Korean Kalbi BBQ Short Ribs are flavorful and sweet, made from flanken short ribs marinated all day long, then baked or grilled to perfection!
These ribs are incredibly flavorful, and if you’re looking for another Asian dish to try you’ll love my Orange Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and Teriyaki Chicken.
Korean Kalbi BBQ Short Ribs are the PERFECT combo of sweet and savory, made from flanken ribs in a marinade of brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin, and spices. It’s one of my all-time favorite Korean dishes because it’s also incredibly easy to make.
The best part about this Korean BBQ is that you can make it all summer on the grill, and in the oven when the weather is too cold. If you can’t find mirin at your grocery store, try replacing it with about ½ teaspoon of sugar per 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or dry white wine.
Kalbi is marinated overnight, which means the marinade is a pretty big part of this recipe. Use a combination of low sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, and mirin, with spices, brown sugar, and onion. You can substitute the pear for kiwi in this kalbi marinade recipe. The fruit helps tenderize the meat, which is really important for the finished texture of your Korean bbq ribs.
You’ll want to marinate the meat for a minimum time of 24 hours, because it can give the kalbi an amazingly sweet and savory flavor and soft texture. If you’re looking for some side dishes to serve with these ribs, try serving alongside Macaroni Salad, Fried Rice, or Egg Rolls.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kalbi is made with flanken-style short ribs, which means the beef is cut thin to around ½ inch thickness, and across the bone, leaving a few bones to each rib. Flanken ribs can be cooked quickly, which makes them best for beef rib recipes that call for broiling.
Kalbi (Galbi) is a recipe that uses short ribs, while bulgogi uses ribeye steak. Both of these dishes use a similar marinade.
You should plan on ½ – ¾ pound per person, more if you have some BBQ lovers because much of the portion is going to be discarded as bone or connective tissue. When planning for larger eaters you can actually do 1 pound per person.
What to Serve with Korean BBQ
Tips for Making Korean Kalbi BBQ Short Ribs
- Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds over the meet just before serving. They’re decorative and they also add a nice flavor to the dish. You can also top with chopped green onions for presentation.
- Kalbi is often called Galbi, which is another way to say ribs. Galbi literally translates to “rib” in Korean.
- You can add some more spices like cayenne or black pepper to give your short ribs more of a kick.
- If you use Asian pears instead of regular pear, the recipe may turn out slightly different as Asian pears are usually crunchy, and have a sweet yet different flavor.
- You can serve this Korean dish just over white rice if you aren’t making any other side dishes.
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Slow Cooker Korean Kalbi BBQ Short Ribs
Slow cooking short ribs is a great cooking method because they get to the point where they’re falling-off-the-bone tender, plus they get to cook in their marinade all day long.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together your marinade ingredients. Add short ribs to the slow cooker, and pour marinade on top.
- Turn the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove short ribs from slow cooker and serve.
Instant Pot Korean Kalbi BBQ Short Ribs
- Marinate your beef in the refrigerator as usual, for at least 24 hours before cooking.
- Pour the whole bag (ribs and marinade) into the pot. Lock the lid and seal the pressure valve. Set on manual high for 5 minutes, then allow to release naturally.
- If you want your Korean kalbi to be more crispy, place them on a sheet pan and broil for 1-2 minutes, watching closely so they don’t burn.
How to Store Korean Kalbi BBQ Short Ribs
- Serve: Do not leave Korean BBQ at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
- Store: Wrapped tightly, Korean Kalbi Short Ribs will last in the refrigerator 3-4 days.
- Freeze: Cooked Korean BBQ will last in the freezer up to 1 month, wrapped in plastic wrap and foil to prevent freezer burn. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat on the grill. You can also freeze the meat and marinade together, and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.
- 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 pear , cored and grated
- 1 yellow onion , grated
- 3/4 cup brown sugar , packed
- 3 garlic cloves , grated
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 4 pounds flanken short ribs , cut across the bones ½ inch thick
- green onions , for garnish
- Mix all the ingredients together and marinate for at least 24 hours then drain from the marinade before cooking.
- Cook in the oven for 12-14 minutes at 400 degrees then broil for 1-2 minutes OR heat your grill to medium high and cook for 4 minutes on each side.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.
what can I substitute for the pear
Hi I would love to make these, just curious what kind of pears you prefer to use in this recipe?
I use Asian pears but I’ve found bartlett are still a delicious option.
I was able to find beef short ribs for this recipe, but I couldn’t find the right cut. Is that going to impact how long it takes to cook, the flavor, or anything?
I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.
Yes the timing would be very different. This is for a thin cross cut. Other ones are thick cut on a single bone and need to be braised. So sorry for the delay.
just checking, 5 minutes in the instant pot?
Yes, it’ll cook on high for 5 minutes and then allow it to release naturally. Hope this helps!
This recipe is amazing and definitely a keeper! I used the slow- cooker method and it was so tender, falling off the bone! My husband thought I baked it in the oven. ?The only thing I changed was I substituted the brown sugar with honey. Thanks for sharing! ?
You’re welcome, Abby.
I am making these today. They have been marinating for about 15 hours. Do you recommend taking them out of the fridge for any amount of time before putting them in the oven?
It doesn’t need it but you can if you prefer. It’s at such a high temperature, I’m not sure if it’ll make a difference. Enjoy!
I can’t use Mirin due to religious reasons. What’s a good substitute?
Rice vinegar would work too but you’ll need to counteract the sourness with about 2 teaspoons of sugar added as well. Good luck!
I grew up in Hawaii and had Kalbi ribs at restaurants, but never made them. I looked up a lot of different recipes and decided to try this one based on the reviews. I was glad I did. They were amazing! My son and his girlfriend enjoyed them as well. I omitted the yellow onion and added the green onions in place of them. I marinated the meat overnight and grilled the meat on the barbecue. I will definitely be saving this recipe!!!
I’m glad you decided to give this recipe a try! Thanks for the 5 stars.
What if you only marinate for 10 hours?!
It’ll still work perfectly. Enjoy!
I have not made this yet but am very excited about it. I just have a question about the marinade. Could I pulse the pear, garlic, etc in my food processor? Will that change it substantially enough to keep it from working? I’m a mom of two littles, and any shortcut I can find, I’ll use.
That’ll work too.
I’m prepping this right now for dinner tomorrow night! Do you have an easy or less messy way to grate the pear and onion? I used a regular cheese grater and just made a total mess! I hope I didn’t lose too much if either to make the marinade good! Also should I throw out the marinade or just add it straight to the crock pot. I made extra it’s just missing the pear and onion.
It is a mess when I do it too, haha! I wouldn’t recommend adding anything additional. It’ll be too chunky and not turn out how you’d like.
Is there a reason why we have to grate the onion instead of mincing? Is it because we need the juice from the onion?
Grating them just gets them smaller than with dicing but you can choose whatever method you prefer. Enjoy!
Delicious! Thanks for sharing! Just an FYI Most Japanese homes have no ovens. It’s a culture thing. Everything is grill or pan or wok.
You’re welcome! And yes, the traditional ways are grill but it’s nice to have an oven option over here 🙂 Thanks for coming back and leaving a review!
When cooking in the crockpot, do you still marinade 24 hours before placing in the crockpot for 6-8 hours. I don’t want the meat to become too grainy from being in the marinade for so long. Thanks!!
No need to marinade overnight since it’ll be in the marinade while in the slow cooker. I hope you enjoy it!
I just marinated my short ribs and plan to slow cook them in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours tomorrow. Should I not marinate the meat overnight since I plan on slow cooking them?
Yes, that’ll work.
I just put everything in the crockpot, so we’ll see. It looks absolutely fabulous, but where do you get “ Flanken” short ribs. I found a butcher @ Fresk Market, but he couldn’t give me what was in the picture. He did his best. It’s going to be a looonng 6-8 hrs. Can’t wait : )
I’m always able to find them at Asain grocery stores. They’re just short ribs that are cut in the opposite direction than usual. Most butchers should be able to be knowledgeable about the cut style. Hope you enjoy it!
They are available at Costco’s and Costco’s Business Centers. I believe Sam’s has them also.
These short ribs are heaven! So stinking good!
Thanks, Rachael! I’m so glad you loved them!
Can I just say that these are a hit! We absolutely love them. Short ribs alone are fantastic but give it this Korean flair and it sends it over the top!
Fantastic, Alli! So glad you enjoyed them!
Tender and flavorful. These turned out delicious.
Great recipe! and so much info I have all the confidence to make these short ribs!
I hope you enjoy them!
If using an oven, do I need to baste using the marinade if the meat dries out?
I didn’t need to but you can if you’d like.
These are out of this world good!
Yay, so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for the 5 star rating.
Hi, I am new to slow cooking, does cooking on low for 8 hours make chicken and ribs more tender versus cooking on low for 7 hours, or the opposite?
I’m not sure if I understand your question correctly. When cooking in a slow cooker, usually longer times mean the meat will be more tender though you don’t want to over cook it either. You’ll want to follow the recommended cook times in each recipe for the type of meat. Hope this helps!