Galbi-jjim (Korean Braised Short-ribs)

Updated: Jul 25, 2021


Galbi-jjim is one of those Korean dishes that is packed full of umami yet is incredibly simple to make at home for a family. What makes Galbi-jjim so special is its use of fruits within the marinade and braise which is not only for flavour but the addition of pear and apple makes the meat extremely tender. For this recipe I went with the classic use of beef short ribs, however, I think any slow braise meat on the bone would also work just fine. This is one of those dishes that once all of the prep is done the rest will sort itself out! With all that said let's make Galbi-jjim!

To serve 4


The braise and marinade:

1kg beef short ribs

3 pears (asian pears preferably)

1 granny smith apple

6 garlic cloves

10g grated ginger

100ml light soy

60ml mirin

30ml sake

30ml sesame oil

3 tbsp honey

1 tbsp corn syrup (optional)

2 tbsp white sugar

1 tsp black pepper

water to top up the braise

Vegetables and rice:

1/2 daikon radish

2 carrots

125g shitake mushrooms

bunch of spring onion

short grain rice for 4

toasted sesame seeds



  1. Let's begin with making up the marinade for the short ribs. Ideally you want to leave at least 2 hours of marinading before cooking, however, overnight would be best. Start by peeling, coring and roughly chopping 3 pears and 1 Granny Smith apple. If you can get hold of asian pears then these would work best. Next Place the chopped apples and pears into a food processor along with 6 peeled garlic cloves, 10g of grated ginger, 100ml of light soy, 60ml of mirin, 30ml sake, 30ml sesame oil, 3 tbsp of honey, 1 tbsp corn syrup, 2 tbsp white sugar and 1 tsp of cracked black pepper. Pulse the marinade until smooth, we are looking for an almost light coffee like colour when ready.

2. Now that we have our marinade place into a large container. For the short ribs all that's needed to be done is to cut into manageable pieces if needed. Add the short ribs to the marinade and ensure the ribs are well coated. When ready cover with clingfilm and store in the refrigerator to marinade for at least 2 hours, We will use the short rib marinade for the braising also.

3. When the short ribs have finished marinading remove the ribs from the marinade and use kitchen paper to wipe off any excess. Before braising we want to add some colour on the short ribs before, opposed to just braising. Add a small drizzle of oil to a pan and place onto a medium to high heat. When heated add the short ribs in batches and fry until nicely seared. Take care when searing the short ribs as they may catch. When ready add all of the marinade to the pan along with the seared short ribs then top up with enough water to nearly cover the ribs. When boiling turn the heat down to low and place a lid on top. Braise low and slow for 2 1/2 hours whilst occasionally skimming any impurities that rise to the top. If the braise reduces too much then top up with water.

Vegetables and Rice:

4. When the braise has approximately 1 hour left to go we now want to incorporate some vegetables and cook the rice. Begin by peeling and washing 1/2 daikon radish and 2 carrots then when ready cut them into bite sized pieces. Slice 125g of shitake mushrooms in half and finely slice a bunch of spring onion. To add a little more texture to the vegetables we want to stir fry them first before adding to the braise. Add a drizzle of oil to a wok or pan and place onto a high heat. When smoking hot add the vegetables keeping the sliced spring onion to one side as we will add this at the very end. When the vegetables are nice and seared add to the braise, place the lid on again and continue to cook for 1 more final hour. At this point we also want to wash and cook the rice in usual rice cooker fashion...

5. After 2 1/2 hours the short ribs and vegetables should be ready, to check if the short ribs are cooked remove one of the ribs from the braise and if it has a slight gelatinous jiggle then we are good to go. The vegetables should also be soft and have absorbed some of the braise. Adjust the seasoning by adding more sugar or light soy if needed and if too strong then add a touch of water to balance out.

6. Now to serve, add a generous amount of finely sliced spring onions to the braise and place into a large serving bowl. Top with some toasted sesame seeds and some freshly cooked rice on the side and nourish! Hope you like this super simple korean hidden gem!

Additional notes:

If you can't get hold of short ribs for this recipe then ideally you want to use a slow braise joint on the bone if possible. To cut the braising time down then you could use a pressure cooker for this recipe, again adding the vegetables towards the final part of the braise. As for what other or additional vegetables to add then you could also use potato, cauliflower, cabbage, aubergine or various other mushrooms. Have fun with this recipe and I'm sure once you try it you will be hooked!

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