Grilled Korean Short Ribs


When it comes to Korean food, many of us think of barbecue and the fun built-in tabletop grills at Korean restaurants. Korean barbecues are easy to master at home, and they are a great way to experiment with different cuts of meat on the grill. The “LA Galbi” cut—which means thinly sliced across the bone (about a quarter-inch thick)—originated with Korean immigrants living in Los Angeles (though the LA stands for lateral, not Los Angeles!). The added pear really tenderizes the meat and adds a honey glaze.


1 medium yellow onion, quartered 6 to 8 garlic cloves, plus 2 to 3 sliced cloves for serving

1 1-inch knob fresh ginger, smashed

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup soy sauce

1 medium pear, quartered (preferably a Korean “nashi” pear, commonly known as an Asian pear)

½ cup mirin or other rice-based wine

3 pounds beef short ribs, cut LA Galbi–style (see headnote)

Gochujang chili paste, for serving

2 heads red-leaf or romaine lettuce, torn into palm-size pieces

1 medium jalapeño pepper, sliced Fresh perilla or mint leaves, for serving

3 scallions (green and white parts), thinly sliced

Perfect Steamed Rice, for serving

In a blender, combine the onion, garlic cloves, ginger, sugar, black pepper, soy sauce, pear, and mirin and puree until smooth.

Put the meat in a large self-seal plastic bag. Pour the puree into the bag and massage the puree into the meat. Seal tightly and refrigerate overnight.

On a charcoal grill or a tableside grill, remove the ribs from
the marinade and cook for about 5 minutes, turning them over halfway through, for medium doneness. Use kitchen shears to cut the meat apart into bite-size pieces, discarding the bones.

To serve, smear some gochujang paste on each lettuce leaf, add some meat, and top with some sliced garlic, sliced jalapeño, perilla leaves, and scallions. Wrap the lettuce around the contents, and serve with hot steamed rice.

Tip: Save some of the grilled short rib meat for Kimchi Tacos.