Galbitang: Korean Short Rib Soup

Galbitang: Korean Short Rib Soup

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 2 hrs
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 3 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
768 Calories
54g Fat
12g Carbs
60g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 768
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 54g 69%
Saturated Fat 23g 116%
Cholesterol 227mg 76%
Sodium 1997mg 87%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 60g
Vitamin C 16mg 81%
Calcium 69mg 5%
Iron 7mg 38%
Potassium 905mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Galbitang is a rich but delicate Korean soup made from short ribs, Korean radish, and glass noodles (dangmyun), which are made with sweet potato starch. It most likely originated more than 800 years ago, during the waning days of the Goryeo Dynasty. Because beef historically has been expensive in Korea (and often still is), galbitang was reserved for special occasions and it's now commonly served at traditional Korean wedding receptions.

Galbitang is a hearty, substantial dish intended to fill you up. It takes a lot of preparation time, which includes presoaking the ribs to remove traces of blood. You can plan ahead by making a large batch of galbitang and refrigerating it or freezing it until you're ready to serve it.

Some people like to add some chili seasoning to it at the table to give it a little kick, but others prefer it plain with rice and banchan. In addition, many Koreans prefer to eat this with kimchi, so you might make certain you have some of that on hand when serving galbitang.

Ingredients

For the Soup:

  • 2 pounds beef short ribs, English-cut, cut into 2-inch squares

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 4 ounces glass noodles

  • 2 scallions, sliced into 1-inch pieces

For the Seasoned Radish:

  • 1/2 large Korea radish, or 2 Chinese white radishes, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon sliced fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

  • Kochukaru chili powder, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Galbitang: Korean Short Rib Soup ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Soak the ribs in a bowl of cold water for about 1 to 2 hours to drain the blood, changing the water a couple of times. Longer soaking may be needed (traditionally, the ribs are soaked for 8 to 10 hours).

    ribs in a bowl of water

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Make the seasoned radish: Mix the sliced radish with the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and pepper.

    Mix the sliced radish with the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and pepper in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Place the ribs in a pot and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil and simmer vigorously for 5 minutes.

    ribs in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Remove the ribs from the pot and rinse off any scum or oil in cold water.

    short ribs in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. In a large pot, place the ribs and cover with 4 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer over high heat for 30 minutes.

    short ribs with water in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Add the seasoned radish and the 2 teaspoons salt to the soup pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

    short ribs and seasoned radish with water in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Add the noodles and cook for another 4 minutes.

    noodles cooking in a pot with ribs and radish

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Add the sliced scallions and cook for another minute. 

    Galbitang: Korean Short Rib Soup cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  10. Serve with a sprinkle of chili powder, if desired.

    Galbitang: Korean Short Rib Soup in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

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