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Sam's galbi short ribs are long on flavor
Sam's galbi short ribs are long on flavor
Samuel Kim

Samuel Kim’s Galbi Recipe

America's best BBQ may be Korean

Chef Samuel Kim is the senior director of culinary operations at Kijung Hospitality Group and oversees Korean barbecue restaurants across the United States.

March 28, 2023 5:37 pm

Wondercade loves jugglers. And talk about juggling…as the senior director of culinary operations at Kijung Hospitality Group, Chef Samuel Kim oversees 6 — count ‘em — 6 Baekjeong Korean Barbecue restaurants across Southern California (with another 2 set to open later this year in Seattle and San Jose). This guy is busy and super talented…and his BBQ is to die for. Remarkably, Chef Kim didn’t even start out in the food biz — he worked in finance for a couple of years after college — but he quickly transitioned to working at several of the top restaurants in the U.S., including: 1789 in Washington, D.C., and New York’s Michelin-starred The Modern. I bet he learned a lot about stocks in both jobs. Sorry, couldn’t help it. -NPH

Over the past several years, we have seen a wave of interest in all things Korean. From the movies and TV shows crossing the Pacific, the wave of K-pop bands gripping the fancy of young teens everywhere, to the surge in interest in Korean food, Korean culture is being embraced widely in the U.S. As we approach peak grilling season around the 4th of July, perhaps you will try grilling Korean marinated short ribs during the holiday.

I love to throw these marinated, grilled short ribs — galbi in Korean — on the grill during the summertime while hosting friends and family. They’re marinated for 36 hours in a sweet, salty soy infusion of flavors and ingredients most people love. Ask your local butcher for the short ribs to be cut L.A.-style — or cut thinly into ¼-inch thick slices across the rib bones. The short rib cut of meat comes from the 6, 7, 8 bones of a cow’s ribs. These three bones produce a subprimal cut of meat that is prized for its tenderness, as well as high marbling of fat running through the muscle.

Traditionally, this dish is served with an array of banchans, or Korean side dishes. We choose sides that are seasonal and appropriate for the meat. Kimchi, assorted lettuces and wild greens (called ssam in Korean), and ssamjang (spicy fermented soybean paste) are common items served alongside short ribs. We use the paste to cut through the sweetness of the meat, add a little kimchi and then wrap the meat inside a lettuce wrap and eat it like a Korean taco.


Chef Samuel Kim, Cali’s king of Korean BBQ
Samuel Kim

Samuel Kim's Galbi

Servings: 4-6

Copy Ingredients

  • 3 ½ pounds (1 ½ kg) L.A.-style beef short ribs
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Korean pear or 2 Bosc pears, cored and chopped  
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 

Copy Directions

    1. For the marinade: In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, water, honey and ground black pepper. In a blender, combine about 2 cups’ worth of pear, the garlic, the onion and the ginger. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes until the ingredients turn into a white creamy liquid. Add it to your soy sauce base, and add the sesame oil and the sesame seeds. Stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly.

    2. Thoroughly clean the short ribs under cold running water. There will be a bit of blood and some bone fragments that you want to clean off.

    3. Pat dry thoroughly.

    4. Fully submerge the short ribs into your marinade. Allow to marinate a minimum of 36 hours.

    5. Remove the ribs from the marinade and wipe off any excess.

    6. Preheat your grill to 500 degrees. Be sure to oil the grill so the meat doesn’t stick. 

    7. Place the short ribs on the grill and leave for 2 minutes.

    8. Once you’ve got nice grill marks on the ribs, flip them and grill for another 2 minutes.

    9. Allow the short ribs to rest for a few minutes before serving.

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