Spicy Galbi Jjim (Korean Braised Pork Ribs) with Cheese

Difficulty Medium

Make a Korean cooking classic with a spicy twist : Spicy Galbi Jjim with Cheese! Tender, fall-off-the-bone, baby back pork ribs are braised in a fiery, spicy sauce. Cozy, comforting, and incredibly delicious — the ultimate one-pot meal!

What is Spicy Galbi Jjim?

Spicy Galbi Jjim is a spicy version of the Korean classic: Galbi Jjim or Korean Short Ribs. An entire rack of baby back pork ribs is cooked until tender in a spicy and rich sauce. A generous shower of mozzarella adds cheesy decadence. Top with squishy rice cakes (tteok) to add another layer of texture and deliciousness!

Spicy Galbi Jjim is a modern variation recently appearing in Korean restaurants. Similar to Beef Galbi Jjim, it features decadent, falling-off-the-bone meat cooked until tender. Differently, it’s spicy! A vibrantly red, gochujang-based sauce becomes the mouth-watering flavor base. The little pork ribs swim in the red sauce and soak up all that delicious spicy flavor.

In Korean, “Galbi” means “bone” and “Jjim” means “braised.” Spicy Galbi Jjim belongs to the Korean family of braised meat dishes cooked for a long time. The tender meat and rich, thick sauce make it a cozy winter favorite.

Most people are familiar with Beef Galbi Jjim, made with premium thick-cut beef ribs. Meaty and rich, the flavorful braising liquid is made with soy sauce, daikon, garlic, and red date.

In Korean cuisine, Galbi Jjim is a festive dish commonly enjoyed at special occasions. A popular favorite for Korean Thanksgiving (Chuseok) or New Year’s Day. Serve this Spicy Galbi Jjim recipe as a delicious show-stopper for friends and family. Amazing flavor and spicy, savory goodness in one dish!

black pot filled with spicy galbi jjim with another bowl on the side

Ingredients:

  • Baby Back Pork Ribs. Look for meaty pork ribs with even marbling for tender, flavorful ribs. You’ll need one entire rack of ribs. Cut into individual ribs for faster cooking and easier eating.
  • Onion + Garlic + Ginger. The essential aromatics. Don’t skimp on the amounts!
  • Jalapeno Pepper. Adds another flavor dimension without being overly spicy.
  • Sauce: Gochujang (Korean chili paste), Soy Sauce, Gochukaru, Sugar, Mirin (Korean sweet cooking wine), and Sesame Oil. The pantry ingredients that make the flavorful spicy-sweet sauce.
  • Korean Rice Cakes. Long, tubular rice cakes. Also called tteok or dduk. The same kind used in Tteokbokki. Look in the refrigerated section at Korean markets. They come in vacuum-sealed bags.
  • Mozzarella Cheese. A generous helping of mozzarella mitigates the heat. And adds cheesy decadence.

Instructions:

  1. Parboil the pork ribs. Cover pork bones with water to cover. Boil furiously for 5 minutes. You will see scum and bits of fat floating to the surface and blood leaking from the bones. Drain the bones in a colander. Rinse the bones with water. Wash the pot, as lots of fat and scum will be sticking to the sides.

2. Make sauce. Chop the onion. Mince the garlic and jalapeno. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the sauce ingredients. Mix until combined. Or, skip the chopping and add everything to a food processor. Pulse until the onion and garlic is evenly minced.

3. Cook ribs. In the clean pot, add the washed, parboiled ribs. Add the onion-sauce mixture on top. Add water. Give everything a good stir. Cover and simmer over medium to medium-low heat until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes.

4. Reduce sauce. Uncover and simmer until the sauce thickens and reduces, about 15 minutes.

5. Add rice cakes and cheese. Add rice cakes, making sure they touch the liquid. Cover and cook until they are soft and chewy, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the mozzarella. Cover and let the residual heat melt the cheese, about 5 minutes.

6. Serve and enjoy. Garnish with green onions, red chili pepper, and sesame seeds. Serve hot with rice and kimchi.

PRO Tips:

  • Make in advance. A Korean dish that can be made in advance, cook 1-2 days beforehand. Add rice cakes and mozzarella right before serving.
  • Adjust Spice Level. Modify the spice level to your liking. The easiest way to adjust: Reduce Gochukaru (chili flakes) from 1/4 cup to 2 Tbsp. Also, deseed the Jalapeno. *Be sure to check the label of your Gochujang (chili paste) container. Gochujang often comes in a spicy level ranging from 1 to 5. Choose a spice level of 1 or 2 if you want a mildly spicy Gochujang. FYI my recipes always use Gochujang with a spice level of 3.
  • Cook in shallow braiser. Although a regular stock pot also works, a shallow braiser fits all the ribs in one layer for easier cooking. I use a Dutch oven that is wide and shallow.
  • Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn! The sauce can reduce and burn on the bottom of the pot. Keep an eye on it while it cooks, stirring occasionally.

Serve with:

  • Serve with rice and kimchi. Rice is the perfect complement to all those saucy ribs. Kimchi is an easy side that adds a sharp, acidic bite of freshness and crunch.
  • Banchan. Make it a holiday feast and serve with Korean side dishes. Korean Potato Salad, Spicy Cucumber Salad, or Korean Steamed Eggs.
  • Garnish. Add color and freshness with green onion, chopped red chili pepper, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Otherwise, the final dish is very dreary and brown.
spoon pulling cheese from black pot

FAQ:

Why do I need to parboil the pork ribs?

Koreans parboil meat bones to eliminate the flavor of gamey meat. A cooking technique that produces the best flavor for cooking pork or any cut of meat with rib bones.

How spicy is this dish?

I would categorize Pork Rib Spicy Galbi Jjim as medium spicy. Truthfully, the sauce is more spicy-sweet sauce than purely spicy. The rice cakes and cheese also lessen the heat factor. Serve with white rice to mitigate the spice even more.

Can I substitute the Gochukaru?

Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t work without Gochukaru or Korean red pepper chili flakes. Gochukaru is smoky, floral, spicy, earthy, and deliciously complex. There is no substitute.

How do I store leftovers?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, for 3-5 days. Reheat in the microwave, stirring every 2 minutes, until everything is bubbling hot and the rice cakes are squishy.

More meaty Braised recipes:

spoon pulling up cheesy spicy galbi jjim

Spicy Galbi Jjim (Korean Braised Pork Ribs) with Cheese

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
A Korean classic with a spicy twist: Spicy Galbi Jjim with Cheese! Tender, fall-off-the-bone, baby back pork ribs, swimming in a sea of fiery red Gochujang sauce. Cozy, comforting, and so incredibly delicious — make this special Korean dish for the ultimate one-pot meal!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4
Calories 898 kcal

Equipment

  • Shallow Braiser or Dutch Oven
  • Colander

Ingredients
  

  • 1 rack baby back pork ribs, cut into individual ribs (about 2 lbs)

Braising sauce:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inch ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Gochukaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • 2 Tbsp Gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin or rice wine (Korean sweet cooking wine)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cups water

Additional:

  • 2 cups dduk/tteok or Korean rice cakes
  • 1 cup/8 ounces mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • 1 green onion, chopped (for garnish, optional)
  • 1 red chili pepper, chopped (for garnish, optional)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)

Instructions
 

  • Parboil the pork ribs. Cover pork ribs with enough water to cover. Boil furiously for 5 minutes. You will see scum and bits of fat floating to the surface.
  • Drain and wash the pork ribs. Remove the pork ribs and drain in a colander. Rinse bones well with cold water, rubbing to remove the scum and fat particles. Wash the pot, as there will be lots of fat and scum sticking to the sides.
  • Make sauce. Chop the onion. Mince the garlic and jalapeno. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the sauce ingredients. Mix until combined. Or, skip the chopping and add everything to a food processor. Pulse until the onion and garlic is evenly minced.
  • Cook ribs. In the clean pot, add the washed, parboiled ribs. Add the onion-sauce mixture on top. Add water. Give everything a good stir. Cover and simmer over medium to medium-low heat until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes.
  • *Poke the meat with a fork to check for tenderness. If the fork slides into the meat easily, it's tender enough.
  • Reduce sauce. Uncover and simmer until the sauce thickens and reduces, about 15-20 more minutes.
  • Add rice cakes. When the pork ribs are tender and the sauce is reduced and thick, add rice cakes. Cover and simmer on medium low heat until soft but still chewy, about 5 minutes. Make sure to turn the rice cakes around and squish them into the sauce to soak up the flavors.
  • Add the mozzarella. Turn off the heat. Scatter the mozzarella all over. Cover and let the residual heat melts the cheese into pools of gooey deliciousness, about 5 minutes.
  • Garnish and serve. Add chopped green onion, red chili pepper, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve with rice and kimchi. Enjoy!
  • *Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop, stirring frequently, until everything is bubbling hot and the rice cakes are squishy once again. Add more water, if needed.

Notes

Tips:
    • Make in advance. A Korean dish that can be made in advance, cook 1-2 days beforehand. Add rice cakes and mozzarella right before serving.
  •  
    • Adjust Spice Level. Modify the spice level to your liking. The easiest way to adjust: Reduce Gochukaru (chili flakes) from 1/4 cup to 2 Tbsp. Also, deseed the Jalapeno. *Be sure to check the label of your Gochujang (chili paste) container. Gochujang often comes in a spicy level ranging from 1 to 5. Choose a spice level of 1 or 2 if you want a mildly spicy Gochujang. FYI my recipes always use Gochujang with a spice level of 3.
    • Cook in shallow braiser. Although a regular stock pot also works, a shallow braiser fits all the ribs in one layer for easier cooking. I use a Dutch oven that is wide and shallow.
    • Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn! The sauce can reduce and burn on the bottom of the pot. Keep an eye on it while it cooks, stirring occasionally.

Nutrition

Calories: 898kcalCarbohydrates: 100gProtein: 45gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 1438mgPotassium: 933mgFiber: 9gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 4797IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 296mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Galbi Jjim, Pork Ribs, Spicy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
All Recipes, Braised, Dinner with Friends, Gochujang, Holiday, Korean, Main, Pork, Potluck

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight with 2lbs of cut spare ribs. The sauce was so delicious- added a little sambal oelek, but otherwise made as is. Thank you for this- will definitely make it again.

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this today as written and it was amazing and so simple to whip up. Definitely adding this to my rotation. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Hello! Recipe looks delish! I’m interested in making this dish using beef short ribs instead, how would I go about cooking it? I’m assuming the cooking times would vary and be similar to the traditional galbi jiim recipe? Thanks in advance!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating