Barbecued marinated beef spare ribs (Galbi) are one of the highlights of the famous Korean barbecue! What’s unique about Korean BBQ marinades – aside from their incredible flavor – is their extraordinary tenderizing ability, which can be applied to traditionally tougher cuts, such as short ribs, to tenderize them in a way that you never thought possible to change them.
When roasted, succulents are sweet, salty, garlicky, and smoky all at once. Koreans know a thing or two about good barbecue!
Korean BBQ Marinated Beef Short Ribs
When talking about Korean food, the first thing people think of is Korean BBQ. He is world famous for a good reason! I love that it’s a social event as well as a foodie event, with a group of people seated around a table enjoying grilled meats, grilled meats, seafood and vegetables.
Interactive food, I call it. I agree 100%!
Of all the marinated bulgogi, I’m sure Korean ribs are the most famous. Koreans praise this cut for its rich meaty flavor, and the addition of the marinade softens, flavors and promotes delicious caramelization of the meat during cooking.
Korean short ribs are also known for their unique cut: the meat is “spread” to form a long, thin flap that stays attached to the bone.
Not only does this ensure maximum marinade penetration, but the meat cooks quickly while being easier to eat.
Like I said, Koreans got their barbecue game figured out!
Korean Barbecue Marinade for Beef Short Ribs
Aside from the DIY cooking experience, one of the things that makes Korean barbecue so delicious is the Korean barbecue marinade. The unique features of Korean BBQ Marinade are:
- Superior Tenderizing Effects – Korean BBQ Marinade contains fresh fruits such as nasi pears, common pears, apples, kiwi fruit and pineapple which have natural tenderizing properties . These fruits break down the fibers of otherwise tough meats, such as the short ribs we use today, making it even more tender – even if you overcook it!
- Only Sweet and Salty – They have a familiar yet unique Asian flavor. They eat a lot of garlic – a lot of Korean dishes do!
– Sweeter but still salty. Because some of the sweetness comes from the fruit rather than the sugar, it’s quite different from the sweet-sweet taste of some Western-style sauces. They’re also complex, including ingredients like grated onion for a big boost of saltiness and texture.
Ingredients in Korean BBQ Marinade for Beef Short Ribs
Here’s what you need for the Korean Barbecue Marinade:
Nasi Pear or Regular Pear or Apple – A unique ingredient in Korean barbecue marinades, Nasi pears and other fruits have natural tenderizing properties that soften the fibers of the toughest cuts of meat. Beef short ribs are usually slow cooked until tender (like in this recipe and this one), but thanks to the marinade, the meat here is even ready to grill.
“Nashi” means “pear” in Japanese. (Really, “nashi pear” means “pear pear”!) It goes by several other names, including Korean pear, Asian pear, Chinese pear, apple pear, and sand pear, to name a few.
It is shaped like a round apple rather than the typical pear shape, but has a meaty texture and a crunchy pear-like texture. Plus – dare I say it – juicier and tastier than most pears!
Nashi pears are generally available throughout fall and winter, although I often see them linger into spring.
Best substitutes for
: regular pears or red apples. They end up having a very similar flavor and softening;
- Garlic – Korean cuisine is known for its generous use of garlic, and Korean pickles are no exception!
Ginger – Garlic plays a dominant role here, but ginger adds a delicious aroma. Ginger is free in my opinion and highly recommended, but not required;
- Onion – an essential base ingredient, especially the unique way it is finely grated;
- Mirin – Japanese mild mirin, available Adds depth and complexity to marinades, well, anything it touches!
- Soy sauce – for seasoning and salting;
- Sesame Oil – Like garlic, Koreans love sesame oil and we have no complaints!
- Sugar – adds sweetness and nice caramelization to beef; and
- Black Pepper – adds a touch of warmth.
Beef Short Rib cut used for Korean BBQ
Beef ribs are thick, meaty on the bone, and in Western cuisine they are often cooked slowly in chunks to break down tough fibers until tender and tender, like these beef ribs in a red wine sauce.
Bulgogi short ribs, on the other hand, are cut and cooked in a different way. They can be deboned and come in small, ready-to-eat pieces. Alternatively, they can be cut with the bone still attached. It can be one of two ways.
The first is called a “flanken cut” (also known as LA galbi in the United States and asado in other parts of the world, including Australia), where fillets are cut from the ribs of so that each rib has several small cuts. The other is the “English cut” rib, where each cut has a longer section of rib. In Korean butchers it is cut smaller than what you can usually find in Australian stores. Also, most characteristically, the meat is tossed into a long, thin slice of beef, which rolls and stays attached to the bone.
This last one, Butterfly Beef Short Ribs, is what I use today.
That and boneless cuts of meat are rare in Western butchers, you have to get them from Korean or Asian butchers. But don’t worry, see below for an easily accessible alternative!
The photo below shows what buttermilk short ribs look like. The top photo shows how it is served in a Korean butcher shop, with the meat rolled on the bone.
The second photo shows what it looks like when unfolded.
Korean butterfly ribs, rolled up, sold in Korean and Asian butcher shops. Ready to marinate and fry!
Best options / substitutions for Korean cut beef short ribs
The best options and substitutions for Korean Sliced Beef Ribs are:
1-LA galbi/asado slices – As mentioned, these are also common in Korean barbecues, especially in the United States. These are beef ribs, just cut differently (through the bone). Make sure the LA galbi/asado slices you buy are thin enough (no more than 1cm).
2-Boneless Beef Short Ribs, Sliced - These are just boneless short ribs; or
3-Beef Oyster Blades, which in the United States are basically flat iron steaks.
Has cooking and flavor characteristics similar to ribs:
- slow or fast;
- fleshy; and
- When thinly sliced and marinated in a Korean barbecue marinade, even when grilled long enough to char With mash (which is related to pushing the sliced beef well into the well-done area), it also remains nice and juicy.
Although Oyster Blade is not a well known cut of beef in Australia, it is in fact available even in major supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths, Harris Farms) and is one of the best cuts of beef.
To use oyster strips, simply chop them up and use them in place of the prime ribs according to the recipe. If you get the oyster blade as a steak (that’s how it’s usually sold in supermarkets), cut it on the bias for more surface area (helps partially frozen).
The last option (expert level!) is this: butterfly your own Korean beef ribs! Sometimes you can find the right size short ribs on the bone, but not butterflies.
If you feel confident, you can make butterflies yourself. It’s not difficult if you are skilled with a knife and take your time. You should have ribs the size you see in my photos. ~8 cm / 3 inches long. However, the cutting part is beyond the scope of this article, so follow this handy tutorial from Modern Pepper (a Korean cooking site) to learn how.
How to make Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs
A remarkable technique used in Korean marinades is to finely grate onion and fruit (in this case nasi pears) for maximum effect and flavor in the marinade.
Slice the onion, pear, ginger and garlic and toss with the remaining marinade;
Spread Korean Butterflied Beef Short Ribs;
Place beef in ziplock bag or container and add marinade;
Leave to marinate for 24 hours. Don’t cut short – short ribs are a tough cut of beef, so they need plenty of marinating time to ensure they’re tender;
Beef is best cooked on the grill, but even the stovetop is fine. I like to use my grill so I can cook whole strips of beef – because they look so good! But when you’re indoors, the real rule is to only cut it into pieces that fit in your pot or pan.
takes about 2-3 minutes on a hot grill to caramelize each side, which is how very, very good the thin slices of beef are on the inside – in fact technically overcooked for such a thin piece of meat.
But don’t worry, it’s done on purpose! For what? Because the marinade keeps it moist. In fact, I cooked it for over 10 minutes and it was still perfectly tender.
This Korean marinade is magic that never fails!
Remove from grill or stove and serve! Unlike other unmarinated bulgogi that come with a dip, this beef is packed with umami, so you definitely don’t need a dip!
What to serve with Korean Marinated BBQ Beef Short Ribs
Korean cuisine is also known for its selection of savory, simple, and mostly vegetable side dishes, called banchan, which are served with the main meal. The numbers can range from an average couple at home to a dozen in some restaurants, and every available surface on the table is filled with a dizzying array of side dishes that come in the form of individual dishes (think poor dishes on a plate). laundry service!)
Pickles (purchased or homemade) are a must, and potato salad is almost always present. Simple lettuce – like lettuce, canned corn kernels, sliced onions – is also typical (my Asian tahini would be perfect here!) A vegetable stir-fry would also work well with a zesty Korean main course. So any vegetable in my bibimbap is basically a mini banchan recipe!
In the meantime, I can provide other very typical Korean banchan recipes that I use on other sites:
- Bean Sprout or Bean Sprout Salad – lovely Maangchi!
Pickled radishes (easy) – from My Korean Kitchen (one of my favorite sources for authentic Korean recipes); and
- Korean Sesame Spinach Salad (easy) – also from My Korean Kitchen
- Soy Sweet Potatoes – Photo by DriveMeHungry ), a sensational combo of Korean beef. I love the fiery red color of fried rice, it looks so much brighter than it tastes!
Here are some other options to choose from: