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Galbitang (Beef Short Rib Soup)

Try this hearty and heartwarming Korean beef short rib soup – galbitang at home.

Short ribs are slowly simmered for over 1 hour to bring out all the good nutrients, making it a particularly great soup when you feel run down. Most importantly though, it is delicious, with delicate flavor and is filling, so it will hit the spot of many!

galbitang served in a black pot

What is Galbitang

Galbitang or galbi-tang (갈비탕) is Korean soup made with beef short ribs. Flavorful beef short ribs are simmered for over 1 hour among other aromatic vegetables (e.g. radishes, green onions, garlic and so on) and herbs. The result is deep, rich savory tasting soup with tender beef ribs. 

Galbitang is known as a stamina food in Korea. It’s particularly a perfect soup to have when your body feels under the weather. I always feel more energized after having this soup. Some people even add ginseng, dried jujube and chestnuts to make it extra healthy, though I haven’t tried it this way as I like it classic style. 

It used to be served at a wedding receptions many years ago, but nowadays you won’t see it as often, as serving buffet meals has gained more popularity.

Tips

I want to highlight two things that I think are important or handy in making this soup.

  • Soy Sauce

One of the key ingredients in this recipe is soy sauce and I recommend you use Korean soup soy sauce (I used this one) if you can get it. Korean soup soy sauce is known to be lighter in color and saltier in taste compared to a regular soy sauce.

Though, if you can’t find Korean soup soy sauce, a good alternative is Kikkoman brand regular soy sauce. Although it may give you a bit stronger soy sauce smell initially, after a while that smell will disappear and it will give you about the same tasting soup.

  • Disposable Fat Skimming Sheets

Beef short ribs are a fairly fatty part of beef cuts and the soup will certainly contain that fat unless you skim it.

I bought a pack of fat skimming sheets (picture below) from my local Daiso a few months back and it came in very handy for removing fat from the broth.

Removing fat from galbitang

I had to use about 3 sheets in total (one sheet at a time) before I added back the seasoned short ribs and sliced radishes (just before step 4 in the recipe below) and it literally took most of the floating fat. I also really loved the fact that I can just discard the sheets after use as they are disposable.

If you can’t get this, you could try using cheese cloth or solidify the fat overnight in the fridge. By removing the fat, you really can appreciate the delicate flavor of galbitang even more.

 

P.S. Do you love beef short ribs? If so, try these! Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs and Galbi Jjim (Korean Braised Short Ribs)

Ingredients for Galbitang (4 – 6 Servings)

Main

  • 1.2 kg – 1.4 kg / 2.6 pounds – 3 pounds beef short ribs, membranes removed
  • 1 onion (200g / 7 ounces), cut into large chunks
  • 250g / 9 ounces Korean radish (or daikon radish), peeled
  • 60g / 2 ounces green onions, white part
  • 30g / 1 ounce garlic, peeled
  • 10 whole black peppers
  • 10 cups water
  • 25g / 1 ounce green onions, thinly sliced
  • (optional) 70g / 2.5 ounces Korean glass noodles (dangmyeon)

Seasonings

  • 1.5 Tbsp Korean soup soy sauce or regular kikkoman soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt, or more to taste
  • ground black peppers, to taste

Garnish

  • (optional) 2 eggs, egg white and yolk separated and cooked over medium low heat, thinly sliced

* 1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml

** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my essential Korean ingredients list.

How to Make Galbitang

1. Soak the beef ribs in cold water for 20 mins. Change the water a few times during this time. This is to draw out the red liquid (which looks like blood) from the meat and also to rinse out any bone fragments.

Soaking beef short ribs in water

2. In a large pot of rolling boiling water (enough to fully cover the ribs), boil the ribs for 6 to 8 minutes over medium high heat. Drain the water and rinse the ribs in cold water. Cut off any obvious excess fat from the ribs.

Place them in a large clean pot. Add onions, radish, green onions, garlic, black peppers, and water (10 cups) into the pot and bring them to boil over medium high heat, covered. Once rolling boiling, reduce the heat to medium low heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.

If adding, soak the glass noodles in a large bowl of cold water (fully immersed).

Boiling beef ribs in a large pot

3. Gently take out the beef ribs and radish from the broth and set them aside. Strain the remaining ingredients over a large clean pot. Discard all the strained vegetables while keeping the broth. Remove the fat. (Refer to the tips mentioned above.) Thinly slice the radish and place them into the pot.

boiled beef ribs and thinly sliced radish

4. Season the beef ribs with the seasoning ingredients and gently place them into the pot. Bring the pot to boil over medium high heat for about 8 mins. Add the glass noodles and green onions and boil for a further 2 mins. 

Making short rib soup in a large pot

5. Serve the soup with cooked rice and other Korean side dishes (ie. radish kimchi and purple rice in the photo). If adding, garnish with julienned eggs (note that I only showed the cooked egg yolks in the photo, not the egg whites).

galbitang served with rice and ponytail radish kimchi

How to Store

Leftover soup can be refrigerated for 2 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze them for up to 1 month. When I store leftovers, I remove all the bones so it’s less bulky.

Another thing to note is glass noodles don’t store well as it changes shapes and texture. So I suggest you finish all the noodles at the initial serving if you added them.

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galbitang served in a black pot

Galbitang (Korean Beef Short Rib Soup)

Hearty and heartwarming Korean beef short rib soup, Galbitang Recipe!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: beef short rib soup, galbi tang, galbitang, kalbitang
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 389kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

MAIN

  • 1.2 - 1.4 kg beef short ribs (2.6 – 3 pounds), membranes removed
  • 1 onion (200g / 7 ounces), cut into large chunks
  • 250 g Korean radish (or daikon radish), peeled
  • 60 g green onions (2 ounces), white part
  • 30 g garlic (1 ounce), peeled
  • 10 whole black peppers
  • 10 cups water
  • 25 g green onions (1 ounce), thinly sliced
  • 70 g Korean glass noodles (2.5 ounces), optional

SEASONINGS

  • 1.5 Tbsp Korean soup soy sauce or regular kikkoman soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt , or more to taste
  • ground black peppers , to taste

GARNISH

  • 2 eggs (optional), egg white and yolk separated and cooked over medium low heat, thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Soak the beef ribs in cold water for 20 mins. Change the water a few times during this time. This is to draw out the red liquid (which looks like blood) from the meat and also to rinse out any bone fragments.
  • In a large pot of rolling boiling water (enough to fully cover the ribs), boil the ribs for 6 to 8 minutes over medium high heat. Drain the water and rinse the ribs in cold water. Cut off any obvious excess fat from the ribs.
    Place them in a large clean pot. Add onions, radish, green onions, garlic, black peppers, and water (10 cups) into the pot and bring them to boil over medium high heat, covered. Once rolling boiling, reduce the heat to medium low heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
    If adding, soak the glass noodles in a large bowl of cold water (fully immersed).
  • Gently take out the beef ribs and radish from the broth and set them aside. Strain the remaining ingredients over a large clean pot. Discard all the strained vegetables while keeping the broth. Remove the fat. (Refer to the tips mentioned above.) Thinly slice the radish and place them into the pot.
  • Season the beef ribs with the seasoning ingredients and gently place them into the pot. Bring the pot to boil over medium high heat for about 8 mins. Add the glass noodles and green onions and boil for a further 2 mins.
  • Serve the soup with cooked rice and other Korean side dishes (ie. radish kimchi and purple rice in the photo). If adding, garnish with julienned eggs (note that I only showed the cooked egg yolks in the photo, not the egg whites).

Notes

* 1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml
** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my essential Korean ingredients list.

Nutrition

Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 155mg | Sodium: 1192mg | Potassium: 818mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Rate this recipe with a comment below and tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: April 25, 2020
Sue and My Korean Kitchen Profile

Welcome to my Korean kitchen! I’m so happy that you're here. I am Sue, the creator behind My Korean Kitchen (since 2006). I love good food and simplifying recipes. Here you will find my best and family approved recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

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16 thoughts on “Galbitang (Beef Short Rib Soup)”

    • I haven’t tried it with pork ribs myself, but you can certainly give it a go. It will have slightly difference flavor. Let us know how it goes.

      Reply
  1. This is a fantastic recipe!! I put the soup in the fridge overnight and to consolidate the fat, and was able to remove every last bit of fat that way. The resulting flavor is oh so delicate. Will definitely make it again. Thanks, Sue.

    Reply
  2. Hi!
    I didn’t even realize that when I went to the butcher’s, I picked up beef back ribs :(. Would this work with that cut of meat? I know short ribs are fattier and probably are a bit tastier, but I was planning on making galbitang with them. I also guess my soup wouldn’t be galbitang anymore hahah.

    Reply
    • You can certainly make it with boneless short ribs, but to me the highlights of this dish is broth made with bone-in short ribs. Bones always bring out more depth of flavor.
      If I were to make it with boneless short ribs, I would simmer for less than 1 hour.

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for the reply. I’m scared my Galbitang won’t be as good since I don’t have the bone. I hope by changing just the cooking time I’ll come close to it. Thank you!

        Reply
  3. This sounds so wonderful. The broth must be fantastic. I think short ribs may be my favorite cut of beef. They’re just so luscious! Thanks for the link for soy sauce. But I can’t find the fat skimming sheets. I’ve never heard of these, but they sound perfectly handy!

    Reply
  4. Excellent soup. I placed the broth in the fridge overnight and skimmed the excess fat off this morning. I also added bean sprouts, bamboo chutes and mushrooms. Thank you. Charles

    Reply
  5. Today, I made this dish following your instructions here. It was very delicious and everyone in family loved it. In addition to Korean radish, I added Yukon potatoes and carrots making it a complete meal.

    The meat slid off the bone. Did I overcook the meat?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  6. We have been making this recipe for years using another Korean Chef’s recipe. We usually make nine large beef ribs, each cut into thirds. Once cooked (without radish), we divide the pot into three portions, each containing nine pieces of ribs. We also allow them to slightly freeze so we can remove the fat. The remaining soup is allowed to completely freeze. Each time we want to have this soup, just thaw out a bag and add whatever vegetables we like. We season the soup at this time and it’s ready.

    This recipe and many of your recipes are excellent and we have adopted many of them in our cooking. Thank you so much.

    Reply

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