Korean Style Beef Short Ribs

Plate of Korean style beef short ribs with rice and cooked mung bean sprouts.

You will love my recipe for Korean-style beef short ribs, sometimes referred to simply as galbi. Marinate flanken cut ribs with soy sauce, sesame oil, and other ingredients for at least an hour, preferably overnight. Then bake the ribs in an oven with an optional step to broil until slightly charred. You can also BBQ the short ribs on a grill or pan-fry in a skillet.

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What is Galbi?

Galbi is the Korean word for rib and could also refer to a marinated beef short rib BBQ dish. I usually buy flanken cut beef short ribs to make galbi at home. Butchers cut rib bones into thin strips of meat with ribs. This recipe is sometimes called “LA Galbi” due to Korean immigrants living in Los Angeles using franken cut ribs.

We could enjoy Korean cuisine by adapting as needed for food allergies at home. Our family avoided eating at Korean restaurants because sesame is a common ingredient in many pre-marinated dishes.

Galbi is typically grilled at the table or on a BBQ. Alternatively, you could bake them in an oven or fry a few at a time in a skillet. My preference is to bake in an oven followed by broiling for 1-2 minutes to char them a little bit.

Plate of Korean style beef short ribs with rice and cooked mung bean sprouts.
Korean style beef short ribs served simply with rice and mung bean sprouts.

Shopping for Ingredients

You can find most of the ingredients at a conventional supermarket. Ask your butcher if they can cut or source flanken style ribs for you. You may find nice options at a Korean supermarket or well-stocked Asian supermarkets. I found out they’re called flanken ribs when I ordered beef short ribs to make a stew but Whole Foods delivered ribs to make galbi. (Their photo is still incorrect after all these years!)

You will need about 2-3 pieces of flanken ribs per person, or approximately 3/4 to 1 pound per person. I bought 4 pounds of ribs and had 12 pieces. Look for trays with leaner pieces of ribs, even lean pieces have plenty of marbling for flavor. I definitely avoid the trays with ribs that are have more than 1/4 inch of fat.

If you can, buy a big Asian pear that is about the size of a softball. Asian pears adds natural sweetness to the marinade and also tenderizes the meat. If you aren’t able to use Asian pears, you can try substituting with pineapple juice or kiwi.

collage featuring raw flanken ribs, marinade, and cooked galbi
Top left: the flanken ribs in the left container were fresh and had a thick cut. The flanken in the container on the right side, were frozen and defrosted. Top right: Combine the ribs and marinade. Bottom left: bake the ribs and then broil to char for 1-2 minutes. Bottom right: It’s easier to serve/eat the ribs when cut into smaller pieces.

How to Prep and Marinate Beef Short Ribs

It’s important to give the galbi a rinse to remove any fine bone fragments from the meat. Limit cross-contamination by filling a large bowl with cold water. Add the ribs and gently rub the bones and meat to dislodge any bone fragments. Then take the ribs out of the bowl and drain in a colander.

Did you know that a sugar rub will tenderize meat? I rub about 1 teaspoon of brown sugar into each piece of flanken beef and allow them to tenderize in a bowl while prepping the rest of the marinade. Resist the urge to save time by adding the sugar to the marinade.

Combine the marinade ingredients and then coat the beef with the marinade and refrigerate for at least one hour. Or marinate overnight in your refrigerator.

This is a great summer time dish. I prep in the morning when my kitchen is still cool and can enjoy the rest of the day. About 20-30 minutes before dinner, I bake the ribs and make vegetables and side dishes.

cooked beef short ribs served in a white oval serving dish

Allergy Aware Galbi

This recipe is free of peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, egg, and dairy as written.

If allergic to wheat, use tamari sauce. See What’s in Nut Free Wok’s Cupboard? Nut-Free Ingredients for other ingredient suggestions.

People allergic to soy might like to try either of my two recipes for soy-free soy sauce. My original soy-free soy sauce recipe is a simple one made from pantry ingredients.

Or make cow tongue or a beef hind shank as an entree. The resulting sauce is full of nutrients and umami flavor that you can use as a delicious soy-free soy sauce.

Sesame is a difficult allergen to substitute and most of the time I just omit it. But in this case, I would add a scoop of soynut butter or sunflower seed butter and blend it into the marinade.

Korean Style Beef Short Ribs

You will love my recipe for Korean-style marinated beef short ribs, sometimes referred to simply as galbi. Marinate flanken cut ribs with soy sauce, sesame oil, and other ingredients, then bake in the oven with an optional step to broil until slightly charred. You can also BBQ the short ribs on a grill or pan-fry in a skillet until desired doneness.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Keyword beef short ribs, flanken ribs, galbi, LA glabi
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
marinating time (1 hour to overnight) 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author Sharon Wong


  • 4 pounds beef short ribs flanken style
  • 8 tablespoons brown sugar divided
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 large Asian pear grated
  • 1 medium sweet onion grated
  • 1 bunch scallion chopped, reserve some for garnish
  • 8 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed (plus more for optional garnish)


Prep and marinate the ribs

  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the ribs to the bowl. Gently rub the ribs to remove any fine bone pieces. Drain in a colander, trim off any excess fat.

  2. Place the ribs into a large bowl or container with a lid and gently rub half of the brown sugar into each piece of ribs and set aside.

  3. In a medium mixing bowl, add the remaining brown sugar. Grate the sweet onion and Asian pear over the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

  4. Pour the marinade over the ribs and coat each piece with marinade. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.

Oven Bake/Broil Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Arrange the ribs on the foil lined baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes, flip them over and bake an additional 6 minutes.

  2. To add a little bit of char to the ribs, move the baking sheet to the second shelf (about 6 inches from the top) and broil for 1-2 minutes. Watch the ribs carefully the entire time and take them out when some of the edges start to char.

Skillet Pan Fry Method

  1. Preheat a large non-stick frying pan or griddle on medium heat. When a drop of water sizzles on the pan, arrange 4-5 pieces of ribs in the frying pan and cook for a few minutes until brown on one side. Flip and cook until done (approximately 3-4 minutes each side). Repeat until all the ribs are cooked.

Related Recipes

I am totally content to eat galbi with rice and Easy Mung Bean Sprouts Stir Fry as pictured above. If you want another Korean inspired side dish, we love to eat Delicious Beef Japchae, A Korean Glassy Noodle Stir Fry.

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About Sharon Wong 277 Articles
Welcome to Nut Free Wok, a blog about Allergy Aware Asian Fare. I hope that you will find my food allergy mom experiences helpful and enjoyable to read as I write about recipes, cooking techniques, Asian ingredients, and food allergy related awareness and advocacy issues. My professional experiences include education, teaching, and a little bit of science and computers. Thank you for visiting! ~Sharon Wong, M.Ed.

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