Korean BBQ

Last Friday, I mentioned that my mom finally taught me how to make a very popular Korean dish, kalbi.  Kalbi is marinated short ribs that you can grill on a BBQ.  I had a BBQ last week and I didn’t want to just throw on some burgers and hotdogs but treat my guests to something special.  It was a challenge to get my mom to actually measure out all the ingredients because she’s adamant about tasting as you go.  I was surprised at how easy it was to make kalbi.  Because you make the marinade yourself, you can control for how sweet or salty you want to make it.  Make kalbi to break out of your normal BBQ routine!

This recipe makes enough for 10 people


  • 10 lbs of short ribs cut like the picture above.  You can find them at any Asian market and I’ve also seen them at Whole Foods Markets.
  • 3 cups of soy sauce
  • 3 cups of water (you can also use beer or coke)
  • 2 cups of sugar or honey
  • 1/4 cup of sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup of crushed roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 bunches of scallions (about 2 cups)
  • 1 head of garlic finely chopped
  • black pepper

To prepare the kalbi: Soak the kalbi in cold water so the blood drains (at least 10 minutes).  Rinse the kalbi thoroughly.  Drain in a colander.

To prepare the marinade: In a large bowl, mix together soy sauce, water, sesame oil, and sugar.  Taste the marinade to see if you want it to be sweeter or saltier.  Add the sliced scallions, chopped garlic, crushed sesame seeds, and a couple of tablespoons of black pepper.  The sauce should look like the picture above.

Add the kalbi to the marinade.

Typical of me playing around while mom does all the heavy lifting.

Marinade the kalbi for at least 2 hours but it’s best when you marinade for 24 hours. You can freeze up to 1 month.

You can grill them on an indoor or outdoor grill. I like to cook mine to medium but if you cook them well-done, they are still very tender.

 Why is kalbi so good?