When I made my first attempt at some Korean barbecue, there was a strong consensus that although Daeji Bulgogi is pretty awesome, galbi is where it's at. I had to try it.
My galbi started with one-fourth of an inch thick beef flanken—beef short ribs cut across the bone—that was given an overnight marinade using a recipe I pieced together through a few different sources. After grilling over a high heat, it cooked through in no time and the marinade caramelized. This created not only the shiniest Galbi I've ever seen but also the most fantastic-tasting one.
Despite the heavy-looking coating, it was the flavor of the meat that took center stage. The semi-tender beef had some sweetness and saltiness going on, but the richness of the short rib dominated and balanced the other flavors.
Even if I did miss the spicy gochujang in the Daeji Bulgogi that originally attracted me to Korean barbecue, I'm totally on the galbi bandwagon now.
- 3 lbs 1/4-inch thick flanken cut beef short ribs
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/3 cup Sprite
- 1/8 cup mirin
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 green onions, minced
- 1 Asian pear, peeled, cored, and then pureed or crushed
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1/8 cup sesame seeds
- Type of fire: direct
- Grill heat: high
Whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, honey, sesame oil, Sprite, mirin, garlic, green onions, Asian pear, black pepper, and sesame seeds in a medium bowl.
Place the beef in a large Ziploc bag, pour in the marinade and seal. Toss to evenly distribute the marinade, then open and reseal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least one hour to overnight.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place the beef slices on the grill and cook until the meat is seared on both sides and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill, let rest for 5 minutes, and serve.