These Kalbi Style Flanken Ribs are the secret to mouthwatering Korean BBQ at home! With a simple soy and garlic sauce, these kalbi ribs are tender and full of flavor. Pair with rice or noodles for an easy meal!
If you’ve ever eaten at a Korean BBQ restaurant, you’re likely familiar with flanken short ribs. These Korean-style ribs appear on almost all menus and while delicious, typically come with a nice price tag too.
Since we haven’t been eating out a whole lot, I decided to try making these at home – and the end result is an easy but flavorful dinner, that always impresses guests. (And myself, if we’re being honest!)
Since flanken ribs are cut thin, they cook quickly. You can have this on the table in 30 minutes, not including marinating time. For the ribs to properly absorb the flavor, be sure to allow a minimum of 3 hours but I recommend overnight if you can.
The marinade is simple, with soy sauce, sherry, LOTS of garlic, and sesame oil. I throw in a little pepper for an extra kick. While you may have to stop at a specialty store for the ribs I am finding them more and more often at my local grocer. Otherwise, you likely have everything else you need for kalbi-style ribs are home, which I love. It makes for an easy dinner in a pinch!
If you love Korean BBQ, this recipe will become your go-to! Be prepared for guests to beg for the recipe – and seconds!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Flanken cut beef ribs – also known as Korean style or Miami style ribs. If you can’t find these you can look for short ribs and ask the butcher to cut them into strips. Short ribs are the same cut of meat just sliced thicker.
- Soy sauce – I recommend low sodium, to control the saltiness. Or if you are gluten-free tamari is an excellent substitute.
- Dry sherry – This is a dry fortified wine originating from Spain. If you don’t have it on hand you can swap it for Mirin which is more often used in Asian dishes but harder to find where I live, dry vermouth, Madiera, or a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
- Honey – Makes the sauce a little sweet and sticky.
- Garlic – There are 2 heads of garlic in this recipe which seems like a lot but it’s the perfect amount.
- Onion – Chopped finely to provide some extra flavor.
- Dark sesame oil – Typical in Asian-inspired dishes is made from toasted sesame seeds giving it a richer flavour and darker colour.
- Sesame seeds – Used as a garnish.
- Cayenne pepper – You can add extra if you prefer things a little spicier.
- Black pepper – Adds more of the pepper flavor without making the dish too spicy.
How to Make Kalbi Style Flanken Ribs
Whisk the soy sauce, sherry, honey , galic, onion, sesame oil, sesame seeds, cayenne and black pepper in a bowl.
Most Asian dishes use mirin which is a sweet and tangy Japanese white wine instead of the dry sherry used in this recipe and if you have some you can definitely use it. I only used the dry sherry because mirin is like finding a unicorn where I live and I have not had any luck so far.
Add the Flanken ribs to a large plastic resealable bag and pour in the marinade. Seal and massage marinade into ribs.
Let sit in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight. Grill over medium-high heat, brushing with marinade while cooking. About 4-5 minutes per side.
Garnish with more sesame seeds and sliced green onion. Serve with rice or noodles.
What are flanken ribs?
Flanken ribs are Korean-style short ribs. They are sometimes called Miami-style ribs as well. Whatever the name, the cut is a strip of beef cut across the bone from the chuck end of short ribs. They are cut lengthwise across the rib bones, compared to over short rib styles that are bone-in. Kalbi ribs are thin, which makes them cook much faster on the grill than other cuts.
Can I Freeze Cooked Ribs?
Sure. If you have leftover kalbi short ribs, allow them to cool completely. Then wrap them in both plastic wrap and foil to prevent freezer burn. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating in the oven or on the grill.
How to Serve Kalbi Ribs
Kalbi ribs are traditionally served sliced and rolled in romaine lettuce leaves, but I usually skip this and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion instead. These ribs are typically served with white rice and browned garlic slices as well, though I sometimes serve them with noodles instead of rice.
More Great Recipes for the Grill:
Kalbi Style Flanken Ribs
- BBQ or Grill Pan
- Large Bowl
- Chopping Knife
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Resealable plastic bag
- Basting Brush
- 1.5 lb Flanken or Korean-style beef ribs
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2/3 cup mirin or dry sherry
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2 heads garlic minced; (about 16 cloves)
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dark sesame oil
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or more to taste
- Whisk the soy sauce, sherry, honey , garlic, onion, sesame oil, sesame seeds, cayenne and black pepper in a bowl.
- Add the Flanken ribs to a large plastic resealable bag and pour in sauce. Seal and massage marinade into ribs. Let sit in the fridge for a minimum 3 hours or overnight.
- Grill over medium-high heat, brushing with marinade while cooking. About 4-5 minutes per side.
- Garnish with more sesame seeds and sliced green onion. Serve with rice or noodles.