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  • Writer's pictureTina Brand

Galbi: Korean beef short rib

I'm rediscovering short ribs after quite a while. Unctuous and delicious, falling off the bone when cooked slow and long. How many ways to eat it? First there was the Antoni from Queer Eye recipe, cooked with coffee and a can of coke. That was pretty memorable, with roast vegetables and golden soft polenta. (I do need to post that recipe, thanks Antoni).

I'm also missing being in my former home of Los Angeles, eating the familiar food of this city with old friends: Mexican, Filipino, Japanese, Korean.

So cooking these ribs Korean style somewhat satisfied all those longings.

The sweetness called for in the sweet/hot sauce here is mostly derived from the pear or pumpkin, whichever you chose to use.

Once all in the pot, the ribs can be left to cook slowly in the oven, so it is a very easy way of creating something which appears grand and painstaking. We ate the ribs with some hearty brown rice, nice and nutty as a contrast to the richness of the galbi. As you know, you can't have enough sides for a Korean main. So go to town with a scattering of little dishes:

Korean macaroni salad (cooked macaroni with frozen three veg of carrots, peas and potatoes, tossed in a sweet mayo)

Iceberg lettuce salad


Pickled shredded carrots (toss carrot in mirin and salt, drain before serving)

Wilted spinach tossed in sesame oil and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds

Hardboiled eggs, quartered

Pickled radish

The best part of this meal was sharing it with extended family we haven't seen in a while. I hope you enjoy cooking this and sharing it with your peeps! Let me know how it turns out.


  • 2 large onions, sliced

  • 10 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons ginger, chopped fine

  • 1-2 fresh red chilli, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos

  • 1 cup of chopped, seeded and skinned pumpkin or pear pieces

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (fermented Korean chilli paste)

  • 2 cups beef stock

  • 2 teaspoons rice or corn flour

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (dark toasted if available)

  • 1/2 cup frying oil (I use rice bran oil)

  • salt and black pepper to taste

  • 8 bone-in beef short ribs trimmed of excess fat, and get your butcher to chop each long piece into half for easy maneuvering in the pot.

  • 1 cup spring onion, sliced fine

  • 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


  1. Set the oven to 150 degrees celsius.

  2. Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the ribs to an oiled pan on the stovetop, brown well on both sides, and set aside.

  3. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, gochujang, rice flour and beef stock.

  4. Still on your stovetop: in a wide oven proof pan with a well fitting lid, fry the sliced onion in some of the cooking oil.

  5. When soft and golden, add the minced garlic and ginger and chilli, stirring well.

  6. Now add the soy sauce mixture, and the cup of pumpkin or pear, combine well and bring to the boil.

  7. Lower the heat, and arrange the pieces of ribs into the gravy.

  8. Cover with the lid, and move the pot into the oven to cook.

  9. Check half way through for seasoning, and stir gently, making sure the meat is well immersed in the gravy.

  10. Leave to cook for about four hours, until meat is tender and falling off the bone.


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