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OM NOM NOM kalbi (Korean BBQ short ribs)

Thursday. 03. 24. 2011.

My family used to go to this sushi place in Mississauga, Sushi Tei was the place. My mother would always order kalbi which was the Korean style barbecued short rib.

Lately there’s been much talk of short ribs at the shop I work at. A co worker did a slow braised short rib. There’s been much discussion on what’s the best way to prepare the short rib.

For those who don’t know, short ribs can be rather tough. Usually requires braising depending on how it’s cut. In Canada, it’s easy to find them cut “flank-style”. (–35127/flankenstyle-short-ribs.asp) Usually at Asian supermarkets.

Unfortunately there’s no access to a band saw so the short ribs I got my hands on are cut about 2″ wide. Not particularly great for throwing on the grill like you would the flank-style short ribs.

Then I remembered that the kalbi we used to order at Sushi Tei was, as I describe, a “roll of meat”. After some googling, I found that it’s the traditional Korean method of butterflying the meat.

Now the shop I work at has some fantastic capable people. (It pays to go to a good butcher.) I was able to make what was a cube of short rib into a beautifully thinned out piece of beef with the bone still attached.

This one is butterflied but I rolled it up to show what it looked like.

Here it is unrolled…

I found the instructions for butterflying the ribs on the Eating and Living blog. (

I had a bottle of kalbi marinate which I brought back from Canada but it wasn’t enough to marinate all the ribs. I used the marinate recipe from the Eating and Living blog as well. Instead of an Asian pear, I used a conference pear. I’m sure I could’ve found Asian pears here but I wasn’t going to play the kind of price only to blend it up in a marinate. I’d want to eat it as is.

Eating and Living’s kalbi marinate:

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup rice wine (or Mirin)
  • ¼ cup (about 1/2 of a medium) Korean/Asian pear grated
  • ¼ cup (about 1/2 of a medium) onion grated
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instead of grating the onion, pear and garlic, I just popped them all into a food processor.

I just love the small food processor attachments that came with my handheld blender.

I added a splash of “boat cognac” as well. Normally I’d use cooking wine but I ran out.


Marinate for at least 6 hours. In my case, I’ve got it marinating over night. I’ll be barbequing them for tonight’s dinner. Save the marinate ’cause you can reduce it into a sauce with onions to mix with your rice. OM NOM NOM

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