International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Hawaiian Kalbi Ribs

Hawaiian kalbi barbecue beef short ribs

(Hawaiian-American barbecued beef short ribs)

Image by stu_spivack

Average: 5 (2 votes)

This recipe for marinated and grilled beef short ribs demonstrates the delicious influence of Korean cuisine on Hawaiian cooking. Salty-sweet with a subtle smokiness, kalbi short ribs are the central focus of many a Hawaiian plate lunch.

4 to 6 servings


  • Beef short ribs, flanken cut -- 2 pounds
  • Soy sauce -- 3/4 cup
  • Water -- 1/4 cup
  • Sesame oil -- 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar -- 1/2 cup
  • Garlic, minced -- 3 or 4 cloves
  • Gingerroot, peeled and minced -- 1 1-inch piece (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Scallions, finely chopped -- 3 or 4
  • Sesame seeds, toasted -- 1 tablespoon


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, sesame oil and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Next stir in the garlic, ginger, scallions and sesame seeds.
  2. Add the short ribs and toss to coat. Place the ribs and marinade in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours. Toss occasionally to make sure the ribs get marinated evenly.
  3. Remove the ribs from their marinade and pat dry. Grill the ribs on a prepared indoor or outdoor grill for about 2 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Brush lightly with the remaining marinade while grilling if you like.
  4. Serve immediately with scoops of steamed rice and Hawaiian-style macaroni salad.

Kalbi Short Rib Notes and Variations

  • What is "flanken" cut? Short ribs usually come in one of two types of butcher's cut: English or flanken. English style is a cut of 2 to 3-inch sections of rib. This cut is best for braising. Flanken style is a thin cut across 3 or 4 ribs, anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. It's important to chose flanken cut for kalbi short ribs so that they marinate thoroughly, cook quickly and evenly and turn out mouthwateringly tender.
  • Other Marinade Additions: Use mirin instead of water and cut back the sugar to 1/4 cup. Some recipes call for adding a little grated onion for flavor or grated Asian pear for sweetness.


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