Recipe: Khal Bi Korean Barbecue Short Ribs

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Khal Bi Ribs FeatureIf you’ve never tried Khal Bi before, you’re in for a treat.  The marinade is a Korean staple and very simple to whip together.  After a few hours you can throw these ribs on the grill or under a broiler and achieve great flavor and caramelization.  Your guests will be asking for seconds – the kids too!  You can get ribs cross-cut at your local grocery store (sometimes called “flanken” style); the guys at our local Publix had them ready in 5 minutes while we finished the rest of our grocery shopping.



Khal Bi Ribs Ingredients

  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Olive This! Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped scallions, divided
  • 4 pounds beef short ribs, cross-cut ¾-inch thick (flanken style) – see note below
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)



Beef short ribs for Khal BiKorean style short ribs are cut across the ribs instead of the typical lengthwise cut used in southern BBQ ribs.  You might not see them wrapped and out in the meat case but just ask the folks behind the meat counter.  We got these at our local Publix grocery store; the butcher was familiar with the “flanken” cut and we specified ¾” slices.  Place the ribs into a zipper-locking bag and set aside.


Mince garlic and grate ginger and chop scallionsStart your marinade by preparing the fresh ingredients.  Mince the garlic, grate the ginger and chop the scallions.


Mix Khal Bi sauceAdd all the ingredients except the ribs, sesame seeds and two tablespoons of chopped scallions.  Whisk the marinade well to dissolve the sugar.  The two tablespoons of chopped scallions are for garnishing the ribs at the end (you might want to wait until the end to chop the scallions for the garnish so they’re fresher).


Pour Khal Bi marinade over short ribsPour the marinade over the short ribs in the zipper-locking bag.  Remove as much of the air as possible and seal the bag tightly.  Place in the fridge and marinate the ribs for 4 hours but not more than 24 hours.  If possible, turn and massage the meat every hour or so to circulate the marinade.


Blot marinade from Khal Bi ribsPrepare your grill or preheat your broiler.  Remove the ribs from the marinade and place onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels.  Discard marinade. Using paper towels, blot the marinade from the ribs to dry them.  This will help sear and brown the meat (instead of steaming) on the grill or under the broiler.


Grilling Khal Bi RibsOil your grill grates (or broiling pan if broiling) and cook ribs, turning once, until desired doneness, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Pile ribs onto a serving platter and garnish with remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds (if using).  Dig in!



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4 thoughts on “Recipe: Khal Bi Korean Barbecue Short Ribs

  1. Sounds delicious! I dont use vegetable oil. My oils of choice besides olive are mainly avocado or coconut. Now, I know my coconut oil won’t work in this recipe because it will solidfy in the frig. My avocado oil may add an undesirable favor to this recipe. Any suggestions on another substitute?

    • I have made Kalbi for a few years, they are amazing. You can omit the oil altogether. For the liquid portion of the marinade I use 1 Cup SOY sauce and 1 can PepsI (coke or sprite can be used also).

      • Interesting. When we think of Khal Bi we think of Korean sesame flavor. I think the sesame oil is key to that. Thank you for your comment.

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