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spicy galbi jjim in a black pot, with cheese
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5 from 2 votes

Spicy Galbi Jjim aka Spicy Korean Pork Ribs

Non-traditional. Decadently saucy. Ooey-gooey with cheese. Cozy and comforting. Spicy Galbi Jjim is all kinds of savory deliciousness!
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


  • Shallow Braiser
  • Colander


  • 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


  • 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)


  • 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!
    black serving dish filled with spicy galbi jjim


*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 1-2 Tbsp more Gochukaru.