Galbi Jjim (Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs)
Galbi jjim, or Korean braised beef short ribs, are so tender that they will fall off the bone when well-prepared. The secret to their deliciousness lies in the slightly sweet and savory sauce. This recipe for Korean short ribs is sure to become your family’s favorite.
“This recipe is a keeper. I have tried making galbijim using few other recipes, but this one really easy to make and really hit the spot.”Ermin
What is Galbi Jjim?
Galbi jjim, also known as Kalbi-jjim (갈비찜), is a Korean dish consisting of braised beef short ribs. The ribs are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and other savory seasonings, and then slowly cooked with vegetables such as carrots, radishes, onions, and mushrooms.
The result is tender beef short ribs that are falling off the bone with a slightly sweet and savory taste. Galbi-jjim is often served with freshly cooked short grain rice and other side dishes.
Along with the Beef Bulgogi recipe, it is one of the most delectable Korean beef dishes sought after. It might become your family’s favorite Korean dinner on a special occasion, and it is also a popular dish for holidays such as Korean Thanksgiving feast in Korea.
Variety of Korean Galbi Dishes: The dish called LA galbi, tteokgalbi, galbitang, share the name “galbi,” but they are actually very distinct dishes and require different cooking methods. In addition, dakgalbi is another dish that carries the “galbi” title, but it is made with chicken that’s stir-fried with vegetables.
Choosing the Best Beef Short Ribs
When preparing this Korean short rib dish, the best cut of beef to use is a chunk cut across the bone from the chuck end of the short ribs.
Unlike American and European-style short ribs, which consist of a thick slice of bone-in beef, Korean-style short ribs are cut through the rib bone, making them ideal for braising. These particular cuts also display the unique rib bone eye on the bottom of each chunk, which adds to the dish’s appeal.
When selecting beef, look for thick and well-marbled Korean-style short ribs in large chunks. You can find them in most Korean grocery stores or Asian markets.
While they may be more expensive than other types of beef ribs, they are definitely worth the investment.
Vegetables and fruits
Carrot and Korean pear
Carrots and Korean radish are typical vegetables used and they are widely available. In addition, Korean pear and kiwi are essential ingredients for this dish.
Korean pear has a golden-brown hue and is round with a firm texture, and is super juicy and sweet. If Korean pear is not available, you can substitute it with a whole crisp bosc pear (peeled and seeded).
You can easily find Korean radishes in Korean markets, and they have the best taste during the winter season. They are rounder and heavier than daikon radish. If you can’t find them, substitute with daikon radish.
Dried shiitake mushroom
I recommend using dried mushrooms instead of fresh ones. The flavor of dried mushrooms is slightly more concentrated than fresh mushrooms, which makes them ideal for adding depth to braised dishes that require long simmering.
Galbi jjim Sauce Ingredients
- Dried sea kelp: It is needed to make a stock to use in the stew. Widely available in any Asian stores.
- Korean pear (or crisp bosc pear): Provides sweetness and help tenderize the meat.
- Kiwi: Makes the beef very tender
- Soy sauce: Seasons and flavors the dish overall.
- Garlic & onion: savory addition
- Ginger paste: Store-bought ginger paste or puree works great or grate a fresh ginger to replace.
- Sweet rice wine (mirim): Sweet cooking wine widely used in Korean cooking.
- Sesame oil: Adds nutty fragrance to the dish.
The Secret Ingredient
Surprisingly, the secret to this recipe’s amazing flavor is in the stock – sea kelp stock.
Making sea kelp stock is very easy and quick. Simply simmer a large piece of dried sea kelp in water for 5 minutes and use the resulting liquid as the base for this dish instead of water.
By using sea kelp stock, your braised beef will have a richer and more intense umami flavor that will take your galbi jjim to the next level.
Choosing the best cookware
You can cook galbi jjim in an Instant Pot, which is quicker and more convenient, but I prefer to use a heavy Dutch oven. This allows me to add the vegetables later on during the braising process, which keeps them tender without becoming mushy.
In my experience, cooking Korean beer short ribs in a Dutch oven produces superior flavor and texture.
How to make Galbi Jjim (Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs)
Step 1: Parboil the short ribs
Parboil your ribs for about 10 minutes in boiling water over medium high heat. It will help get rid of any impurities and tiny particles from the bones. Parboiling will also remove some extra fat.
Step 2: Puree the sauce ingredients
Puree the sauce ingredients; onion, pear, kiwi, garlic, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, rice wine, with a little bit of sea kelp stock. It’s easy and quick to prepare.
Step 3: Braise ribs in the sauce
In a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, put the ribs and pour the vegetable fruit puree over. Add the remaining 2 cups of sea kelp stock, ginger puree, sesame oil, and pepper; mix well. Bring it to boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.
Step 4: Round the vegetables – optional
This is an optional step but recommended. Round the cut edges and corners of carrot and radish pieces with a small paring knife to smooth out. Rounding the corners will prevent them from breaking off while stirring.
Step 5: Add vegetables and simmer
Add the mushrooms and vegetables into the beef broth in the pot; stir and continue to simmer for another 30-40 minutes, covered. Open the lid slightly in the last 10 minutes of simmering. When the vegetables are fork tender, remove from the heat and skim off the extra fat on top, if needed.
Serve your Korean braised short ribs warm with freshly cooked short grain rice. Since this dish contains both protein and vegetables, you don’t need many side dishes like Korean banchan to accompany it.
However, Kimchi is a must to served with. Of course, any of simple Korean side dishes would be a nice addition for a fancier is a must-have condiment to serve with it. For a fancier presentation, you can also add any of the simple Korean side dishes to the meal.
Leftover Storage Tip
Store leftover galbi jjim in the refrigerator for up to one week, or freeze it in an airtight container or freezer-safe zip bag for up to three months.
When reheating, thaw the dish first and then simmer it on the stove or use a microwave oven to heat until hot.
More Korean Beef Recipes
If you enjoy dishes like this Korean beef, some of these Korean dinner recipes might please you with an awesome outcome.
Galbi Jjim (Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs)
- 3-1/2 to 4 lbs (1.5-1.8 kg) beef short ribs, Korean style preferred
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 Korean pear, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1/2 kiwi, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) soy sauce
- 3-4 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 3 tbsp sweet rice wine (mirim), optional
- 2-1/2 cups (600 ml) sea kelp stock, divided
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp pepper
- 8 dried shiitake mushroom
- 2 large carrot, peeled and cut into big chunks
- 3/4 lb Korean radish, peeled and cut into chunks
- 3 tbsp chopped pine nuts or walnuts , to garnish, optional
For the Sea Kelp Stock
- 1 large piece dried sea kelp (dashima)
- 4 cups (960 ml) water
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the short ribs and parboil for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with hot water. Set aside.
- For the sea kelp stock; put a large piece of sea kelp into the 4 cups of water in a sauce pan; bring it to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the sea kelp and reserve 2-1/2 cups of sea kelp stock; set aside.
- Put onion, pear, kiwi, garlic, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, and rice wine in a blender. Pour 1/2 cup of sea kelp stock and puree until smooth.
- In a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, put the ribs and pour the vegetable fruit puree over. Add the remaining 2 cups of sea kelp stock, ginger puree, sesame oil, and pepper; mix well. Bring it to boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, soak shiitake mushroom in water for 30-40 minutes. Gently squeeze out excess water.
- Optional: using a small paring knife, round the cut edges and corners of carrot and radish pieces to smooth out.
- Add the mushrooms and vegetables into the pot; stir and continue to simmer for another 30-40 minutes, covered. Open the lid slightly in the last 10 minutes of simmering. When the vegetables are fork tender, remove from the heat and skim the extra fat on top, if needed.
- Let the galbi-jjim rest in a pot for 10 minutes. Transfer it to a large serving dish and sprinkle with chopped pine nuts (or walnuts) as a garnish. Serve warm with rice.
This recipe is a keeper. I have tried making galbijim using few other recipes, but this one really easy to make and really hit the spot. I reduce the sugar a little bit, omit the kiwi, and used apple instead of korean pear. Thanks so much for the recipe! ^^
I make only this awesome dish everytime beef ribs blocks on sale (They are expensive in HI, around $13-14/lb regular price, but sale price is $8/lb). Only dish worth time & money spent like that 🙂
I make it sweet, savory and super spicy, that’s how I like it, with addition of wide sweet potato chewy noodles…. YUM!
Thx! One of my most reliable go-to internet recipes, ever: I’ve made this 3X now for different friends… I took a few extra steps here and there (roasting veg & garlic for a little more caramelized flavor, plus some umami add-in) but in general, stay pretty true to the formula. Have had rave reviews and normally restrained eaters go for seconds–even thirds!
Love short ribs! So comforting, particularly at this time of the year. This looks like an awesome recipe — tons of flavor. Great dish — thanks so much.
Thank you for this lovely recipe. Is there a substitute for kiwi? Thanks
You can use 1-2 rings of fresh or canned pineapple (1 for fresh or 2 for canned) instead. The acid and enzyme in these fruit will break down the muscle tissues of beef and tenderize.