Repeat Recipe

Korean BBQ Party: Sokalbi Gui (Barbecued Beef Short Ribs)

For the main course in our Korean BBQ meal, I put together this amazing beef short rib dish again. I got the marinade together last night so it would absorb sauce for almost a full day, and it turned out great! If you live near an Asian market and are able to find the flanken style of beef short ribs, you can skip the first 4 steps altogether, which makes putting these beauties together pretty easy. The flavor here is rich and addictive – I highly recommend trying them out! I prefer firing up a charcoal grill for optimal flavor, but you can totally sear them on a cast iron grill pan and finish them off in the oven, too.

Sokalbi Gui (Barbecued Beef Short Ribs)

Sokalbi Gui (Barbecued Beef Short Ribs)
Institute of Culinary Education
Adapted from The Korean Table – Taekyung Chung and Debra Samuels

Yield: Serves 4

Thick meaty sort ribs are the traditional choice dor barbecued beef ribs in Korea, where they are cut into small ready-to-grill bite-size pieces-a cut that is hard to find at most American markets. To imitate Korean-style ribs, American short ribs are cut like an unfolding piece of paper, leaving only one section of the meat attached to the bone. They are set into a sweet and garlicky marinade for a tasty infusion.

3 pounds beef short ribs, butterflied

1. To butterfly the ribs, lay one short rib section at the lower right corner of the cutting board, cut side up (sawn bone end) facing you, thick (meaty part of the rib) on top. If you’re left-handed, position the rib on the lower left corner of the cutting board and follow the directions in reverse.

2. Use a small, sharp knife, holding the blade parallel to the cutting board and, working from right to left, slide the knife through the meat along the top of the bone, almost to the left edge to free it from the bone. Don’t cut all the way through; you want to leave the meat attached to the bone. Fold the meat flap over to the left to make a flat rectangle of meat attached to the bone.

3. Now, holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, make another cut through the meat two thirds of the way down, again almost to the left edge, and open this flap up, too. you’ll have a strip of meat whose left half is twice as thick as the right.

4. Make a final cut through that thicker section on the left, this time through the center, but not through the left edge. Again, the knife should be parallel to the cutting board. Open up this last flap of meat. You should wind up with a very thin strip of meat 4 to 5 inches long and 2 inches wide, with the bone attached at the right end.

Sweet Soy Sauce Base – Yield: about 2 cups
1/2 cup water
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 thin slices ginger
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 cup soy sauce*
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoons red or white wine

Combine the water, garlic, ginger and peppercorns in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar and wine. Turn the heat to high and boil for 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature; strain the sauce. It will keep for 3 months in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

2 cup Sweet Soy Sauce Base (recipe above)
1 small apple grated (skin on)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup minced green onions
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Combine all the marinade ingredients

2. Place the ribs in a large plastic bag with a zippered top. Pour in the marinade. Close the plastic bag and carefully turn the meat around in the sauce. Lay the bag on its side and open the corner of the bag. Distribute the sauce evenly in the bag, making sure it completely covers the meat (be careful not to push the sauce out of the bag). Secure the top. Place the bag on a baking sheet so it is lying flat, and place in the refrigerator for 5 hours or overnight (for the ICE class, marinate as long as you can.)

3. Prepare the grill and heat on medium heat.

4. Remove the meat from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before cooking. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Lay the ribs flat on the preheated grill. Brush with the boiled marinade and cook the beef until it is done to your liking. Turn and brush the beef every few minutes to grill all sides evenly.

*Optional: use Gluten Free

Big Flavors Rating: 5 Stars

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


    • BigFlavorsFromATinyKitchen

      I just went back and looked at the printouts we got at the Korean cooking class that this recipe was from, and it does say 1/4 tablespoons. It’s a weird way to write it – I may just edit the post and make it 3/4 teaspoon (which would be 1/4 tablespoon) – my guess is that they scaled it down from a larger recipe.

  • BigFlavorsFromATinyKitchen

    No problem! And it can be done even quicker than 5 hours if you don’t have that much time to marinate it – we only did it for 2 in the cooking class. When I make it at home, I like to do it overnight if I can. Hope you enjoy it – it’s one of our favorite meals (and one we actually repeat fairly often)!

      • BigFlavorsFromATinyKitchen

        No problem! You caught me while I was sitting right near the file with the printed recipe 🙂 And I’m always happy to help someone get more deliciousness at home. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Peach Sutton

    Just wanted to let you know I made this recipe last night for dinner and it was fabulous! My 10 year-old said he could eat it every night for dinner. I talked to a friend today who’s Korean (and she knows my husband is diabetic) and she told me that her mom makes it with pureed pear or kiwi and omits the sugar in the marinade to make it more friendly to diabetics. She said it’s delicious like that and the meat just falls off the bone. Thanks again for all your help!

    • BigFlavorsFromATinyKitchen

      SO glad it worked out so well for you! And YAY for awesome food that gets the stamp of approval from kids! 🙂

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