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Traditional-cut Korean Short Ribs (Wang Galbi/Kalbi)


Staff member
Jan 19, 2024
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NOTE: An updated version of this recipe appears in my cookbook, The Ancestral Table.

Although flanken-cut short ribs (sometimes called L.A. or English cut ribs) are more commonly found in Korean restaurants today, every so often you’ll find that a chef that prepares kalbi (galbi, 갈비) in the traditional way – by using a full length of rib that’s filleted in layers. This traditional cut is called wang galbi/kalbi, which is literally translated as “king ribs”.

My most recent box of goodies from US Wellness Meats included a package of their delicious beef short ribs. This beautiful one-pound rack was the perfect opportunity to make some “king ribs” of my own.


You’ll Need:
1 package US Wellness Meats beef short ribs (1 lb.)
1/2 asian or bosc/golden pear, grated (or 1/4 cup no-sugar-added apple sauce)
3 tbsp wheat-free tamari or coconut aminos
1/2 cup club soda / soda water
juice of 1/2 lime (1 tbsp)
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp grated or ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 pinch red chili flakes

In my original kalbi post, I used a grated asian pear to sweeten the marinade; I’ve since found out that no-sugar-added applesauce does just as good of a job as the grated pear, without all the mess.


Take the ribs out of the packaging, and gently rinse with cold water to wash away any bone fragments. Pat dry with paper towels.

Some people like to remove the membrane found on the side opposite of the bones, because it can be chewy; to be honest, I don’t remove any part of grass-fed meat that I get my hands on – fat, membrane, whatever – because it’s all ridiculously good for you!


Your first step is to cut each rib away from the rack, staying close to one of the bones.


Next, cut along the bone horizontally until you’re about 1/2″ from the edge. Open the rib like a book. Make another horizontal cut on the meaty side of your “book”, until you’re 1/2″ from the edge again. You should now be able to lay the meaty side directly on the cutting board, flush with the side with the bone.


Lastly, repeat the above steps so that you have a third side, and you now have a perfectly filleted short rib. Repeat with the other ribs, although the smaller rib may only need to be filleted once.


Combine all of the ingredients and marinate them overnight in a ziploc bag.


Grill the ribs over direct, med/high heat for ten minutes (five on each side); check the meat that’s nearest the bone for doneness. For especially tasty ribs, brush on some the leftover marinade about halfway through cooking. In my opinion, these ribs taste best when cooked medium/medium-well done. Serve immediately.
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