Korean Short Ribs on the Grill

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.

A white platter full of grilled Korean short ribs with green onions

Korean short ribs are one of my favorite things to grill for dinner. They are so tender and have such a rich flavor. I usually serve them with Egg Fried Rice or steamed rice and some Corn on the Cob.

How to Make Korean Short Ribs

The key to these Korean Short Ribs is the cut. English style beef short ribs are cut between the bone, so each piece has a thick bone with a good size chunk of meat attached. For Flanken style ribs, the ribs are cut lengthwise and across the bone, to create a thin (1/2-inch thick) piece of flank steak with several thin, oval shaped bones throughout.

The Flanken method was developed by Korean-American immigrants to accommodate the thinner rib-eye cut of beef preferred by American butchers. You may need to ask your butcher for the “flanken” or “Korean Short Ribs” cut if it isn’t readily available in the meat section of your grocery store. It’s not common to find this cut in American grocery stores, except for maybe a short time during grilling season.

A hand holding a korean short rib

Step by Step Instructions

* Be sure to see the recipe card below for the
complete list of ingredients and full instructions *

This particular Korean Short Ribs recipe is from a Korean pastor I knew many years ago. He taught us lots of Korean food, but this is by far my favorite and now it’s my turn to share so home cooks like you can easily make this restaurant quality meal in their own kitchens, or backyards!

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 are marinate for 4 hours in the refrigerator or even marinating overnight and up to 3 days if you want. The longer they marinate, the deeper the flavor.

Grill. Preheat your outdoor grill to medium-high heat and grill the shorts 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 thickness of the meat and the heat of your grill, you may need to adjust the cook 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!

How to Make Korean BBQ Marinade

The second most important trick to making amazing Grilled Korean Short Ribs is the marinade. It should be savory, with a slight tang and a full, rich flavor. the main ingredients in a Korean BBQ Marinade are:

  • 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.
korean short ribs up close

How long do you grill Korean Short Ribs?

Grill the Korean style short ribs for about 3 minutes per side over medium-high heat. Set it down, don’t touch it, then flip it in three minutes.

What goes with Korean Short Ribs?

We love these ribs with classic barbecue side dishes like Grilled Corn, Macaroni Salad and Grilled Zucchini.

The flavor also pair well with other Asian inspired recipes like 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.

Expert Tips and FAQs

  • Make sure to rinse the ribs before placing in the marinade. Because of the way they are cut, there are occasionally shards of bone left behind.
  • 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.
Is it ok to marinate ribs overnight?

Yes! Some proteins, like chicken and seafood, can overcook in the marinade, but a good cut of beef will just become more tender. The acid and salt help to tenderize and create a juicy, tender bite.

Can you marinate ribs too long?

Although it’s safe to marinate beef and pork for up to 5 days as long as the meat isn’t past the sell-by date, it can become mushy if left in the marinade for more than a few days.

A plate of Korean Short Ribs, grilled to perfection

More recipe For Grilling

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If you’ve made this recipe, please come back and leave us a star rating or a comment below. Or, tag us on social media @yellowblissroad or #yellowblissroad for a chance to be featured.
Hand holding up Korean short ribs

Korean Short Ribs

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 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 11 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Korean
Servings 6 servings
Calories 532kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 3-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • ¼ cup sesame or vegetable oil
  • 5 pounds Korean-style short ribs beef chuck flanken, cut across bones
  • Thinly sliced green onions for garnish, if desired

Instructions
 

  • In a large zip lock bag, combine together the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, garlic, green onions and sesame oil to dissolve sugar.
  • Add ribs, squeeze out all the air and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Remove the ribs and discard the marinade. Grill until meat is medium rare, about 3 minutes per side.

Notes

  • Nutritional information is approximate as most of the marinade is discarded. 
  • Make sure to rinse the ribs before placing in the marinade. Because of the way they are cut, there are occasionally shards of bone left behind.
  • 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

    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. 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

    2. 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. 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.

    3. 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. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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. 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.

    7. 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. 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.