| Recipes |

Dish of the Week: Galbi (Korean-Style Short Ribs)

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

Galbi or kalbi is a type of gui — or grilled dish — found in Korean barbecue. It is typically made using beef short ribs, as the word “galbi” means “rib” in Korean (though pork ribs or chicken can also be used).

The ribs are marinated in a blend of soy, garlic and sugar, with traditional additions including pear juice, sesame oil, rice wine and hot pepper paste. Other varieties mix in honey, citrus or even lemon-lime soda. Before marinating, the meat is cut in thin slices across the bone, allowing the marinade to penetrate and tenderize. It then gets finished on a griddle or Korean barbecue grill. At “galbi houses,” this is done right at the table over a hot grill.

Galbi is typically served with lettuce, spinach or leafy greens to use as a wrap, along with Korean accouterments including ssamjang (a thick, spicy sauce of fermented bean paste and red chile paste), kimchi (fermented cabbage and vegetables) and other banchan (small side dishes).

This recipe, from Serious Eats, incorporates honey, sesame oil, mirin, Asian pear and Sprite into the typical soy-garlic-sugar mix. The meat gets marinaded for at least one hour or, even better, overnight. For best results, use a charcoal grill.

Galbi or Kalbi (Korean Barbecued Beef Short Ribs)

3 lbs 1/4-inch thick flanken-cut beef short ribs
1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup Sprite
1/8 cup mirin
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 green onions, minced
1 Asian pear, peeled, cored, and then pureed or crushed
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/8 cup sesame seeds


Whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, honey, sesame oil, Sprite, mirin, garlic, green onions, Asian pear, black pepper and sesame seeds in a medium bowl.

Place the beef in a large Ziploc bag, pour in the marinade and seal. Toss to evenly distribute the marinade, then open and reseal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least one hour to overnight.

Prepare the grill: Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

Place the beef slices on the grill and cook until the meat is seared on both sides and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Remove from the grill, let rest for 5 minutes and serve.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.