Korean BBQ Short Ribs Marinade Recipe

BBQ short ribs

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
156 Calories
4g Fat
29g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 156
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1333mg 58%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 23mg 115%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 314mg 7%
*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.)

If you've ever had barbecue Korean short ribs, you've had the pleasure of sampling the marinade that makes these ribs taste like no other; now make the marinade yourself with this recipe. If you're a Korean food devotee or new to Korean cuisine but eager to make sure you're preparing the food as custom dictates, have no fear, this is a traditional marinade.

The sauce gives Korean short ribs a delicious sweet soy flavor and an amazing tenderness. This marinade is intended for 1 pound of meat, but it can easily be doubled or tripled if you want to serve it for your whole family or at a dinner party. Although this is specifically the recipe for Korean galbi, you may also use this marinade on any thick cuts of meat as well as pork or chicken. This sauce tastes wonderful on them also.

Many people also use a cola or 7-Up in their marinade. If you've used these drinks before, by all means, go for it. Although these soft drinks aren't usually used in Korean marinades, the acidity in these liquids can be a useful trick if you don't have at least four hours to marinate the meat. Avoid this dilemma altogether by marinating the meat overnight or on a weekend when you know you'll be around all day.


  • 4 tablespoons chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)

  • 3/8 cup soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 whole Asian pear, peeled, cored, and pureed or crushed

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon Japanese rice wine (mirin)

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. To begin, you'll need to mix the marinade until the sugar and honey are dissolved and evenly distributed throughout. If you have diabetes or another medical condition that requires you to watch your blood sugar, you can tweak the amount of sugar and honey in the marinade, or leave the amounts the same and be sure to measure your blood sugar at the appropriate point after your meal. Also, if you don't have access to the rice wine, a splash of dry white wine will also work well here. Alternatively, visit a specialty store for rice wine or search for the ingredient online and buy it from an Internet retailer. 

  2. The great thing about this marinade is that it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. So, if you want to make a large batch (say, quadruple the recipe), go for it. You can use it for another round of short ribs or on other thick cuts of meats—be they pork or chicken. This marinade is so delicious that you'll want to put it on everything. Enjoy it before it's all gone!

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