Korean Shortribs (Kalbi)…See I’m Korean after all!

20 Jul

Last Sunday I hosted my latest potluck dinner party with my foodie friends. The theme for the night was “Rib-Mac Smackdown.” Everyone brought their take on ribs or macaroni and cheese. I knew most people would make racks of ribs so thought I would make something a little different, so I made my version of Korean shortribs (Kalbi).

My recipe is a version of my mom’s kalbi that I’ve been eating for as long as I can remember. Every Korean mother has her version of kalbi. I love my mom’s kalbi but I always like to experiment a bit when I interpret her recipes. The honey gives the kalbi some lovely caramelization.


  • 1-1/2 cups soy sauce
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP grated ginger
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 scallions, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 4 lbs short ribs, cut flanken style

Note: most grocery stores will sell shortribs flanken style. The pieces are cut thin and will have 3 little pieces of bone in them.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients besides the ribs to make the marinade. Taste the marinade, you can make it sweeter or saltier, based on what you prefer.

Put each rib into the sauce until all the pieces are all covered. I like to place the ribs and extra marinade into a large gallon-size ziploc bag. Make sure you double bag the ribs so you don’t get any leaks.

Marinate the ribs in the refrigerator overnight. You should move the bag around a few times so all the ribs get evenly marinated.

When you’re ready to cook, take the ribs out of the refrigerator. You can broil them or bake them in the oven at 500 degrees or even better, grill them on a barbecue. There’s no set time it takes to cook, they cook pretty quickly so you need to watch them. Just cook the ribs until they’re browned, turn over once and get them to crisp a bit. That’s it! Then serve and stand back cause they will be gone fast!

This dish is so easy to make, you will be surprised. And trust me, your guests will be insanely happy with you!


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