Make Galbi: Marinated Short Ribs That Are Sweet, Smoky, and Craveable

Blue Apron is teaming up with chefs across the country to support Feeding America®. To participate, head over to our social media channels. Share our Facebook post or tag a friend on Instagram, and Blue Apron will donate an additional $5 to Feeding America, up to $50,000. Thanks to chef Yong Shin for sharing Insa’s recipe for Galbi, a classic Korean barbecue preparation of short ribs.

Korean short ribs
Galbi ready for the grill

There’s more than one type of night to be had at Insa. You can feast on mandu in the darkly lit bar, sit around a tabletop grill in the party-filled dining area, or even grab a drink in one of the private karaoke rooms. No matter which option you choose, you can’t go wrong. The food is delicious, and the vibe is inviting and glamorous at the same time. 

It might be difficult to recreate this exact atmosphere at home, but now you can make your own version of Chef Yong Shin’s marinated short ribs, a traditional Korean dish known as galbi. You can typically find galbi pre-fabricated at your local Korean supermarket, but it’s easy to prepare them yourself. If it’s available, grilling is the best way to get some char, and caramelize the sweet marinade. Chef Shin recommends cooking the meat to medium, as short ribs can get chewy when undercooked. 

Galbi (Soy Marinated Short Ribs)

Serves 4-6 People

  • 2 Pounds beef short ribs, sliced ¼” thick
  • 1 ½ Cups water
  • 1 Cup soy sauce
  • 1 Asian pear, peeled, cored & grated (about 1 cup) (see note)*
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Onion, grated (about 1 Cup)
  • 1/4 Cup ginger, peeled & grated
  • 1/4 Cup garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsps canola oil

1. Combine all ingredients (except the short ribs) in a bowl and whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved. Combine this mixture with the short ribs in a nonreactive container or a ziplock bag. Cover, refrigerate, and leave the ribs to marinate for at least 2 days. If you want to eat them sooner, use a knife to score the meat in a cross hatch pattern. This will help the meat tenderize more quickly.

2. Before cooking, rest the meat at room temperature for at least an hour. Heat a grill to high, or place a heavy bottom skillet over high heat. If using a skillet, coat the bottom with a little oil, just barely enough to cover the surface. Once the oil is smoking, add enough meat to form a single layer without crowding the pan. 

3. Cook the meat until it’s charred on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook another minute or two, to your preferred doneness. 

4. Allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice into bite-sized pieces and serve with rice, lettuce, and kimchi.

*If Asian pear is not available, canned pineapple juice is a fun alternative. Chef Shin’s Mom would use this in marinades for meats, including pork and lamb. The enzymes in pineapple (or kiwi, or papaya) help break down proteins for a tender final product.

“Quick” Kimchi

Yields approximately 2 quarts

  • 1 Large Napa cabbage (at least 3 pounds)
  • 3/4 Cup kosher salt
  • 1 Cup gochugaru (coarse Korean chili flakes)
  • 3 Tbsps ginger, peeled & minced
  • 3 Tbsps garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsps sugar
  • 2 Tbsps salted shrimp (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Bunch scallions, cut into 2” pieces

1. Quarter the napa cabbage, removing any loose outer leaves, and slice horizontally into 2” strips. Cut the bottom root off and discard. 

2. Wash the cabbage in a deep container of water and drain well. In your largest mixing bowl, rub salt into the cabbage and toss until it’s thoroughly coated. Allow it to sit for 3 hours, tossing every hour. A lot of water will be expelled from the cabbage. 

3. Rinse the cabbage and drain thoroughly. Taste the cabbage. It should be well seasoned, meaning it will taste good on its own. 

4. Place the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl with the wilted cabbage. Mix everything together until the cabbage is thoroughly coated with seasoning. Taste the kimchi and adjust it to your liking. Want more funk? Add more fish sauce. Want it a little sweeter? Try more sugar. 

5. Eat immediately or keep in the fridge. To store, place the kimchi in a large nonreactive container, like a glass bowl with a lid, or a plastic storage container, and press down to remove any air between the leaves. This kimchi is best eaten within 2 weeks.