Sweet-and-Salty Korean Barbecued Short Ribs

"Some people follow Texas or American barbecue. Me, I'm a connoisseur of Korean barbecue," says chef Roy Choi. "Growing up, I was the ultimate Korean barbecue champion. If you took me to an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant, forget about it." Choi especially loves these thinly sliced short ribs, known as kalbi in Korea; they're marinated overnight in a garlic, soy and sugar mixture, then quickly grilled, so they're charred all over. On the side, Choi serves kimchi, steamed white rice and the ubiquitous Hawaiian side dish, macaroni salad.

Sweet-and-Salty Korean Barbecued Short Ribs
Photo: © Con Poulos
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped

  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup peeled garlic cloves

  • 1 cup soy sauce

  • 1 cup fresh orange juice

  • 1/2 cup mirin

  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame oil

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

  • 3 pounds thinly sliced bone-in beef short ribs (kalbi or flanken-style)

  • Vegetable oil, for brushing

  • Steamed white rice, macaroni salad and kimchi, for serving (optional)


  1. In a blender, puree the onion, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, orange juice, mirin, sesame oil, sugar and sesame seeds until smooth. Transfer the marinade to a large baking dish. Add the short ribs and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the short ribs to room temperature before cooking.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and brush with vegetable oil. Working in batches, grill the short ribs over high heat, turning once, until nicely browned and charred in spots, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you grill the remaining ribs. Serve the ribs with rice, macaroni salad and kimchi.

Suggested Pairing

Malbecs from Argentina tend to have ripe, dark-cherry fruit that goes nicely with sweet barbecue sauce, like the one on these short ribs.

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