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Korean Flanken Ribs

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These Korean flanken ribs are incredibly delicious, easy to prepare, and cook quickly on the grill! This beef rib recipe is inspired by a popular Korean barbecue dish.

Kalbi Ribs on a cutting board.

When it comes to Korean cuisine, “galbi” or “kalbi” mean “ribs,” typically beef ribs, although pork is sometimes used. These flanken ribs have a distinctive appearance that sets them apart from other types of ribs.

What are flanken ribs?

Flanken cut refers to short ribs that are cut across the bone rather than between them. These ribs are flat, 1/2″ thick, and contain 3-4 side by side bone pieces per section. They are typically marinated in a rich, umami soy-based mixture for several hours before hitting the grill. The end product is simply fantastic.

Why you should make this recipe

  • As mentioned above, this recipe is super easy, versatile, and cooks quickly. The longest part is the actual marinating time of 6-12 hours.
  • It is perfect for parties or family dinners. The marinating process takes 6-12 hours, so you can start it in the morning and have the ribs ready to grill and serve by evening.
  • And finally, flanken beef ribs are budget-friendly!

Ingredients

  • Beef flanken ribs: 3 pounds
  • Soy sauce or tamari for a gluten-free option: You’ll need quite a bit, so plan ahead.
  • Brown sugar: Dark brown is recommended.
  • White vinegar: Stick with this type of vinegar; other varieties, like balsamic or red wine vinegar, will overwhelm the soy sauce flavor.
  • Green onions: Plan on 6 medium-sized stalks.
  • Toasted sesame seeds: Buy them toasted or toast them yourself by placing them in a skillet over medium heat and toss them gently until they become golden brown and fragrant.

Grilling Flanken Ribs

Korean flanken ribs take about 3-5 minutes per side to cook through. We recommend cooking them over charcoal; however, a pellet grill, gas grill, or Blackstone griddle works well too. If using a pellet grill, use a mild fruit wood like apple.

Korean kalbi ribs cooking on a gas grill.

Step by Step Instructions

  • Whisk marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl until the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Place the flanken ribs into resealable plastic bags or a large Pyrex baking dish. 
  • Pour the marinade over the flanken ribs. Make sure they are well coated. Seal bags (or cover dish with plastic wrap), and refrigerate for 6-12 hours.
  • Preheat the grill to high heat (450 degrees F).
  • Remove flanken ribs from bags (or dish), and place onto grill. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. 
  • Please note that you will want to cook these all the way through to avoid chewiness and to allow the sauce to caramelize on the surface.

Serving

  • Once the flanken ribs are cooked, place them on a clean cutting board or platter and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
  • Serve with rice or cut them up with clean kitchen shears (removing the bone) and serve with lettuce and accompanying Korean-made condiments like kimchi and diced chilies.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave, oven, or on the stovetop in a skillet.
Korean Kalbi Ribs, on a cutting board

Like these Korean Flanken Ribs? Try these recipes!

Korean Flanken Ribs

Korean Flanken Ribs

Flanken ribs, known as "galbi," is a traditional and quite popular Korean barbecue beef dish. These thin rib cross-sections are marinated in a soy sauce, garlic, and vinegar mixture, then grilled.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: East Asian
Keyword: African spice rub, BBQ ribs, kalbi, kalbi recipe, Korean BBQ, Korean BBQ Ribs, Korean flanken ribs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Servings: 8 People
Calories: 366kcal
Author: Derrick Riches and Sabrina Baksh

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds beef flanken ribs
  • 2 green onions finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted
  • for marinade:
  • 1 1/3 cups soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 green onion finely sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

Instructions

  • Toast sesame seeds in a small pan over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Move them around during the toasting process, so they do not burn. Remove from heat, place seeds in a small bowl and set aside. Once cooled, cover and store until ready to use.
  • Whisk marinade ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved. Place the flanken ribs into a resealable plastic bags. You might need two or more for this recipe. If you don't have any bags handy, then place ribs into a large glass baking dish. Pour equal portions of marinade mixture over ribs. Make sure they are well coated. Seal bags (or cover with glass dish with plastic wrap), and place into refrigerator for 6-12 hours.
  • Preheat grill for high heat.
  • Remove flanken ribs from bags (or glass dish), and place onto grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness. While these do tend to cook quickly, some pieces might be thicker and need an additional 1-2 minutes per side. The same is true for thinner pieces. Reduce cook time and watch for burning.
  • Once cooked through, place ribs onto a large serving platter and garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days after initial cooking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 2249mg | Potassium: 602mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 93IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 4mg

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