also linked at What’s For Dinner, another great link party locale.  







About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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13 Responses to Galbi: Korean LA-Cut Short Ribs

  1. Looks delicious! I’ve never seen a cut of beef like that before…

    • It is hard to find. I did see it in my supermarket once, just once, as a special. Unfortunately the Korean supermarket is not close to me, and even further away now that I am moving.

  2. TurksWhoEat says:

    I absolutely LOVE short ribs! This sounds delicious!

  3. I am curious about those words, too! Lovely recipe and I hope you’re recovering well! I love any Korean food I’ve ever tried, love short ribs so I’m drawing a conclusion here that I’d love to come to dinner, lol!!

    Thanks for sharing this at Fiesta Friday!


  4. We love Kalbi, the son especially! Whenever we eat at a Korean restaurant, he’d always ask for 2 orders of Kalbi just for himself! We prefer the boneless kind though, the non-LA kind 😄 I guess it must the traditional kind? My mouth is watering now looking at your breakfast. What a breakfast, so luxurious! 😄

  5. petra08 says:

    I have only eaten shortribs cut like this in the USA, never in the UK. The ones I had was marinated in mashed kiwi fruit and barbecued.
    Your looks so delicious, I might ask my butcher if she can make me some! Yum!
    Happy 2018 and thank you for sharing this at FF! 🙂

    • The mashed kiwi with the ribs sounds delectable.

      Right now I am minus a grill, and besides with O degree weather in Fahrenheit, and a blustery wind that occasion… no temptation for using a grill! But I want to do this as a BBQ next time.

      • petra08 says:

        The acid in the fruit tenderized the ribs, it was delicious.
        It sounds very cold! I would also wait! Tried to smoke some venison the other day and it took ages, not sure it it was simply too cold.

  6. I am sorry to hear about your surgery and hope you are recovering. I love short ribs but have only cooked them Korean style once, many years ago. If I remember correctly they were definitely better after a long marination. Short ribs are good wrapped in shiso leaves as well, although those are hard to find in the cold weather. Your version looks delicious and I love the improvisation.

  7. I love Kalbi! If you can shop in a military commissary, they almost always have the Korean short ribs. That’s where I get them 🙂

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