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

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 tbsp chopped garlic (about three cloves)
  • 3/8 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 whole Asian pear (peeled, cored and then pureed or crushed, depending on your preference)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Japanese rice wine (mirin)*
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp pepper, or more depending on your 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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