Hawaiian Style Kalbi Short Ribs
Growing up in Hawaii, these grilled Hawaiian-style Kalbi Ribs were a staple at backyard BBQs. These thin-cut ribs soak up the flavorful kalbi marinade and grill up quickly. The flavor is out of this world. Similar to my Braised Korean Short Ribs.
Let me take you to the Islands with this easy-to-make, easy-to-grill Grilled Short Ribs Recipe. You’ll want to serve it with a few Hawaiian side dish recipes like Mac Salad or my Spam Fried Rice.
Kalbi beef is a style of ribs that originated in Korea. Kalbi or Galbi are both translated as “rib”. Kalbi ribs are typically thin-cut ribs cut across the rack of ribs with a saw. You will see them called Hawaiians or Flanken Short ribs.
Because these ribs are cut across the grain, they are perfect for a marinade because they soak up so much flavor. The cut also transforms this typically very tough cut of meat into beef that can be grilled for very little time and be super tender
For this recipe, you’ll need ➜ 3 pounds of flanken-cut beef short ribs.
Kalbi Marinade Ingredients
This Kalbi rib marinade has a lot of flavor and is essentially the same recipe I use for making Braised Korean Short Ribs (Galbi Jjim).
Making this marinade in a food processor is ultra-easy.
- garlic cloves
- fresh ginger
- Asian pear
- brown sugar
- sesame oil
- soy sauce
- rice wine vinegar
- black pepper
- gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
- sesame seeds
How to Make Kalbi
Step 1 – Make the marinade
Step 2 – Marinate the ribs for 1 to 3 days
Marinating these ribs not only adds flavor but also tenderizes the meat.
It’s best to marinate these ribs overnight, and it’s no problem to make them ahead and leave them marinating in the fridge for several days.
Bring the ribs to room temperature for several hours before cooking
Step 3 – Grill the ribs on high heat
Step 4 – Garnish
Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kalbi is cut from the ribs of the cow.
Kalbi ribs are cut across the bone, which is also across the grain. This cross-cut of the grain allows the meat to soak up a lot of flavor from the marinade and also contributes to its tenderness.
These ribs are beefy with lovely soy, ginger, and garlic flavor. There is usually a hint of spiciness from the gochugaru and, of course, that smokey charred Korean BBQ flavor.
What To Serve With Kalbi Ribs
All of your favorite Hawaiian sides pair perfectly with grilled Korean ribs. A few of my favorites are; Hawaiian Mac Salad, Hawaiian Coleslaw, and Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you should try my Cucumber Kimchi Pickles.
Hungry For More Grilled Recipes?
Summer just isn’t Summer without all the grilling recipes. Check out our Grilling Page to see all of our drool-worthy grilled recipes.
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- 3 lbs kalbi ribs, or Hawaiian ribs
Marinade for Kalbi Ribs
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 1 inch chunk fresh ginger
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 Asian pear
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup soy sauce or shoyu
- ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 teapoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- ½ teaspoon gochugaru or gochujang (affiliate link)
- Rinse and pat dry the ribs. Set them aside.
- Make the marinade: In a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Start the food processor and drop the garlic cloves through the shoot while the processor is running. Repeat with the chopped ginger, chopped onion, and chopped pear.
- Scrape down the bowl: Then add the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, black pepper, and gochugaru. Mix one more time.
- Marinate The Ribs: Add the marinade to a shallow dish like a 9 x 13 glass baking pan. Add the marinade, toss to coat, and then cover with plastic wrap. Marinate overnight.
- Bring the ribs to room temperature: Take the ribs out of the fridge 2 to 3 hours before cooking. Let them warm up a bit before putting them on the grill.
- To Grill Short Ribs: Preheat the grill to high direct heat. Place the ribs on the grill and grill for 3 minutes. Flip and grill for another 3 minutes.
Laura’s Tips + Notes
- Gochugaru: Gochugaru or Gochujang are both variations of Korean chili. gochugaru (affiliate link) is a powder and gochujang (affiliate link)is a paste. Both can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores. If you can’t find it you can order it online from Amazon. (affiliate links above).
- Storage and reheating: Kalbi short ribs are best served fresh off the grill, but leftovers will keep for a couple of days. Transfer cooled kalbi into an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Easily reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.