Galbi Jjim aka Korean Braised Short Ribs

Rich, savory, fall-off-the-bone tenderness. Galbi Jjim is the decadent dish that says, “I love you. You are special to me.” Make this recipe for all the people you love!

I grew up eating Galbi Jjim, Korean Braised Short Ribs.

Galbi Jjim was special holiday food. We ate this dish at Christmas, Thanksgiving, significant birthdays, and big parties when the house was packed with cousins, friends, and lots of people you hadn’t seen in awhile.

We didn’t eat Galbi Jjim on the regular. But even when it was on the table, you’d only eat a very small portion. That’s what made this dish so special.

As an adult, I still love to make Galbi Jjim. But I reserve it for the most special of holidays and for the people I love most. It’s such a special dish! I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do!

two hands holding a pot of galbi jjim (korean braised short ribs) with dark background

What is Galbi Jjim?

Galbi Jjim is Korean braised beef short ribs. Thick cut beef ribs are stewed for a long time with soy sauce, dates, daikon, and lots of pureed onion, garlic, and ginger.

Galbi Jjim is pure magic: saucy, deep richness that begs to be spooned over rice. Tender, luscious chunks of beef that fall off the bone.

All that braised deliciousness is perfect for cold weather! The best kind of Fall and Winter food, in my opinion.

hands holding bowl of Korean braised short ribs and rib at table set for a meal

Where can I find Beef Short Ribs?

There are 4 places where you can purchase beef short ribs:

  • Korean Grocery Store
  • Asian (Chinese) Grocery Store
  • Regular Grocery Store
  • Boutique Butcher Shop

Korean Grocery Stores (Galleria, H Mart): Korean grocery stores carry beef short ribs perfect for making Galbi Jjim. Meaty ribs, evenly marbled, trimmed fat. It’s easy enough to pick up pre-packaged short ribs from the meat aisle. However, the price point is quite high at $24.99/lb (CAD prices, 2019).

Asian Grocery Stores (T & T, etc.): Chinese grocery stores also carry beef short ribs. They are not pre-cut. Instead, they come in large, 3-rib long portions. Look for them in the butcher section, behind the glass case.

The price point is quite low at $6.99/lb and they’ll even go on sale for $5.99/lb (CAD prices, 2019). However, the meat is not consistently marbled and there’s lots of fatty edges to trim. Ask the butcher to cut through the bone into 3-inch sections. Short ribs bought at the Chinese grocery store requires more work but you really can’t beat the price.

Regular Grocery Stores (No Frills, Loblaws, Fred Meyer, Albertsons): local grocery stores also carry beef short ribs. The cut is similar to the Korean Grocery Store and with a similar price point, although somewhat smaller and less meaty. However, they are not consistently available. Sometimes they’re there, sometimes they’re not. I’ve seen them packaged in the meat aisle and I’ve also seen them in the butcher section, behind the glass case.

Boutique Butcher Shops: I’ve never bought beef short ribs from a boutique butcher shop but I’ve seen them. They look wonderful — thick, meaty, and evenly marbled with fat. I like to think of them as the Rolls Royce of beef short ribs. At $38.99/lb, they should be!

How to Make Galbi Jjim (aka Korean Braised Short Ribs):

First, soak the beef ribs in cold water. This is an important step in Korean cooking to remove the the excess blood from the meat.

Drain and rinse well. Add pureed onion, garlic, ginger, apple or pear. Add soy sauce, sugar, dates, mirin and water. Give it a good stir.

Bring to a boil then lower heat, cover, and simmer vigorously until the meat looks shrunken but is still bouncy and a little tough. Not done yet, but almost there.

Add daikon and carrot. Simmer vigorously (covered) for 30-45 more minutes.

UNCOVER and simmer vigorously for 15-30 more minutes to reduce the sauce.

What does a vigorous simmer look like?  This is not a low simmer, with 1 or 2 bubbles coming up from the liquid.  This is a vigorous simmer, with lots of little bubbles coming to the surface.  Bring to a boil first, then lower heat to maintain a gentle yet vigorous bubbling.  

When the Galbi Jjim is done, the meat and vegetables should be tender, the sauce thick and clinging to the ribs. Watch carefully so the sauce does not reduce too much.

Serve hot with rice and kimchi. Enjoy!

Galbi Jjim aka Korean Braised Short Ribs

Rich, savory, fall off the bone tenderness. Galbi Jjim is the decadent dish that says, "I love you. You are special to me."
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Soaking in Cold Water30 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course, Stew
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Beef Short Ribs, Braised, Galbi Jjim
Servings: 4
Author: The Subversive Table

Equipment

  • Dutch oven or Large Stockpot
  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs beef short ribs

In Food Processor:

  • 1 large onion (peeled + cut into chunks)
  • 1 pear or apple (peeled, cored, cut into chunks)
  • 8 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 2 inch ginger (peeled + cut into chunks)

In Dutch Oven:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Mirin (Korean sweet cooking wine)
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 dried red dates (I used deseeded ones), optional
  • 1 lb Korean radish or daikon (peeled + cut into 1-inch half moons)
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled + cut into large chunks)

Instructions

  • First, soak the beef ribs in cold water for 30 minutes. This is an important step in Korean cooking to remove the the excess blood from the meat.
    stock pot filled with beef short ribs and bloody water
  • Meanwhile, puree the onion, garlic, ginger, pear or apple in a food processor. (Alternately, you can mince the garlic and ginger and grate the onion and pear/apple on a box grater.)
    food processor filled with pureed onion, ginger, garlic, and pear/apple
  • Drain water and rinse well. Add pureed onion, garlic, ginger, pear/apple. Add soy sauce, sugar, dates, mirin, and water. Give it a good stir.
    stock pot filled with thick cut beef short ribs, pureed onion, soy sauce
  • Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer vigorously (covered) until the meat looks shurnken but is still bouncy and not tender, about 1 hour. The braising liquid should look like it's soaked into the meat but there should be a lot of liquid in the pot.
    stock pot of braised beef short ribs
  • Add daikon and carrot. Simmer vigorously (covered) for another 30-45 minutes, until the meat is tender and some of the smaller ribs have detached from the bone. The daikon and carrot should also be soft.
    pot of finished galbi jjim (korean braised short ribs) with gingham towel in corner
  • UNCOVER and simmer vigorously for 15-30 more minutes to reduce the sauce. The sauce should be thick and clinging to the ribs. Some people like to prefer a more liquid-y sauce so feel free to reduce to your preference.
  • Garnish with green onion. Serve hot with rice and kimchi.
    set table with korean food in dark dishes

Notes

*What does a vigorous simmer mean?  This is not a low simmer, with 1 or 2 bubbles coming up from the liquid.  This is a vigorous simmer, with lots of little bubbles coming to the surface.  Bring to a boil first, then lower heat to maintain a gentle yet vigorous bubbling.  

Serve these dishes alongside Galbi Jjim to make it a party:

Cheese Buldak

hand pulling cheese buldak from cast iron skillet

Instant Pot Bossam

korean boiled pork (bossam) on platter, close up

Dak Dori Tang aka Spicy Braised Chicken

black pot of dak dori tang aka korean spicy braised chicken
All Recipes, Beef, Braised, Dinner with Friends, Holiday, Korean, Main, Potluck

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