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LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

A popular Korean BBQ choice – LA Galbi recipe!

LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

LA Galbi/Kalbi (엘에이 갈비) is one of my favourite Korean BBQ meats. Its tender, sweet and slightly salty seasoned meat is quite addictive. Licking each finger as you eat each meat and bone piece is also another entertainment you could enjoy while BBQ-ing this LA Galbi.

I only discovered this delicious dish several years ago just before I left Korea (Unfortunately my mum never made this for me.) I have often seen the name at Korean restaurants in Korea, but I thought LA Galbi is the same as traditional Korean Galbi kind (including the shape and everything), except that the meat is imported from Los Angeles USA.

LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

LA Galbi vs. Traditional Korean Galbi

Interestingly enough, the LA Galbi and so called ‘traditional Korean Galbi’ look quite different due to the way it is cut.

Korean Galbi is cut in segments alongside the rib bone shapes and it is thicker while LA Galbi is cut through the rib bone, usually displaying three rib bone eyes. It is also thinner, hence easier to marinate and quicker to cook on a BBQ grill.

According to Korean encyclopaedia, there are two theories about the origin of the LA Galbi name.

  1. LA initial comes from rib bone being cut laterally.
  2. The Korean immigrant community in Los Angeles started using thinly sliced Galbi for grilled BBQ and this culture was brought back to Korea

Whichever is true, the taste of traditional Korean Galbi is the same as LA Galbi if marinated and cooked the same way. (Though, I would think the tenderness and the texture might be different). Which one would you prefer? Korean Galbi? or LA Galbi? I think I am leaning towards LA Galbi. 😀

Ingredients for LA Galbi

  • 800g/1.8 pounds LA Galbi meat (Korean BBQ short ribs) – This is available at a Korean grocery store or at a Korean butcher.
  • 7 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 ½ Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine
  • 2 Tbsp grated apple (Royal gala, fuji or pink lady is suitable. However if you can substitute the apple with Korean/Nashi pear that is even better)
  • 2 Tbsp grated onion
  • 1 ½ Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 tsp minced ginger
  • 4 sprinkles of ground black pepper

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml

**If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my 30 essential Korean cooking ingredients list!

 How to Make LA Galbi

 LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

  1. Soak the meat in cold water for 1 hour to get rid of the blood. Change the water a couple of times as it releases debris (blood and floating fat).
  2. While waiting, mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. (You can use a blender to quicken the process).
  3. One hour later, pat-dry the meat with some kitchen paper. Then put it into a sealable container. Pour out the sauce onto the meat and mix them with a spoon to thoroughly season. Close the lid.
  4. Marinade the meat for at least 3 to 4 hours in the fridge. Turn the meat over a couple of times during marination, so that the meat gets seasoned thoroughly. (You can also marinade overnight in the fridge to give extra tenderness and flavour. It does make a difference.)
  5. Take out the meat from the fridge 15 to 30 mins prior to cooking.
  6. Cook the meat (on a BBQ grill or a skillet or in the oven) and when both sides of the meat are cooked per your preference, serve and enjoy! – refer the note below for my preferred cooking method

LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Note

  • I like cooking my favourite Korean BBQ short ribs in my oven. The reason is I can cook the bulk of the meat without doing too much preparation and cleaning afterwards is also easier. I cook them under the grill (broiling function) in the oven, without the fan force. My previous oven didn’t require me to set any temperature, so I just needed to watch out for overcooking but my current oven requires me to set the temperature. So I preheat the oven for 5 mins at 200 Celsius  (392 F) then cook each side of the meat for 2 mins with the door closed. I preheat my oven per my manual.
  • As the meat is thin, it cooks fast. This also means that it will cool down fast. When the meat cools down the protein in the meat starts harden and it will look drier. However, the meat is still tender.
  • For fancier serving, you can garnish it with finely chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds or finely crushed pine nuts.


LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)

Learn how to make Korean bbq short ribs (LA Galbi)!
5 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Main
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: galbi, Korean BBQ
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 857kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 800 g LA Galbi meat (Korean BBQ short ribs) (1.8 pounds), This is available at a Korean grocery store or at a Korean butcher.
  • 7 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine
  • 2 Tbsp grated apple , (Royal gala, fuji or pink lady is suitable. However if you can substitute the apple with Korean/Nashi pear that is even better)
  • 2 Tbsp grated onion
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 tsp minced ginger
  • 4 sprinkles ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Soak the meat in cold water for 1 hour to get rid of the blood. Change the water a couple of times as it releases debris (blood and floating fat).
  • While waiting, mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. (You can use a blender to quicken the process).
  • One hour later, pat-dry the meat with some kitchen paper. Then put it into a sealable container. Pour out the sauce onto the meat and mix them with a spoon to thoroughly season. Close the lid.
  • Marinade the meat for at least 3 to 4 hours in the fridge. Turn the meat over a couple of times during marination, so that the meat gets seasoned thoroughly. (You can also marinade overnight in the fridge to give extra tenderness and flavour. It does make a difference.)
  • Take out the meat from the fridge 15 to 30 mins prior to cooking.
  • Cook the meat (on a BBQ grill or a skillet or in the oven) and when both sides of the meat are cooked per your preference, serve and enjoy! – refer the note below for my preferred cooking method

Nutrition Info (per serving)

Calories: 857kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 72g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 1861mg | Potassium: 570mg | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 4.1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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:

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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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48 thoughts on “LA Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)”

  1. Sue I love LA Galbi, I think each week we are enjoying them.
    We so appreciated you sharing the LA Galbi story 🙂 it is so fascinating !
    Yes we marinate overnight always, the flavor is just heavenly and we serve Bulgogi rice the next day with the leftover rib meat …
    if my husband does not finish some, which is rare 🙂
    Thank you so much for being a part of our meal times !

    Reply
  2. I made this recipe for the first time tonight for dinner. I first had to run out and get a small bottle of rice wine at an Asian grocery store near me. I used Asian pear instead of apples. The prep work & recipe was pretty simple and easy to follow. I marinated it in the fridge for only 2 hours in a gallon ziploc baggie. I made sure to move the short ribs around in the ziploc baggie several times so that the marinade coated the short ribs well. I broiled in oven as you recommended, instead of frying on stovetop. The only info missing was the position/level of oven rack. I put the rack on the highest level very close to the broiler flames. I broiled each side for 4-5 minutes because the 2 minutes per side you recommended wouldn’t have been long enough to cook the beef short ribs even though the short ribs were cut pretty thin. With the first batch, the excess marinade from the short ribs that runs off on the foil-lined baking sheet dried up & burned as the short ribs were broiling. The second batch, I sprayed the foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray, which prevented the excess marinade from drying up & burning & the short ribs from sticking to foil. Plus it gave the short ribs a nice, slight sheen on both sides once it’s done broiling. LA Galbi came out so flavorful and juicy and tasted so authentic like the ones from our favorite Korean restaurant in Alhambra, CA (we live in NV). My husband was impressed at how good it was. The house smelled so good during broiling. I love your LA Galbi recipe! I’m so glad I chose your recipe over the many others online. I love Korean food and am so happy I will now be able to make awesome Korean dishes at home simply by going to your website. Thank you so much for this excellent recipe!

    Reply
  3. I surprised my wife (and myself) by cooking this meal last night. I accidentally used dark soy sauce. Didn’t adversely affect the flavour. Thanks for the great and easy to follow recipe. I will explore some of your other ones!

    Reply
  4. Skip the marinading & boil it in the sauce, an hour to an hour & 30min, low and slow then bake on 350 until desired likeness. Thank me later.

    Reply
  5. Great recipe, simple and delicious! Soaking the meat was a foreign idea to me but glad I followed it. I skipped the grated apple (didn’t want to use up the last apple in my fridge), and was more generous with the rice wine and onion than the recipe called for. I used the oven method (broiled on top rack at 450 degrees F for about 4 mins each side). I find using the oven to be more efficient than using the stove top as you achieve the same results but without the mess. Thanks for another great recipe!

    Reply
  6. Dear Sue,

    My family loves this recipe. The whole family love it including my 2 years old grand-daughter. She’s a carnivore for sure, “meat please” when she smelled the grilled short ribs. Lol… Thank you for bringing joy to our family. Huong

    Reply
  7. Sooo good! Soaked the ribs for an hour as suggested (makes the meat really tender so I would def include this step if you’re on the fence), then I marinaded it over night. The best recipe I’ve found for short ribs so far. Thank you for sharing all the tips and tricks!!

    Vicky

    Reply
  8. Hi Sue,

    I have some Kalbi from our friend that has a small successful restaurant in Canada. I can never get the meat to cook like my Korean mother-in-law regardless of how I cook it either on BBQ, stove top or oven. Any suggestions on how to be more successful on cooking?

    Reply
  9. My husband and I just made these for dinner last night after finding it on a Buzzfeed article. I was a bit skeptical about the whole soaking in water business as I’ve never done that or even heard of that before, but it surprisingly made it super tender. We even managed to find asian pears at local asian grocery store and followed your recipe exactly. Cooked over the charcoal grill. AMAZING. Hands down would eat again and again and again!

    Reply
    • Hi Lani, Glad to hear you enjoyed my recipe! Charcoal grilled Korean BBQ is simply one of the best meat in the world! 🙂

      Next time, if you don’t want to soak the meat in water, you can gently wipe the meat with kitchen paper to soak up any residual blood. Then move onto marinating.

      Asian pear is sweet and delicious natural tenderizer, so it’s definitely worth adding!
      Enjoy!

      Reply
  10. Hi Sue,

    You may remember me from your Ddalkgalbi recipe, which is the finest ddalkgalbi I’ve ever eaten. Add another to the list. I made LA Galbi last night for my family, and it was hands down, the absolute, VERY BEST, LA Galbi I’ve ever had. (Source: Lived in Seoul for 8 years.)

    I know there are quite a few Korea recipe websites out there now, but in my experience, your recipes are as good or better than any of the food I ate at my favorite restaurants in Seoul.

    Reply
  11. hi
    I used kiwis instead of a pear…it came out tart….

    Do you think that is why? Of course I put in brown sugar and mirin (with alcohol)

    Any insight is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Reo, Yes, probably the kiwi is the cause. That’s why I don’t like using kiwi or pineapple as a tenderiser. They can go wrong so easily. I like red apple or asian pear. If you’re going to use kiwi or pineapple, you should use a lot less than what my recipe calls for. Hope this helps. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Hi, I live in Pakistan and there are no Korean grocery stores here. Plus alcohol is not readily available. What can I substitute for rice wine in this recipe?

    Reply
    • Some of my muslim readers have substitute with grape / lemon juice in other recipes, but I’m not sure how it will affect the taste in this recipe. As a last resort, you can omit it. ????

      Reply
  13. Hi~ This recipe sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it! Aside from rice, what would you suggest would be good accompaniments to this dish? Wanting to serve an authentic Korean dinner.
    Thank you so much!!

    Reply
  14. Sue,

    Thank you for the back ground information and explanations. I always look forward to getting your ideas and recipes. I love La Galbi and look forward to trying this recipe!

    Reply
  15. I always assumed this was the traditional cut for Korean Galbi. It is much easier to handle with chopsticks, and very suitable for a table top grill. When I asked my local butcher to “CrossCut” some pork ribs for me, he asked “Kalbi Cut?” I was shocked ! There aren’t any Koreans around here, and he didn’t say “GAR-BI”, which drives me crazy. He also argued that Galbi is beef. I explained that Garbi is ribs, and an American GI could never afford Beef in Korea. So when in a nice restaurant, the GIs would order Tuegi Kalbi (pork ribs) directly from the menu. I haven’t found a marinade specific to pork, so I’ll try this, and see if it works. Thanks!

    Reply
    • LA Galbi cut is definitely the right cut for a table top grill. Korean traditional style cut is more suitable for braising or slow cooking. I love pork galbi! They are super addictive and delicious! Anyway, hope it turns out well!

      Reply
  16. I’m not sure why this cut of kalbi is called ” LA galbi” because I’m from Chicago and we’ve been eating kalbi cut this way since I can remember as a child. I find the “lateral” cut story more interesting since it is the type of cut that is being used. I don’t know if it’s a Midwest thing, but our kalbi is not cut thin, instead, it is pain-stakingly pounded thin w/a meat tenderizer. I usually buy my kalbi pre-marinated from the Korean grocery store, but I’m looking forward to trying your recipe. Thank you!

    Reply
  17. I just can’t get into laterally sliced ribs Korean style. I live in Korea, and constantly looking for baby back and rack style ribs. Leaving the bone intact and letting the meat fall off entire rib bone is much more satisfying to eat, and (IMO) more delicious. I think where short ribs excel is in stews….boneless short rib and on bone short ribs braised and then slow cooked is where its at.

    Reply
    • Maybe you can find those rack style ribs from Itaewon? If you don’t live in Seoul, you could show what the rack style ribs look like and ask your local butcher to carve one for you. If he’s a smart business man, I’m sure he will be accomodating. 🙂

      Reply
    • I had this galbi with some crisp lettuce, perilla leaves and ssamjang sauce! It was so delicious that I didn’t talk much during the meal. 😀 Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  18. Hi Sue, I believe the second explanation of the source for LA Galbi is accurate. At least that’s what we were told growing up in California. BTW, my non-Korean butcher knows of this cut of short ribs as “flanken cut” or “flanked style” ribs. So glad to found your web site again. Welcome back!

    Reply
  19. These kind of meat cuts i can only get in my International market, and just got some yesterday. We love galbi and it’s like you said easier/faster to cook on the grill. Delicious pictures, making me hungry now! 😀

    Reply

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