Korean Kalbi BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Perhaps the most exquisite cut of the Wagyu/Angus Cross beef is the short ribs; not because they have lots of buttery fat but because of the tender beef that makes the short rib grill-able. Ordinarily, short ribs are cooked like roast in the oven, or more desirably, smoked for a few hour in the smoker. The meat fibers loosen and the fat mingles in.

For the Wagyu/Angus Cross beef, one is able to grill the ribs while retaining tenderness. This is done by cutting them flanken style (Asian style) perpendicular to the bone, with the meat about 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick. While they can be thawed and grilled with just salt and pepper, the Koreans perfected a marinade to soak them in the night before. They marinaded to tenderize the beef; but again, with Wagyu/Angus cross aged to perfection, the beef is naturally tender and the marinade adds mostly flavor. This may be confusing for most Americans, and a couple of years ago I had a customer call me on Christmas Eve panicked that the short ribs were sliced funny and didn’t look like short ribs. “Relax,” I told her and relayed the recipe. They next day she reported grilled-rib nirvana, or a least a Christmas miracle.


(Note: salad in photo on the right is for display purposes only. Not part of recipe or a healthy carnivore diet.) 

Prep: 20 minutes

Rest: 4 to 12 hours

Grill: medium heat for 4-7 minutes on each side.

Serve: 2 ribs per person


2 to 3 lbs flanken style beef short ribs (about 6 to 8)

1/3 cup soy sauce

½ cup mashed Asian pear (or canned pear, or peach jam)

½ cup brown sugar (not required if using jam)

¼ cup diced onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp roasted sesame oil

1 tsp ginger root, minced

1 TBS lime juice

¼ cup rice wine or rice wine vinegar (instead of mirin)

½ tsp red pepper flakes

Marinade in gallon zip-lock bag in refrigerator overnight.


Don’t be afraid to cook to medium with a slight char on the outside.

Serve with topping of diced green onion.

Warning: if using peach jam as substitute for pear and brown sugar, do not serve to a Korean lady at a Farmers Market who will lecture you on the proper marinade of a national treasure.