Wang Galbi (Traditionally-cut Korean Short Ribs)

Back in 2012, I posted this recipe for traditionally-cut Korean Short Ribs (Galbi, Kalbi, 갈비). It’s one of the defining moments of this blog, when I started to dive head-first into the heritage, history, and language of food, and it remains one of my favorite recipes. In fact, we still cook this dish about once a month; after recently relocating to Virginia, I grilled up some Galbi for friends, and knew that it was time to share an updated version of this classic.

Wang Galbi (“King Galbi”) look a little different from the L.A.-cut short ribs you’re likely used to, but this is the original preparation for this dish. Ideally, you’ll want to find bone-in English-cut short ribs for this dish, but you could still use L.A.-cut or boneless short ribs as well.

I have a few versions of this recipe floating around on the internet and in my books, but for this week’s recipe I wanted to share the version that I’ve been personally making over the past couple years. I like to think of this as my weeknight-friendly recipe; I’ll combine the marinade the night before, and then pop it on the grill the following evening. All in all, you can’t find many recipes that taste this good while requiring minimal work.

Wang Galbi - Traditionally-cut Korean Short Ribs (Gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, Primal-friendly)

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy

3 lbs short ribs
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch ginger, peeled and grated, or 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz, or 1/2 can) San Pellegrino Limonata soda
1/2 cup tamari
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
2 tbsp sesame seeds

1. Slice the ribs as directed in my original recipe (sorry folks, when I cooked this up the other night I hadn’t planned on posting it, so I didn’t take any prep photos!). Combine all the marinade ingredients, then pour over the ribs in a resealable plastic bag and mix thoroughly to coat all the pieces evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

2. The next day, prepare your grill for direct grilling by igniting all the burners (gas grill) or centering the coals (charcoal grill). Grill the ribs over direct high heat until cooked through and a bit charred at the edges, about 4 minutes per side.

** I prefer the San Pellegrino Limonata soda because it is made with 18% Sicilian lemon juice and is sweetened with sugar instead of corn syrup. Also, it’s very convenient. If you’d like to forgo the soda (and make this recipe Paleo/Primal-friendly), simply replace it with 1/2 cup soda water, 2 tbsp lime juice, and an additional 2 tbsp honey.

** To make this dish soy-free, use 3/4 cup coconut aminos in place of the tamari.

** This dish is often dipped in gireumjang, which is made by combining 2 parts salt and 1 part black pepper and then adding sesame oil until it becomes a thick, grainy sauce.

Be sure to let your meat rest for at least 5 minutes before digging in.

Serve with your favorite Korean sides (Banchan); I have a several of these recipes in Paleo Takeout, but the other night I opted for pre-made sides from our local Korean market. Clockwise from the Gabli is kimchi, cuttlefish, pickled cucumbers, seaweed salad, and white rice.

7 thoughts on “Wang Galbi (Traditionally-cut Korean Short Ribs)

  1. I’ve used a fresh Asian pear. I’ve grated it and put in marinade.
    But I too love galbi. We have a few AYCE (all you can eat) Kirean BBQ meats, where they bring to you as you request. It’s a gluten day of all kinds of naked meats and marinated meats, plus all kinds of sides. Yummy !!!


    1. Yep, my previous Galbi recipes call for a grated Asian pear, but sometimes it’s easier to use applesauce, so that’s what I used in this recipe :) One of my favorites!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s