Korean BBQ Ribs (LA Galbi)
Do you love grilling as much as I do? I especially like to make Korean BBQ Ribs (sometimes called Korean short ribs or LA galbi) on the barbecue. The outdoor grill cooks them fast and provides a nice char on the meaty edges.
It’s also great that cooking meat, fish, veggies, and pizza on the backyard grill prevents my kitchen from heating up in the summertime. And after a day inside looking at a computer screen, it’s so nice to be outdoors.
Except for the mosquitos.
Why are Mosquitos Attracted to Me?
Mosquitos are attracted to people who exhale, are hot and sweaty, and wear black. This describes just about every menopausal woman I know including myself.
So ladies, what now?
- Sit near a fan. This shouldn’t be hard for those with hot flashes. Mosquitos are flimsy things so a stiff breeze helps keep them away.
- Wear repellent. I’m not opposed to DEET-based sprays every once in a while. For everyday use, I wear either Off! Botanical Plant-based Repellent or Avon’s Skin So Soft Bug Guard Lotion.
- Avoid beer and chips. I know it isn’t going to happen but I thought I’d mention it. Mosquitos like the lactic acid your body produces after you eat salty snacks and drink beer.
Some other potential solutions? Wear white. Maybe eat ribs. But not at the same time.
How to Cook Ribs on the Grill
A rack of beef ribs or slab of pork ribs can take anywhere from one to six hours on the grill, depending on the heat, if you are smoking them, and how tender you want them. And while these ribs are delicious, sometimes you want some that are ready a lot faster. Solution: LA galbi.
The meat used for Korean BBQ ribs is labeled LA-style cut and is cut laterally across the bones. These long strips of meat are around one-quarter inch thick with each strip containing three or four bone sections. After soaking in a soy sauce marinade, the ribs can be cooked in the oven, on the stovetop, or on the barbecue grill.
Because they are thin, they cook fast! How fast? In about the same amount of time it takes to grill a burger: three to four minutes per side.
What to Serve with Korean Short Ribs
My mom is Korean so I grew up eating these ribs with a side of steamed rice and homemade kimchi. Most Korean restaurants will serve these with a variety of banchan (side dishes) like cucumber salad, seasoned bean sprouts, spinach salad, and other pickled items. The acidity in these side dishes cuts through the meatiness of the ribs and complements them nicely.
- Rinse the ribs before marinating them. When the bones are cut laterally, they can leave tiny bone fragments clinging to the meat. A quick rinse under cold running water will remove them and prevent any grittiness.
- Leave enough time for the ribs to marinate. Overnight is best, but six to eight hours work, too.
- Don’t freak out if you slightly overcook these. The marinade and the fat keep it tender even if you cook them past the 10-minute mark. Total cooking time depends on the thickness of the ribs, so they may need a longer or shorter time on the barbecue.
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. mirin or rice wine
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup grated Asian pear or apple
- ¼ cup grated onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tsp. minced ginger
- 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 2 lbs. beef short ribs, LA-style cut
- 3 green onions, sliced on diagonal
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a blender and whiz until it is totally incorporated. Alternatively, you can place them in a bowl and use an immersion blender.
- Pour marinade over ribs, cover, and refrigerate overnight (or at least six hours). Marinating in a Ziploc bag makes it easier to flip the bag in the morning so the other side of the ribs gets soaked.
- To cook on the grill: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the ribs from the marinade and discard the marinade. Place the ribs on the hot grill and cook on each side for three to four minutes, turning once. You should see caramelized edges. Top with green onions and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
- To cook in the oven: Preheat the oven broiler. Place the ribs in a single layer on a broiler pan or rimmed baking sheet. Broil on the top rack about six inches below the broiler. Allow four to five minutes per side, turning once.
- To cook on the stovetop: Heat a large or cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot add a teaspoon or two of oil. Place ribs in a single layer in the pan and cook for three minutes on each side, turning once.