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side view of LA Galbi on cutting board
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5 from 1 vote

LA Galbi [Grilled Beef Short Ribs]

Celebrate the Korean diaspora with a heaping platter of LA Galbi. Smoky. Salty-sweet. Garlicky. A familiar favorite that everyone knows and loves!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Marinating Time8 hrs
Course: BBQ, Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Grilled Beef Short Ribs, LA Galbi
Servings: 4
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam

Equipment

  • Big Bowl
  • Food Processor (or box grater)
  • Grill

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs LA style beef short ribs, 1/4 inch thick

Food Processor:

  • 1/2 large onion, peeled + cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 large Korean pear OR Fuji apple, peeled, cored, + cut into large pieces
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 inch ginger

Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (Don't use the low-sodium kind!)
  • 5 Tbsp sugar
  • onion/apple/garlic/ginger puree (from food processor, see above)
  • 4 green onions, trimmed + diced
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (add last)
  • 1 300ml/ 10 oz can Coca Cola (do not use a sugar free version)

Instructions

Prep the marinade:

  • In a food processor, puree onion, apple, garlic, and ginger. (You can also grate everything with a box grater.) Set aside.
    pureed onion, ginger, garlic
  • In a large bowl, add soy sauce, sugar, and Mirin. Mix until sugar mostly dissolves. Add onion + apple puree. Add green onions. Mix again.
    stainless steel bowl with galbi marinade
  • Add beef short ribs to the marinade and mix together, with hands. Make sure every rib is well coated. Drizzle with sesame oil and mix again.
    marinated Korean short ribs in bowl
  • Add Coke directly on top of the ribs. It will foam and bubble. Mix well. Cover and marinate overnight in the fridge.
    Coca Cola being poured in large bowl of Korean galbi

Grill:

  • When ready to grill, remove from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Heat grill on high and make sure to oil the grates well.
  • Grill ribs on each side until cooked through but still tender, about 6-8 minutes total. Be careful not to overcook or burn the ribs. Charred edges here and there are OK.
  • Serve with rice, lettuce wraps, ssamjang, and banchan (Korean side dishes) of choice. Enjoy!
    platter of LA Galbi with Korean banchan

Oven:

  • If you don't have access to a grill, an acceptable substitute is using the oven BROIL function. Line a sheet pan with foil and reposition oven racks so they are 5-6 inches from the heat source. Preheat for 10 minutes on HIGH heat.
  • Place single layer of Galbi on the sheet pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Broil until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes total. Flip about halfway so that both sides get evenly cooked. Plus, you'll get those little charred edges. Warning: the marinade contains a high amount of sugar so be prepared for the marinade to burn and smoke on the sheet pan.
  • Serve with rice, lettuce wraps, ssamjang, and banchan (Korean side dishes) of choice. Enjoy!
    platter of LA Galbi with Korean banchan

Notes

*If you choose not to add soda, add 1 Tbsp more sugar.  
**I've used all kinds of soda and while they taste similar, I prefer Coca Cola for that deep, caramel-y taste and color.  Full disclosure:  I lived in Atlanta during my teen years so I have a not-so-impartial bias for Coca Cola!
***The BROIL method for cooking Galbi comes from many years of cooking Galbi in small NYC apartments with no grill access.  Turn on the exhaust fan, if you have it, and open the windows if there's too much smoke!   
****This recipe doubles very easily.  You won't need 2 cans of soda though.  Simply double everything else except the soda.  Then cover with enough Coke so that all the ribs are submerged in liquid.  That's usually 1 (300ml/10oz) can.