Korean BBQ Ribs

The opportunities to barbecue always seem to fade like the green from the leaves as summer turns into fall. I’m not sure why I don’t barbecue as much in the colder weather, there’s really no reason not to use it year round.

And this recipe, an old standby my kids love, is as good a reason as any to heat up a gas or a charcoal grill (heck, it would even work on a George Foreman or a very hot cast iron pan). If you’ve not got one, there’s no better time to buy than when the weather starts looking up! You might at first be concerned by the cost of purchasing new outdoor cooking equipment, but you can find help in the form of websites like Raise and their coupons and promo codes to be used at an array of stores including Lowe’s where you should be able to find the grill of your dreams at a price that won’t leave you penniless.

It’s a beef ribs recipe that’s all in the prep-it cooks in minutes and has has a great mix of flavours and textures that comes from a very unexpected source-marinating beef with pears.

This recipe really benefits from 12 to 24 hours of marinade time, so it’s great to prep on a Sunday for a quick Monday dinner.

You can make this marinade from scratch or buy it jarred from an Asian supermarket. With Loblaw purchasing T&T, you might be able to find the sauce already made for you labelled as Korean Kalbi Marinade Sauce.

To make from scratch, combine the following in a blender or a food processor and process until smooth:

1 pear, peeled, cored and chopped
6 cloves of garlic
4 teaspoons of ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Prepping the Beef

We use short ribs for this dish but they do require a bit of prep work. If you’re not up for that, just use a flank steak.

As you’ll be removing the bones, you’ll need to buy a few pounds of short ribs in order to have enough for four people-think about a ratio of 10 to 12 ounces (280 to 350 grams) per person. Once deboned, along with removing any hard fat and silver skin, there should be about 6 ounces (170 grams) per person.

Once the beef has been deboned and cleaned up, put each piece between two sheets of waxed paper and give it a quick pounding with a wine bottle (or heavy blunt instrument of your choice). You’re looking for uniform pieces of meat that are about four inches long, one inch wide and a quarter of an inch (half a centimeter) thick.

Marinade your prepped pieces of short ribs for at least 12 hours, 24 hours is even better.


The beef will cook very quickly and the sugars in the marinade will help to caramelize into a nice crust.

I think this beef is best when cooked over a hot charcoal grill but a gas grill or even cast iron pan would work. If the heat is high they should cook in less than 2 minutes per side. It’s an incredibly quick dish once all the prep work has been done.

The Sides

We usually serve with steamed greens like Yu Choy, Bok Choy or Chard and a green salad with a zippy rice vinegar dressing-the beef is sticky-sweet, so it’s nice to have a counterpoint in one of the side dishes. I’ll often combine the following to dress salad greens:

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
canola, grape seed or other neutral oil

Mix the first three items together in a small bowl and then slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking vigorously. Taste as it thickens and stop when it’s struck the right balance.

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Michael Forbes

About Michael Forbes

Michael, a communications professional by day, is a father of two, an avid (but bad) hockey player, and an amateur cook. He finds it incredibly challenging to write about himself in the third person. View all posts by

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