Kalbi (Korean Beef Short Ribs)

I’ve been craving some Korean barbecue for a while. As much as I love Korean Barbecue I don’t love the long lines I have to endure to get it. I’ve decided to make my own homemade Kalbi. I had a stopover in Korea a few years ago in Incheon and I stumbled upon a big Korean Barbecue restaurant. I regret now that I didn’t document my experience with photos but I do remember how tender the meat was. I’ve tried to replicate that experience over the years and found that most recipes call for pears, some apples. After some reading I discovered that Kiwi is rich in the enzyme Actinidin which is a very potent meat tenderizer. It breaks down tough protein and once I switched to using Kiwi I was finally able to relive my Korean Barbecue experience again some years ago. Now I don’t have to fly to Korea to do so. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. One thing I highly recommend is patience.. lots of it as waiting 3 days for that marinade to really get in the meat is truly worth it!

Kalbi Recipe

  • 3 lbs Korean Beef Short Ribs (I got mine from Costco, also available in Korean Supermarkets)
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup white onion (cubed)
  • 1 Kiwi (peeled and cubed)
  • 1 TBSP black Sesame Oil
  • Togarashi¬†(this is optional and to taste, or you can use chili flakes or Korean chili powder)


  1. Wash your meat thoroughly to get rid of bone shards left in the meat during the slicing process. Pat dry.
  2. Rub the brown sugar in the meat. Spread evenly. Set meat aside.
  3. Blend all remaining ingredients together until smooth.
  4. Place the meat and the blended marinade in a big freezer bag. Massage and move the meat around to distribute marinade evenly.
  5. Marinate in the fridge overnight (preferably 3 days to give the marinade a chance to tenderize the meat and to let the flavor really steep.
  6. Grill meat for about 4 minutes per side, watch carefully as brown sugar and soy sauce can burn really quickly.
  7. Serve with rice and kimchi.

And that’s it! Now take a bite!