Korean galbi

I learned this from my mother-in-law and if you haven’t tasted Korean BBQ, all you need to know is that it rocks! My wife thinks that I married her for her brains and her inner-beauty, but the deep down truth is that I was after this recipe. If matrimony was the secret to opening the family recipe vault then so be it. It was only after the wedding that I learned that there are hundreds if not thousands of Korean restaurants serving this signature Korean dish in Los Angeles where we live. Odds are there is at least one in your town too. So there’s no need to run off and get married – although it has worked out quite well for me.

Now, there are as many variations on this dish as there are Korean Mothers. So feel free to improvise. I love the extra little sweet-zing the Asian pear adds, but if you can’t find one, don’t sweat it. You can try some canned pears or leave it out. Some mom’s use honey instead of sugar and others use brown sugar instead of honey. What ever floats your culinary boat. This is a GreatGrub recipe you are going to love making your own and sharing with friends and family. My mother-in-law would be proud.


  • 3-5 lbs short ribs, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 cup rice wine
  • 1 Asian pear (if you can find it) — minced
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3-5 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 4 or 5 scallions – chopped
  • 1 kiwi, juiced
  • Smattering of sesame oil – for taste
  • A few turns from the pepper mill
  • Lettuce for lettuce cups
  • 2 cups sticky rice, cooked (in a pinch white rice will suffice)


  • Bowl
  • Salad spinner
  • Paper towels
  • Tongs


  1. Combine soy sauce, rice wine, minced pear (if you have it), sugar, garlic, scallions, kiwi juice, sesame oil and pepper in a bowel. Stir well.
  2. Add the sliced meat to the marinade and let sit between six and twenty-four hours. The longer it marinates the richer the taste.
  3. An hour or so before you are ready to eat prepare the rice.
  4. Break leaves off the lettuce head. Endeavor to keep them as large and whole as possible as you will be using the lettuce to wrap the meat. Wash and then dry the leaves in a salad spinner. Remove excess moisture with paper towels
  5. Remove meat from marinade and cook over high heat. I like it best on the grill but this can be done on griddle, in a pan or even broiled in the oven.
  6. Serve with lettuce and rice. Putting a little warm rice in a piece of lettuce adding some meat and wrapping is the best way to eats this Korean delicacy.

What you should know

If you cook this in a pan or a griddle, be careful of the fat splattering.

The short ribs can either be served on the bone or off. The choice is a matter or personal taste. If you want it off the bone ask your butcher to remove the bones and then slice the meat thin. And double the amount of meat you purchase as the bone accounts for half the weight. If you want the bones ask the butcher to slice the ribs into thin strips.

Finally this is great party food. It’s a lot of fun to make, most of the preparation work can be done the day before, and one dish will satisfy all your guests which leaves you with more time to enjoy the party.

Re: Korean galbi