One of our favorite food is Korean Kalbi, or barbecued beef short ribs. We usually order this at one of the local fast food Korean restaurants, but it’s pretty pricey; you get 3 thin short ribs, a couple of scoops of steamed white rice, and a choice of 4 side dishes (kim chee, bean sprouts, tofu, etc.) for a over $12 a plate.
My husband’s main complaint about the local restaurants isn’t the the price or the serving size of the kalbi, it’s about the flimsy plastic utensils they provide which usually snaps in half the moment you try to cut into the meat. Hence he has decided not to patronize any of the fast food style Korean barbecue joints.
There are sit down Korean restaurants where you can grill your own meats, the meal comes with many side dishes, soup, and steamed rice; but they also come with a hefty price tag. The last time my girlfriend and I stopped at one for lunch it cost us a little bit over $65, and that’s without drinks or tip! Not to mention that was the least expensive barbecue dish on the menu! The food was good, specially the kalbi, but I’m sure we won’t be repeating it often.
To solve all these issues I’ve found a great Korean Kalbi recipe to make at home. I make it of our Sunday barbecue and it was a big hit with my family. I used thin cut boneless beef short ribs which I threaded on to bamboo skewers to make them into kebabs. You can use bone-in short ribs and don’t have to thread them on to skewers, I do however recommend that you use the thinner cuts so that the marinade will infuse the meat better.
I served this with steamed white rice, macaroni salad, and kim chee cabbage; it was even better than the plates we get at the Korean restaurants at less than half the price! (The short ribs cost $6.97 a pound, if you get the thin cut that’s 6 short ribs).
Another way to serve this is on small white corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, just like the Korean Kalbi Tacos from the food truck in L.A.! We served it this way for my mom’s 80th. birthday party a few years ago.
Just in time for your Labor Day barbecue! Here’s my recipe!
Boneless Beef Short Rib Kalbi Kebabs
Makes 18 skewers
3 lbs. thin cut boneless beef short ribs (you should get 18 short ribs. You can use bone-in ribs if you prefer)
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbls. fresh ginger – finely grated
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbls. minced garlic
1 tbls. white sesame seeds
1 tbls. black sesame seeds
2 stalks green onions – chopped
1. Cut short ribs into thirds if you will be threading them on to skewers, if not then don’t cut them.
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves.
3. Pour marinade into large ziplock bag.
4. Put meat into marinade and marinate in the fridge overnight.
5. Thread meat on to skewers and barbecue on the grill to desired doneness. If you’re not making kebabs then cook ribs on the grill until done.
Serve hot immediately off the grill.
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