korean BBQ short ribs (kalbi)

A few weeks ago we picked up a bottle of Sempio kalbi marinade in Regina and I made Rock his very first Korean bbq short ribs.  I’ve only had Korean bbq a handful of times myself; probably the last time was about 10 years ago.  But now I was thinking, this is delicious, why have I not been eating/making these!?  I couldn’t find this same brand of marinade in Moose Jaw so I did some intense googling and got the ingredient list for the Sempio sauce (which unsurprisingly contains some pretty unhealthy things) and found that some of the usual ingredients include soy sauce,  sugar/brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil and occasionally Asian pear.  I am clearly no expert on Korean food but I know what I like!  So I figured I would just throw a bunch of stuff together until the marinade tasted the way I wanted… and the short ribs turned out awesome!

About 1 and 1/2 kg of beef short ribs*  /  1/2 cup soy sauce  /  1 and 1/2 tbsp sesame oil  /  3 cloves of garlic  /  1 piece of ginger, roughly the size of half your thumb  /  2 and 1/2 tbsp lightly packed brown sugar  /  1 and 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds  /  ~1/3 of an Asian pear, cut into chunks  /  1/4 tsp ground black pepper  /  a couple pinches of salt  /  1/4 cup water  /  1/2 bunch green onion

*get the short ribs that are cut lengthwise across the rib bones.  When I was first describing the cut of meat I wanted to get, Rock had no clue what the hell I was talking about.  Apparently this cut is called ‘flanken.’


For the marinade, you’ll need either a hand blender or a blender.  So into either your hand blender cup thingy or your blender, throw in the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, pepper, salt, pear and water.  Blitz it until everything is combined and you have a pretty smooth marinade.  It doesn’t seem like this is the usual course of action for making kalbi marinade but I figured, why bother mincing the garlic and grating the pear and all that?  Then mix in the sesame seeds and a couple stalks of your green onion, roughly chopped.

Pour your marinade into a large ziplock bag and simply toss in the short ribs too.  Smush out all the air, zip it up tight and kinda massage the marinade into the ribs.  Now you have to wait.  Let the ribs marinate for at least 2 hours (preferably I would have let it do it’s thing overnight but there’s always next time.)


Now, I cheated because I did not actually barbecue these ribs.  January in Saskatchewan is not when i wanna be standing around outside cooking so I grilled these using a cast iron grill pan on the stove over médium-high heat instead.  You still get the nice grill marks and you get to stay all cozy inside.


If you don’t barbecue these or have such a grill pan, you could always just fry them up in a pan with some oil or I guess you could bake or even broil these.  I grilled these on both sides until they were about medium-rare to medium but up to you how done you want them.  And that’s it!  Snip up some of your green onion over the ribs and chow down.

korean bbq short ribs (kalbi)

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