Spicy Galbi Jjim aka Spicy Korean Pork Ribs

The non-traditional, decadently saucy and spicy, ooey-gooey with cheese version of Galbi Jjim to help you survive the last days of winter. Spicy Galbi Jjim aka Spicy Korean Pork Ribs are cozy comfort food at its best!

half eaten pan of spicy galbi jjim (Korean spicy pork ribs) with cups and dishes on the side

Not too long ago, I ordered Spicy Galbi Jjim at a Korean restaurant. I’d never eaten or heard of it before so I was curious.

Classically, Galbi Jjim is not a spicy dish. Galbi Jjim is salty, garlicky, and a little bit sweet. Think beef short ribs braised a long time with soy sauce, onion, and daikon. Tender meat, rich sauce, bone-in ribs — this dish is all kinds of savory, decadent deliciousness.

How would Spicy Galbi Jjim compare?

Right off the bat, the flavor profile was completely different. This was not the soy sauce braised beef ribs of my childhood. Instead, it was intensely spicy with little pork ribs swimming in a gochujang-based sauce.

Spicy Galbi Jjim definitely belonged to the family of Korean braised dishes. Saucy decadence. Tender, fall-off-the-bone meat. And wow, the flavor explosion from that long stewing time!

I knew I had to make this dish at home.

ingredients for spicy Korean pork ribs (Spicy Galbi Jjim) in white bowl

My version ended up being a little extra. Okay, A LOT extra.

First, I added chewy rice cakes.

The French use baguette to sop up sauce, the 4th utensil as it were. We Koreans have rice cakes. They are the perfect accompaniment to a long-simmered, luscious sauce. Two big handfuls made sure the sauce remained the star of the show.

Plus, something about the bouncy, springy texture of rice cakes makes every dish feel like a party. Who doesn’t like biting into soft, chewy pillows of deliciousness?

Also, this dish just begged for some melty mozzarella.

Cheese is the necessary luxury that transforms the most basic Korean dish into something truly spectacular. As a bonus, the cheese pull. This dish proves once again: cheese makes everything better.

Spicy, tender ribs Slick with rich sauce. Chewy rice cakes. Oozy, melty cheese. A cozy combination that’s perfect for cold winter nights!

How to make Spicy Galbi Jjim aka Spicy Korean Pork Ribs:

First, parboil the baby back pork ribs.

Koreans parboil meat bones to get rid of all the nasty, greasy bits that float to the surface. The result? Cleaner, less gamy-tasting meat. Unmuddled flavors: pork that tastes like pork, sauce that tastes like sauce.

How to parboil: Cover pork bones with enough water to just cover. Boil furiously for 5 minutes. You will see scum and bits of fat floating to the surface and blood leaking out of the bones.

Drain the bones in a colander. Wash the pot with soap and water (there will be lots of fat and scum sticking to the sides). Rinse the bones and add back to the freshly cleaned pot.

Add water and sauce ingredients. Give it a good stir. Simmer (covered) until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes.

Uncover and simmer until the sauce thickens and reduces, about 20 more minutes.

Meanwhile, prep the rice cakes by soaking in some cold water. (If they are fresh rice cakes, this is not necessary. Koreans usually store rice cakes in the freezer. Soaking in cold water helps to defrost them.)

Add rice cakes and simmer (covered) until they are al dente — soft but still chewy, about 5 minutes. Turn the rice cakes around and squish them down into the sauce.

Off the heat, add the mozzarella. Cover until the cheese melts into pools of gooey deliciousness, about 5 minutes.

Garnish and eat immediately. Serve with rice and kimchi. Enjoy!

Spicy Galbi Jjim aka Spicy Korean Pork Ribs

The non-traditionally spicy, decadently saucy, ooey-gooey with cheese version of Galbi Jjim to help you survive winter. Spicy Korean Pork Ribs are cozy Korean comfort food at its best!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Galbi Jjim, Pork Ribs, Spicy
Servings: 4
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam

Equipment

  • Shallow Braiser

Ingredients

  • 1 rack baby back pork ribs, cut into individual ribs (about 2-3 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 or Korean rice cakes
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • 1 green onion, chopped (for garnish, optional)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)

Instructions

  • First, parboil the pork ribs. Cover pork ribs with enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil then boil furiously for 5 minutes. You will see scum and bits of fat floating to the surface.
    parboiled pork ribs in shallow braiser pan covered with water
  • Drain the bones in a colander. Wash the pot with soap and water (there will be lots of fat and scum sticking to the sides). Rinse the bones and add back to the freshly cleaned pot.
    parboiled pork ribs in shallow braiser
  • Add water and sauce ingredients. Give it a good stir. Simmer (covered) 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.
    parboiled ribs covered in sauce ingredients, ready for cooking
  • Uncover and simmer until the sauce thickens and reduces, about 20 more minutes.
    pork ribs in spicy red sauce that's been reduced
  • Meanwhile, prep the rice cakes by soaking in some cold water. (If they are fresh rice cakes, this is not necessary. Koreans usually store rice cakes in the freezer. Soaking in cold water helps to defrost them.)
    rice cakes in white bowl with water
  • Add rice cakes and simmer (covered) until they are al dente — soft but still chewy, about 5 minutes. Turn the rice cakes around and squish them down into the sauce to soak up the flavors.
    Korean spicy pork ribs (spicy galbi jjim) with cooked rice cakes
  • Off the heat, add the mozzarella. Cover until the cheese melts into pools of gooey deliciousness, about 5 minutes. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve with rice and kimchi. Enjoy!
    shallow braiser pan full of spicy pork ribs, rice cakes, and cheese (spicy galbi jjim) on grey background

Notes

*This dish is not really that spicy.  It’s only mildly spicy, according to my opinion.  🙂  The rice cakes and the cheese dilute the spiciness factor.  Make sure to spoon up the sauce over the ribs to really taste the spiciness.  If you’d like it spicier, I suggest adding all the seeds of the jalapeno and 1-2 Tbsp more Gochukaru. 
All Recipes, Braised, Dinner with Friends, Gochujang, Korean, Main, Pork, Potluck
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments