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Grilled Korean Short Ribs are superbly tender and flavorful thanks to the thin cut and tangy Kalbi-style marinade. Whether it’s on my outdoor grill, or a cast iron grill indoors, these Kalbi ribs cook fast with a perfectly caramelized exterior and a juicy medium-rare center.

Platter of Korean cut grilled ribs.
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Why I Love This Recipe

Marinated in a tangy Kalbi-style marinade for hours, this juicy short rib recipe is sure to become an instant favorite.

Korean Short Ribs are a staple at most Korean restaurants. If you’ve ever wanted to try them, I’ve got the perfect recipe for you!

These ribs not only cook in about 6 minutes, they have…

  • The Perfect Taste and Texture – Grilled to perfection, you’ll find they have a caramelized exterior with a juicy medium-rare interior. Shorts ribs are known for being marbled and fatty, which makes these Kalbi Ribs incredibly rich and delicious.
  • So. Much. Flavor. The marinade has is so flavorful that the ribs soak up over several hours in the fridge. They can even go overnight, so whip up the quick marinade before you go to bed, and they’re ready to grill the next day!
  • A Sweet and Savory Marinade – Kalbi is the perfect combination of sweet, savory and tangy, from the sweet brown sugar, the umami soy sauce and the tangy rice vinegar.

Ingredients

Korean Short Rib Marinade:

  • Soy sauce – also known as Umami flavor. This is the salty component.
  • Sugar – I always use brown sugar but you can also use granulated white sugar.
  • Garlic – 4 or 5 cloves, minced.
  • Rice vinegar – for a tanginess and bit of acid that cuts the sweet and salty.
  • Green onions – I add these to the marinade and garnish with my plate with them as well.
  • Sesame oil or vegetable oil – the original recipe calls for sesame oil but that is such a heavy flavor that I typically go with vegetable oil. If you have sesame oil, give it a try.

The Ribs

  • Flanken style cut short ribs (more on that in the tips section)
A hand holding a korean short rib.

How To Make Korean Short Ribs

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

  • Make the marinade. Grab a large resealable plastic bag and add the marinade ingredients. Seal the bag and give it a light shake until the sugar is dissolved and the marinade is well combined.
  • Marinate. Add the ribs and marinate for 4 hours in the refrigerator or even marinate overnight and up to 3 days if you want. The longer they marinate, the deeper the flavor. Can you marinate ribs too long? Sure! But it would take quite a few days – I’d say not to leave them in the marinade longer than 3-4 days.
  • Grill. Preheat your outdoor grill to high heat (450-500℉) and grill the short ribs for a few minutes per side. Because the meat is so thin, it’s important not to overcook these. Three minutes per side is usually perfect for a medium rare, but depending on the meat’s thickness and the grill’s heat, you may need to adjust the cooking time.
  • Serve. I like to garnish the plate with thinly sliced green onions or sesame seeds. These are purely for looks, but they do look pretty!

Serving Suggestions

We love these ribs with classic barbecue side dishes like Grilled Corn, Macaroni Salad, and Grilled Zucchini. The flavors also pair well with other Asian inspired recipes like Egg Fried Rice, steamed rice, or Chow Mein.

You can also find Kalbi style ribs in Hawaii’s plate lunch, with two scoops of sticky rice and Hawaiian Mac Salad.

Storage Tips

Storage and Make Ahead

  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven, or eat them cold straight out of the fridge.
  • Make ahead: The uncooked beef can be frozen in the marinade for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge before grilling.

Recipe Tips

  • Check for shards of bone. Give the ribs a quick rinse before placing in the marinade. Because of the way they are cut, there are occasionally shards of bone left behind.
  • Don’t skimp on the marinade! You need to give the ribs plenty of time to soak up the flavor in that marinade at the very least 4 hours, but I’ve had beautiful success with giving them about anywhere from 12-24 hours.
  • Get to know your butcher. If your favorite store doesn’t have a butcher, find one that does! The butcher can get you the cut you need. Most stores will carry the short ribs cut into 3-inch segments, however if you ask nicely they’ll be willing to cut down a rack of short ribs for you. Ask for a 1/4-inch thick “flanken style” cut.
  • Grilling in HOT – These ribs cook over a high heat and they cook fast to help burn off the liquid from the marinade and create the gorgeous char and caramelized flavor.
Close up of a platter of korean short ribs.

More Recipes For Grilling

Recipe
Hand holding up Korean short ribs

Korean Short Ribs

4.75 from 16 votes
These delicious Grilled Korean Short Ribs are so tender and full of flavor! Marinated in a tangy Kalbi style marinade for hours, this juicy short rib recipe is sure to become an instant favorite!
 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 11 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

Marinade

  • 1 cup Soy sauce
  • ½ cup Brown sugar
  • ½ cup Water
  • ¼ cup Sesame or vegetable oil
  • 4 Garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons Rice vinegar
  • 3 Sliced green onions

Ribs

  • 5 pounds Korean-style short ribs beef chuck flanken, cut across bones
  • Thinly sliced green onions for garnish, if desired
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Instructions
 

  • Combine the Marinade: In a large, resealable plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, sesame oil, garlic, rice vinegar, and sliced green onions. Massage the bag gently with your hands until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Marinate the Ribs: Add the ribs to the marinade, making sure each one is fully coated as it's added. Squeeze out all the air from the bag and seal it. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours, massaging the bag and turning it over a few times.
  • Preheat the Grill: Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat (450-500℉).
  • Grill the Ribs: Remove the ribs from the bag one at a time, letting the excess marinade drip off and place it on the grill. There should be no overlap. Discard any remaining marinade. Grill each side for about 3-4 minutes or until they reach about 125-130℉.
  • Serve: Place ribs on a serving platter and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Notes

  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven, or eat them cold straight out of the fridge.
  • Make ahead: The uncooked beef can be frozen in the marinade for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge before grilling.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 532kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 54gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 615mgPotassium: 1024mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 6mg

    Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

    Kristin Maxwell

    Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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    Comments

    1. crawford says:

      Made this recipe once and have made it 5 times since! Delicious!!!

      1. Kristin says:

        Nice! Thanks for stopping by Crawford.
        K.

    2. Jermaine Jackson says:

      A very simple recipe to prepare. My family and I loved these Korean-style short ribs!!

      1. Kristin says:

        Love the feedback Jermaine! Thanks for stopping by.

    3. Anita Mcdowell says:

      I made this in the oven. And a quick grill. I can’t say enough about this recipe. The meat was sooo tender that it fell off the bones. Grandchildren went bonkers over it. Along with the chicken pot stickers,egg rolls and chicken chow mei. Thank you thank you so much

      1. Kristin Maxwell says:

        Sounds like a great meal – glad you all enjoyed it!

    4. Rene O says:

      Loved this recipe. I usually use the bottled kalbi marinade from the Asian market. But this recipe works because I always have all the ingredients in hand.
      The only thing I would do different next time is use low sodium soy sauce. My boyfriend uses no salt on anything at all so it was a little salty for him. Also I cooked them in two batches, one for 3 mins per side and one for 2 mins per side. We liked the 2 mins per side better.

      1. Kristin Maxwell says:

        Thanks for your feedback Rene! Everyone has different tastes and I’m glad you felt comfortable to do what works for you. I agree about the soy sauce – that’s often what I use but I leave it up to each cook to use what they like.

    5. George says:

      We cooked the short ribs yesterday. They were amazing

      1. Kristin says:

        Nice! Thanks for stopping by George.

    6. Diane says:

      We don’t have have Barbecue Grill we live a apartment building that doesn’t allow a grill.

      Can I cook on a cask iron grill pan? How long do I cook it on each side?

      1. Kristin Maxwell says:

        I think it would be fine to cook on a grill pan. They are very thin so they cook quickly. I’d follow the recipe instructions and maybe test one or two first.

    7. Lyrel Byrne says:

      This was the closest recipe to authentic Kalbi that I have tried in America! Excellent flavor. The only thing my Korean SIL would change is to not just finely mince the garlic but to puree it if you have the ability.

      1. Kristin Maxwell says:

        That’s a great idea!

    8. Paula says:

      These are delicious, but recommend grating half an Asian pear into the sauce. It tenderizes the ribs nicely! My Korean friend shared that secret ingredient.

      1. Kristin says:

        Awesome feedback Paula! Thanks for stopping by.

    9. Sue says:

      Are these falling off the bone tender? 3 minutes per side just doesn’t seem like a very long time to grill them?? Thank you

      1. Kristin Maxwell says:

        No, they aren’t fall off the bone; they aren’t that type of ribs. You just eat them off of the bone. They are super thin, so cooking them longer will just dry them out.

    10. Sue says:

      I make these often & everyone loves them. Having a dinner party on Friday night (4 days from now). Since it’s getting colder in NY every day, wondering if I can bbq these ribs a few hours earlier then reheat in oven?

      1. Kristin Maxwell says:

        I would worry about them overcooking. If you warm them at a very low temperature and covered with foil, you might be ok, but they are best fresh off the grill since they are so thin.

    11. Kayla says:

      The recipe prints out as Korean Shirt Ribs

      1. Kristin says:

        Typo! Thanks!

    12. Debbie says:

      Delicious, we loved this recipe, only change was to add some fresh grated ginger,

      1. Kristin says:

        So glad you enjoyed it Debbie! Thank you so much for stopping by.